Don Rusnak will be seeking a second term as MP for Thunder Bay-Rainy River in next fall’s federal election.
He was acclaimed as the Liberal candidate last month and officially is the first person to throw their hat into the ring.
Rusnak said he put his name forward for the same reason he did when he first ran in 2015–he was disappointed with the way things were going under Canada’s previous Conservative government.
“I felt that Canada needed a new direction,” he noted.
“I think we’re on that path now and I want to continue forward in that direction.”
Looking back on his time as MP so far, Rusnak said he’s most proud of the work that’s been done for funding infrastructure projects around the riding.
There has been $21 million spent on infrastructure, nearly $2 million on clean water/waster water projects, and nearly $4 million in economic development funding.
“That’s from directly listening to the stakeholders on the ground and, through those relationships, advocating here in Ottawa and making sure those projects are funded by our government,” Rusnak noted.
“The sewer, water, roads, and flood mitigation infrastructure are extremely important issues.”
Some of the other issues Rusnak hopes to address if re-elected pertain to agriculture in the west end of his riding.
“I know there’s been issues with our beef farmers with the cross-border traffic of their cattle into southern Manitoba, so we’re still working on that issue,” he remarked.
Rusnak also would like to see more innovation in farming, as well as making sure dairy farmers and other agri-businesses are supported in the work they do.
He admitted there’s been a bit of learning a curve but he’s since been able to assemble a great team to assist him in his duties as MP.
He’s also pleased with the relationships he’s built with municipalities across the riding.
“We will continue building those relationships over the next year and making sure the voices of Thunder Bay-Rainy River are heard here in Ottawa, and that the priories of the region are met by the federal government,” Rusnak pledged.
Rusnak added the work that’s been achieved in the area over the last three years point to why he should be re-elected.
“I just say look at the record, and the relationships I have with municipal councils and other stakeholders across the region,” he said.
“I don’t think in the previous 10 years as much has been done in the region from the federal government from a funding standpoint.
“That’s from directly working with our councils and our business leaders across the region, and making sure we work well together and making sure those funding announcements get made in the region,” Rusnak stressed.
The other major parties have yet to nominate candidates in Thunder Bay-Rainy River for the election slated for Oct. 21, 2019.