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Profile: Gravelle’s campaign is all about jobs

There is no question that the creation of jobs is the most important issue in this provincial election campaign for Michael Gravelle.
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Liberal candidate for Thunder Bay – Superior North Michael Gravelle (Jeff Labine, tbnewswatch.com)
There is no question that the creation of jobs is the most important issue in this provincial election campaign for Michael Gravelle.

“More jobs means more people are able to provide for their families, able to lead lives that give them the opportunity to reach their goals in life,” said the Thunder Bay-Superior North Liberal incumbent.

Gravelle has been the MPP for the north-side riding since 1995 and is looking to retain the title for a fifth term this Oct. 6. He was appointed the Minister of Northern Development and Mines when elected in 2007; forestry was added to his ministerial portfolio in 2009.

The economy in Northwestern Ontario is rebounding, he said, adding it’s visible in the progress of the mining sector, the revitalization of the forestry sector and in the growth of the knowledge and research-based economy.

“We want to continue to see that happen,” Gravelle said. “We need to bring jobs and prosperity to Thunder Bay-Superior North.

What makes him the best candidate for the job can be seen in the results of his 16 years in office.

Four-laning Hwy 11-17 between Thunder Bay and Nipigon, bringing hundreds of jobs to Bombardier and supporting the creation of the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute, Northern Ontario School of Medicine and Lakehead University’s law school are just some of the highlights for Gravelle.

“I have fought for this riding since I was first elected in 1995; I continue to remain 100 per cent committed,” he said. “If it’s possible to be above 100 per cent, I’m there. I love what I’m doing. I believe I’ve been able to bring some substantial things to the riding and I want to be able to continue that ambition of doing more for the riding.”

It’s an honour to Gravelle to be a provincial representative in the Ontario legislature and it’s a role he doesn’t see as a job, but a vocation or mission and he feels personally connected to his constituents.

“The way I view this job is you really are trying to represent everyone and be a voice for everyone and be a fighter on behalf of everyone you represent,” he said. “That’s one of the real goals of any Member of Parliament and it’s one I take very seriously.”

And it’s not a job anywhere near finished. Gravelle sees work that needs to be done in developing the mining sector and reviving the forestry sector, all in the hope of creating more jobs in the region.

After 16 years in his post, Gravelle feels more motivated than ever.

“I think we are on the cusp of a number of good things coming to certainly Thunder Bay-Superior North and I want to be able to continue on that job,” he said.

“I don’t believe in giving up on any of the issues I am fighting for. I can get turned down, but I’m going to come back,” he added. “The job is never done. There is always more to do.”