Joseph LeBlanc wants people and communities more involved in the provincial decision-making process.
A PhD candidate in forest sciences at Lakehead University, the Green Party’s Thunder Bay-Superior North candidate has been working with First Nations communities on the impacts of resource development. The 32-year-old has also seen first-hand how things like local forest management plans say communities are involved in decision-making but seldom are.
“That’s a concern to me,” he said.
He is also the owner of The Green House, an eco-friendly general store, and a founding member of the True North Community Co-op.
LeBlanc wants to bring these connections and experiences to Queen’s Park to bring a new perspective.
“And bring honesty and integrity to the public discourse," he said.
On the Ring of Fire LeBlanc said a long-term plan is needed and it has to come from the province. “Right now we have this rhetoric around allowing business to decide what’s best and I think there’s a need for the province to step into a leadership role," he said.
And rail is the cheaper, better option. Within a decade, maintaining a road would cost more than rail.
“That type of investment is long-term thinking,” he said.
Communities that have a vision, like Thunder Bay and its proposed event centre, and make local decisions should be listened to by the province.
“There is a need for a consistent funding structure,” he said.
The Green Party is focused on families and its health care policies would be made with that in mind. People in the North should be getting the care they need in their own communities.
“So people can stay where they live,” he said.
If a person does need to travel to Southern Ontario for treatment, the system should make sure those people have the support they need to get there.