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Meet the Candidates: Mary Kozorys, NDP

Mary Kozorys sees herself as the conduit between the community and the province, if elected June 12.
Mary Kozorys is running to represent Thunder Bay - Atikokan as a New Democrat. (Jodi Lundmark,

Mary Kozorys sees herself as the conduit between the community and the province, if elected June 12.

The NDP candidate for Thunder Bay-Atikokan is taking a second run at representing the riding at Queen's Park after being narrowly defeated by Liberal incumbent Bill Mauro in the 2011 election.

"I really believe I have a lot to offer through the work I have done," said Kozorys, who lost to Mauro by a less than two per cent difference.

"The last decade I have spent doing a lot of constituency work for members of Parliament so that has given me a real insight into individual issues...and community issues and how the constituent issues connect into the broader community and our region," she said.

Kozorys, the mother of two, said the top three issues she hears from people on their doorsteps are: costing of living, access to health care and job creation.

Whether in Thunder Bay or Upsala, the cost of living is hurting everyone, she said, adding the price of items from hydro, utilities, gas and car insurance are becoming too much.

When it comes to access to health care, Kozorys said she's heard from people who have waited up to 14 hours in the emergency room with children or elderly parents.

"One of the ways we can in a very, very practical sense address that is to increase the number of family health clinics through the region and also by expanding the number of nurse practitioners in emergency so they can help to relieve that load," she said.

To build wealth in the region, job creation needs to not only come from supporting industry, but small businesses so that wealth can stay in the region, said Kozorys.

But when it comes to big industry projects like the Ring of Fire, the federal government needs to come to the table.

"I don't believe this can be down without a federal partner," she said, adding the revenue sharing also needs to be addressed.

Kozorys has also noticed people now seem more disengaged from the election process than when she first ran three years ago and that's because of a lack of transparency and accountability with the current government.

"I'm really trying to find that way of engaging people back into that conversation," she said.



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