THUNDER BAY – Chantelle Bryson says the country has had enough of Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government.
The country needs a change, said the Thunder Bay lawyer, running for the first time as the federal NDP candidate in Thunder Bay-Superior North.
Bryson, who has worked tirelessly for municipalities and Indigenous communities throughout her professional career, said it wasn’t an easy decision throwing her hat into the political ring, but said she believes she can bring a strong, independent voice to Ottawa on behalf of her Thunder Bay constituents.
It’s something that’s been missing for far too long, Bryson said.
“We’ve seen with the Liberals they are very controlled by Justin Trudeau and the prime minister’s office. I think under the NDP you can bring a very strong, independent voice for the very specific issues in this riding,” she said.
“Of course we’re all about continuing to support small business through the end of the pandemic, workers’ rights and safety. And I have practiced in Indigenous justice and First Nation equal funding for a long time.”
Bryson added there also needs to be a focus on sustainable mental-health care and addictions care, a particular concern for Northwestern Ontario.
Up against Health Minister Patty Hajdu, Conservative Joshua Taylor, the Green Party’s Amanda Moddejonge and the People’s Party of Canada’s Richard Daines, Bryson said her background in the riding and its issues goes back more than 20 years.
“So I have a really good handle on the particular issues that everybody is facing, from the city of Thunder Bay out to Pic River First Nation, up to Nakina,” Bryson said.
“I have a really diverse legal background. I’ve worked in federal, provincial, municipal and Indigenous self-governance zones, so I understand how it works. I understand what level of government is capable of doing what. I think I bring the knowledge and skills forward to put forward viable solutions and get them to the implementation stage. That’s what I’m all about – implementing solutions to real bread-and-butter issues.”
Jobs, a roof over one’s head and healthy food on the table and clean water for all communities top her priority list.
Watching the current government ignore legal orders coming out of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, or from court as they relate to the St. Ann’s residential school survivors and its unwillingness to disclose documents has been tough.
If they aren’t willing to follow the law, it’s a slippery slope to the bottom, Bryson said.
“Then you need to change the government.”
Bryson said even though she’s up against a high-profile cabinet minister in Hajdu, she’s feeling pretty good about her chances.
“We’ve been out there, even before the election was called. People are really unhappy about this election being called, but now they’re ready to move forward. The vast majority of the people we’re speaking to are ready to do that with the NDP,” Bryson said.
“People are done with the Liberals. They’re done with the broken promises and Justin Trudeau and Patty Hajdu, and now they’re trying to make up their minds. The next step of our campaign will be really addressing those voters of why the NDP.”