Jobs a top issue, candidates say as federal campaign begins
The top issue on the minds of most Thunder Bay-Superior North candidates as the May 2 federal election approaches is jobs and the economy. “That’s the heart of everything,” said Yves Fricot (Lib., Thunder Bay-Superior North).
The top issue on the minds of most Thunder Bay-Superior North candidates as the May 2 federal election approaches is jobs and the economy.
“That’s the heart of everything,” said Yves Fricot (Lib., Thunder Bay-Superior North). “If people have got good work, then putting food on the table is less of an issue. A lot of concerns about how do I fund my kids’ education…what happens with my retirement, those things start to go away.”
Making FedNor a standalone agency is a good place to start, said Fricot, noting that as an engine of economic development, it becomes an organization with plans and priorities where the taxpayers can see how their money is being spent.
Fricot added the federal government also needs to start applying a “rural lens” to the issues, since policies that work in large cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, don’t always work for communities like Thunder Bay.
While Conservative candidate Richard Harvey agreed that jobs and the economy is what’s most important for strengthening the “still fragile” economy, he said the focus needs to be on making Canada into a place where people want to do business.
“If we look at the last four to six years, we see the fact that the Conservative Party has been working on that,” he said. “We’ve reduced taxes. We’ve given incentives for working families. We’ve given incentives for businesses, especially small businesses, so they can move ahead, so that they can be attracted to our area and so we can make sure we’ve got them coming in and investing.”
Harvey added when it comes to the economy, he relies on a philosophy his father taught him – that only through a strong economy is the country able to provide to those who can’t provide for themselves.
“Let’s build the economy so we can have all these services, so we can provide for those people who are in need, so we can address the environmental issues we’re facing,” he said.
The riding’s incumbent MP, Bruce Hyer, said there are many priorities for the region and the country: jobs, the economy, health care, seniors, pensions, the environment and truth in government.
“But here in Thunder Bay-Superior North I believe the single biggest issue in this campaign will be who does your MP work for,” The NDP representative said. “Voters in Thunder Bay-Superior North can vote for the person who must obey Stephen Harper.
"They can vote for the person who will work for Ken Buchanan or they can vote for the man who will work for them, who has done that for over two years and will continue to work for all of his constituents and nobody else.”
Stepping in as the Green Party candidate for the riding is Scot Kyle, a teacher managing a woodworking business in Hymers. Kyle feels that many values are going in the wrong direction from what the average Canadian would like to see happen in the country.
“The No. 1 issue is to heighten some awareness of the shift that needs to happen towards a more green economy for younger Canadians and those of us in the middle class trying to struggle to make a living and to bring some of these issues into people’s minds,” he said, adding there needs to be a move away from leaning towards larger corporations to empowering innovations in green technologies.
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