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Candidate Profile TB-Superior North: Shelby Ch'ng (Lib.)

Two-time Thunder Bay city councillor says the time is right to enter the provincial election ring.
Shelby Ch'ng
Shelby Ch'ng, Liberal candidate in Thunder Bay-Superior North. (Leith Dunick,

THUNDER BAY – Shelby Ch’ng says after eight years on Thunder Bay city council, the next logical move is to take her advocacy expertise to Queen’s Park.

It’s just happening a little earlier than expected.

Ch’ng, who was first elected to council in 2014 as the Northwood ward representative, had earlier turned down an offer from the Liberal Party to run in Thunder Bay-Atikokan, having recently closed her business and moved from one side of town to the other.

But when long-time Liberal MPP and cabinet minister Michael Gravelle announced he was retiring following a second cancer diagnosis in a decade, Ch’ng decided the time was right to step into the provincial political ring and fight to keep Thunder Bay-Superior North in the Liberal fold, a riding its held since Gravelle was first elected in 1995. .

“I saw Michael not only fighting for his job, but for his life, and I thought, if he has something to give, I have something to give. So when he announced he wasn’t running again, I knew it was time to step forward,” Ch’ng said.

“I’ve trained for this for a long time. I have the experience that it takes and I’m not the type of person to sit around and wait for someone else to do the job we all need to get done.”

Ch’ng immediately pointed to housing when asked what issue she feels is most pressing in Thunder Bay-Superior North.

She said she was campaigning in areas like Marathon and Terrace Bay and the issue was front and centre.

“Housing prices have increased astronomically. A house in Schreiber is double or triple what it was now, and they don’t have the tax base. Even if they had newcomers to come and industry, there’s nowhere to house them,” said Ch’ng, noting banks are reluctant to provide mortgages for homes that cost more to build than they’re worth on the open market.

After 15 years in power, from 2003 to 2015, Ch’ng said she realizes there still may be reluctance on the part of voters to trust the Liberal brand again.

It’s a completely new party, she reminded voters.

“I think we’ve suffered so much under a Conservative government and selling off all of our public assets to private companies is not something that’s tolerable for anybody in Ontario,” Ch’ng said. “Even the most diehard Conservative will find at the end of the day that the public service has a role to play to make sure we have service.”

Ch’ng also opposes any privatization efforts of health-care, long-term care and education, areas she said the Ford government has decimated in an effort to appeal to the party’s most extreme base.

Ch’ng will take on Conservative Peng You, the Green Party’s Tracey MacKinnon, the NDP’s Lise Vaugeois and New Blue candidate Kathy Suutari.  

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