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Candidate Profile TB-Superior North: Lise Vaugeois (NDP)

NDP candidate was runner up to Liberal Michael Gravelle in 2018 and feels she's poised to win in 2022.
Lise Vaugeois
Lise Vaugeois, the NDP candidate in Thunder Bay-Superior North. (Leith Dunick,

THUNDER BAY –Four years ago, Lise Vaugeois nearly toppled a 23-year veteran in Thunder Bay-Superior North.

The first-time NDP candidate came within 813 votes of Liberal Michael Gravelle, who has held the seat since 1995 – and won’t be on the ballot in 2022.

It’s a real chance for a riding reset, said Vaugeois, who added she learned a lot in the 2018 campaign, specifically how diverse the riding is from one end to the other.

“I learned that every community is different. That was one of the wonderful things about running last time, to get to know people in the region and get to know the issues in the region,” said Vaugeois, who originally moved to Thunder Bay to play in the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and now is an associate professor at Lakehead University.

“I’m more confident. I was ready last time and we came very close to defeating Michael, and Michael’s been around for a very long time and people like him. I like him too. I guess I feel more confident and the NDP is really well positioned. We have 40 people who have been in government the last four years, in opposition, not able to do nearly as much as they wanted to do if they were working with a cooperative government.”

Vaugeois, up against Liberal Shelby Ch’ng, Conservative Peng You, the Green Party’s Tracey MacKinnon and New Blue’s Kathy Suutari, said returning funding to health care is the No. 1 issue she wants to see addressed should she be elected to public office.

Ending thoughts of privatization of education and shifting long-term care back to the public sector are other areas that need work.

“When I think about education and health care, they were suffering before the Ford government. Those attacks started with the Harris government and then we had 15 years of a Liberal government and they didn’t take on those cuts. There were continued cuts and they were 3P partnerships that meant public dollars going into private profits,” she said.

“Putting that money back into health care, paying people properly, getting rid of things like Bill 124, getting teachers back in the classroom ... it’s been disastrous for teachers, for students and it doesn’t need to be.”

Vaugeois said Ontario is still a wealthy province, so there’s no reason why public services should be gutted.

She also pointed to the NDP’s Northern Ontario platform and noted how many times leader Andrea Horwath has visited Thunder Bay, a clear indication of the importance of the region to an NDP government.

“She’s got, I feel, a real appreciation of the kinds of struggles we have here and the way that the Northwest is so frequently left out, left as an afterthought.”

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