Be informed

With longtime NDP MPP Howard Hampton stepping aside after almost a quarter-century at Queen’s Park, the candidates for the three main parties here in Kenora-Rainy River face the daunting task of getting themselves known to voters across the riding over the next four weeks.
NDP hopeful Sarah Campbell has spent the past several years as Mr. Hampton’s constituency assistance in his Dryden office, Liberal Anthony Leek is in his first year as a councillor for Emo Township, and Progressive Conservative Rod McKay, a first-term councillor in Kenora, is manager of the Kenora Forest Products mill there. Yet none of the three would be considered household names by any stretch, particularly outside their respective communities.
Toss in Green Party candidate Jo Jo Holiday, who has run both provincially and federally previously, and the 2011 campaign is shaping up to be the first real wide-open one in years here.
That’s a welcomed breath of fresh air. With no popular incumbent or obvious front-runner going in, Kenora-Rainy River is literally up for grabs—making for an exciting campaign as all four candidates battle to earn your vote, outlining their ideas, strengths, and respective party platforms by knocking on doors, attending community events, taking part in debates, and doing interviews with the local media.
The responsibility of voters is to take the time to listen to the candidates and know where they stand on the various issues before heading to the polls Oct. 6.
Provincial elections traditionally see a lower voter turnout than federal ones, yet provincial issues affect individuals much more directly. Decisions on health care, education, hydro costs, taxes, policing, the environment, and forestry and mining impact us, our children, and our communities.
Be an informed voter this election and help direct the future of our province.