KENORA, Ont. — The new Progressive Conservative member of the provincial legislature for Kenora-Rainy River is setting his sights on what he calls one of his "biggest grievances" against Ontario's former Liberal government.
Greg Rickford says political partisanship was responsible for the province proceeding with the twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway east of Thunder Bay while failing to work on a section of the highway west of Kenora.
In an interview with Tbnewswatch, Rickford said that both projects were announced eight years ago by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and himself.
"I think it's important for folks out in Thunder Bay to know and appreciate" that, Rickford said.
Two-thirds of the Thunder Bay-area project has been completed, he noted, adding that "we haven't even got a shovel in the ground" along the highway between Kenora and the Manitoba border.
Rickford charged that this "smacks of serving the interests of Liberal candidates in Thunder Bay, and we're going to put a stop to that."
He said there's "a great opportunity" to twin the highway all across northwestern Ontario, including Thunder Bay to Nipigon, "but it's also going to include Kenora to the Manitoba border."
Asked if he had had any discussions with Premier-elect Doug Ford about a cabinet appointment, Rickford said he had not.
"Doug made it clear that he understood and appreciated my experience in the role that I had as member of Parliament for Kenora...and I'm confident he'll expect me to make the same kinds of contributions to his government as I did with Prime Minister Harper."
Rickford served as a cabinet minister under Harper.
"Humbly, I'll take up the role of being a strong voice for northwestern Ontario. I've done this before. I'll do it again," he said.