Federal Election 2021

Election Day in Canada is on Monday, September 20. The Thunder Bay-Rainy River riding has five candidates to choose from. We asked each of them to submit their thoughts on current issues to help voters to make an informed choice at the ballot box.

To find out where and how you can vote, visit elections.ca.

Editor’s note: All candidates on our ballot were invited to participate. However, due to a technical problem on the Times’ part, the full list of questions did not reach the Marcus Powlowski campaign until the day submissions were due, giving them significantly less time to compile answers. The Times apologizes to the Powlowski team, and asks voters to consider their strict time limitations while forming opinions of the responses.

What are the most important issues for our riding, and why?

Our country is being torn apart. Things are being demanded of us that any sensible person just a couple of years ago would have rebelled against due to the blatant infringements on our basic rights and freedoms. To openly demand to know what is privileged information between you and your doctor is now expected. Just a couple of years ago if an employer demanded you be stuck with an experimental drug and was unable to demonstrate that it was able to do as claimed and was safe the law and unions, just to name two, would back you 100% in fighting against this. But now the only thing that has changed is that it is the government demanding you to subject yourself? And far too many have done so willingly? And unions are now silent? What has happened to us?

We are on the verge of losing everything we value most; our freedom to live our lives as we see fit. And for what? To be subjected to tyrannical rule for what purpose? As a society far too many of us have allowed ourselves to say and do things a sane person would find abhorrent all because we have experienced a new virus for which there is a lot of evidence is no where more contagious or deadly that the seasonal flu. And we are letting this irrational fear destroy us. FDR long ago said there is nothing to fear but fear itself. He was right. We need to stand up and be brave and defend what is rightfully ours, those rights and freedoms explicitly stated in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms!

– Alan Aubut, People’s Party

One of the biggest & most important issues in my riding, with Suicide Awareness Day yesterday, I would have to say Mental Health. Last week it was International Overdose Awareness Day. In 2018, 44 people died of opioid overdose in Thunder Bay. The 44 deaths were a 40 per cent increase from 2017, a year in which Thunder Bay also held the highest provincial rate.

“We need really heavy investments in more robust resources at the community level.” Cynthia Olsen – Thunder Bay Drug Strategy. “We’re not the only community across Canada these increases are happening everywhere.” 

A safe supply has been a controversial national response to help curb the opioid crisis. In Thunder Bay, the NorWest Community Health Centre opened an overdose prevention site in 2018. It’s the bottom line of health care. We are definitely saving lives, and it also gives us the avenue to refer people to other services. It’s a gateway for us to access other treatment services.” – Michelle Kolobutin, harm reduction coordinator at the health centre. 

“I think nationally there’s a discussion about safe supply being a critical component to it,” Olsen said. “There is a toxic drug supply out there. People use drugs, we’ve been doing it since time immemorial. So it that continues to happen, we’re going to continue to see overdoses.”

“Individuals who are dying in our communities are brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, aunties & uncles”. 

Bringing these issues to light is highly important due to the stigma attached. Mental Health especially during these last 18 months has never been more important & vital to keeping our community members safe, healthy & well. 

As someone who suffers with Depression, Anxiety, C-PTSD…. I to have had my dark days. Living alone during this Pandemic hasn’t been easy especially while living in Poverty. One more than one occasion I would walk in somewhere & be asked it I was “looking to buy” or by some random stranger in passing. This is a National Crisis. This issue affects all of us. Like this Pandemic were all in this together. – Tracey MacKinnon, Green Party

The most important issues in our riding are: Clean drinking water; Pandemic recovery – especially having an unnecessary election during a pandemic.  This was a reckless call by the Liberal government; High Cost of living – food continues to go up and up; Health care in our long term support homes – seniors especially are afraid of what will happen to them if they go into long term care as there is such a shortage of workers; Mental health – access to mental health in the area is a challenge; Shortage of doctors; Small business going under because they cannot find employees to work with them; Jobs – lack of them, loss, lack of new training programs; Expensive housing costs (many youth and growing families believe they will never own their own homes); High cost of post-secondary education

Our riding has had to deal with economic losses due to several shutdowns during the pandemic. People are also fatigued from being in isolation and want a sense of recovery. Many do not have access to proper mental health care or support and many do not have a family doctor. Our youth especially need hope for the future. Is it horrific to think in a country like Canada there are still areas in our riding where people do not have clean water to drink.

-Adelina Pecchia, Conservative Party

When I speak to constituents and knock on doors, I regularly hear about two issues that are important to Canadians: climate change, and the cost of housing.

The extreme heat waves, wildfires, and flooding that has been experienced in Northwestern Ontario and across Canada in recent years are a direct consequence of climate change. I am happy to say that the Liberal platform includes the most comprehensive and effective plan that will both reduce emissions, and protect Canadians from further effects. We are on track to reduce emissions by 40% by the year 2030, and to be net-zero by 2050.

– Marcus Powlowski, Liberal Party

In this election, the one issue that I heard loud and clear from people is about a disgust with Justin Trudeau for calling an unnecessary election in the middle of a pandemic, putting own self-interest in power and getting a majority so he can dictate rather than work with all MPs for Canadians. The fact that issues like getting through the pandemic, climate, affordability, and Reconciliation are still top issues, even after 6 years of a Liberal government. People have had enough empty promises on a platform with no action or misplaced priorities. The NDP have always made People and Communities as their priority. Speaking loudly for supports for people who lost their jobs, businesses that were shuttered by the global pandemic, and immediate action for healthcare supports when our loved ones were sick and dying, especially in Long Term Care and marginalized communities.

In Thunder Bay-Rainy River, the pressing issue is TRUST. It deeply concerns me that the Conservative candidate has admitted to living out of a suitcase, hoping to buy a house here (interview with Acadia Media); has declined to show up at any of the debates (Chamber of Commerce, Netnewsledger, and the televised TBNews debate); and did not even bother to answer the survey sent to all candidates (Borderland Pride). I have spent the past two years connecting with people, going to every community across the region, and advocating for the issues that are important to us all. It deeply concerns me when someone wants people to trust them with their vote but doesn’t bother to show up even in a campaign. Connecting with people at the doors, being in the communities, being at the events to celebrate and listen to concerns matters to the people of Thunder Bay-Rainy River. I put in thousands of kilometers travelling to every community, and thousands of steps to talk to people at their homes over the past two years. I have made it a priority to connect and show up. Is that not what every person expects and deserves in this region?

– Yuk-Sem Won, NDP

We allowed Adelina Pecchia to rebut the direct comments from Yuk-Sem Won

“Yes, indeed TRUST is a pressing issue in the Thunder Bay – Rainy River.  So how can you trust the NDP candidate in this riding who is disparages someone who may be “living out of a suitcase”? If I said that it was a figure of speech. However, not everyone in this riding can afford a house and many people are homeless. If the NDP candidate cannot relate to people who are in transition and are homeless then how can you trust her to listen to the concerns of those who needs housing in the Thunder Bay-Rainy River Riding? How can you trust someone who does not know how to interpret a figure of speech? Furthermore, if she took this figure of speech literally instead of being concerned that I indeed may be living out of a suitcase why is the NDP candidate instead critical of this?

My spouse and I have chosen to move back home to the Thunder Bay – Rainy River area because it is my hearth. It is where I grew up and always comes back to. I am deeply concerned about the way the riding has been treated. People still don’t have clean drinking water, Climate change has become a Climate Crisis, homelessness is an issue, economic growth and renewal is stalled, small businesses are closing their doors, and people can’t find work. Being visible doesn’t always mean being present although I do understand how important it is for people to meet someone.

It is true we are hoping to buy a house within our budget with hopes of living and being active in this beautiful community. I love this area and being away and returning means that I often see it for the first time. In our search to buy a home I have also been listening to many in the riding who say housing prices are beyond their reach. Many young people and growing families have stated they do not think they will ever be able to buy a house because prices are expensive. I understand their dashed hopes. Steep housing and living costs are a reality and every party in Canada has made the lack of affordable housing a concern in this election. The NDP candidate needs to be empathetic to the homeless because there are people who don’t even have a suitcase to live out of.

In conclusion how can you trust someone who comes to hasty conclusions?  For example, I have answered the survey to Borderline Pride and missed the deadline. They stated they will respond when I post my answers on Facebook.

Lastly, it deeply concerns me when another candidate tries to trivialize me as a person, disparaging me about my potential housing situation, coming to conclusions about surveys, and being upset after my years of working elsewhere that I would choose to return to my home.  Every person in this region expects and deserves respect and honour. I wonder for whom the NDP Candidate means?”

– Adelina Pecchia, Conservative Party

How do you plan to promote northwestern Ontario on the national stage?

We have had a proud history of being very resilient when faced with challenges. We just need support for our industries and our people to thrive. We need a true champion for all of us and in recent years that has sorely been wanting. How else can you explain the loss of 70% of the pulp and paper mills in our region? Or the numerous mining ventures stuck in limbo, even after allowing for the very few that have received a green light?

– Alan Aubut, People’s party

I’m not a former Drama Teacher, ED of a local homeless shelter, lawyer or doctor.

However, I am someone with Lived Experience. I plan on using my lived experience to advocate for change. Change which is long over due & much needed. It is through these lived experiences which I have learned to over come challenges from being homeless here in NWO to being a Federal Candidate. I will advocate for the basics of human dignity. Affordable Housing, a Guaranteed Liveable Income, Decisive Climate Action for a Clean & Green Recovery, Universal Health, Dental, long term Child care, Pharma, Post Secondary & LTC improvements, with decriminlzation & safe supply. I will promote these by with Honesty, Caring & powerful Leadership with Respect & Dignity for All.

– Tracey MacKinnon, Green Party

I have always promoted Northwestern Ontario on the National Stage because of our natural beauty and resources.  I would like to see a divided highway through the North though.  We are the only province that does not have a divided highway that stretches from one end to the other.  In parliament I would remind them that Thunder Bay and the Rainy River riding is almost smack in the middle of Canada.  We are placed strategically and therefore can be the key to both East and West with economic renewal and innovation. Tourism needs to be promoted and in doing so we need to fix the roads leading into Thunder Bay’s downtown areas from the East and work on developing a downtown core in downtown Fort William.

– Adelina Pecchia, Conservative Party

Thunder Bay-Rainy River has the most amazing people, communities, innovation, resources, land, water, and heart of all of Canada. Our communities have been built with hard work and dedication for generations. Each of us live here because we love the North in all its glory. We make the best of all the challenges to rise and overcome the challenges. We deal with isolation with great neighbours, we help our local businesses grow, we believe in community programs that keep us connected and supported. We are innovative, caring, courageous and dedicated. That is who we are as Northerners. We need a voice that will showcase the amazing things our region has to offer. We work together in communities to have innovative solutions to the issues of isolation, lack of access to services, much needed supports and services, and our love and concern for the land and water that is Northern Ontario. I will be an amplifier of this immense pride we have for our communities, and to advocate for the investments and supports to keep our communities strong for generations to come.

– Yuk Sem Won, NDP

Why are you the best candidate?

I am able and willing to be the champion we need in Parliament. I have vast experience with the riding and its people plus I have the skill set that allows me to see the dangers and potentials for our area. I offer hope for the future.

– Alan Aubut, People’s Party

I believe I would be the best Candidate suited for this position as I have worked hard to help eliminate the barriers people who experience poverty like me face every day. The very basics society deemed essential especially during the last 18 months, like connectivity through internet & cellular services. I will advocate & share your stories of struggles with a seat at the table, where our Voices can finally be heard, by someone like us. 

The Healing Path Forward 2021 outlines continued collaboration with First Nations of Turtle Island. Guaranteed Equality & Equity in socio economic outcomes. For too long consecutive Canadian Governments have allowed Injustices to build into intergenerational conditions & do not properly Honour the original the original Founders of Turtle Island, now known as Canada. There must be Truth before Reconciliation. Self Sufficiency & Self Determination along with Self Governance.

– Tracey MacKinnon, Green

I am the best candidate because I belong to best party to govern Canada at this time.  I am compassionate, articulate, and a strong advocate for those in my riding.

– Adelina Pecchia, Conservative party

Before entering politics, I worked as an emergency physician at Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre. Previously, I practiced in multiple northern First Nations communities, volunteered medical services across the world, in Africa and the South Pacific, and consulted for the W.H.O. I did not expect that my background in medicine and global public health would have been all that useful in Ottawa, but the pandemic changed that. I was able to work behind the scenes to make sure that the government was on track in protecting Canadians. I have also spent the last two years learning the complex issues faced by the region, and talking to constituents about how to address them. I have listened to, and advocated on behalf of our region’s fishermen, farmers, and indigenous communities. I have helped to bring more jobs to the riding, and secured important infrastructure projects.

– Marcus Powlowski, Liberal Party

I care. I am present. I know the North. I am connected with the communities. I walk the talk of being a representative. I connect with people. I connect people with others. I listen. I put in the effort for the change I want to see in the world. I work hard. I understand what it is to feel left out, unheard, be different, be from a small community, and have to overcome obstacles to just be heard. I have worked my whole life to help people and improve lives: as a teacher, community volunteer, fighting for worker rights, active in hundreds of community events across the region as an organizer and participant. I am not afraid to speak up, to connect with people, to listen to those who might think I don’t think like them. I have the best conversations with those who do not like the NDP; and can honestly have a connection on issues that they think are important. This role may seem to be about the Party candidates represent, but for the four years they are elected, it is really about connecting and representing EVERYONE in the Riding. People need to know who I am, that they can come to me, and I value them regardless of the Party they voted for.

– Yuk Sem Won, NDP

Tell us some of your proudest achievements or something you’re very passionate about

Right now I am passionate in giving the electors of this riding a real choice. A person willing to defend what is rightfully yours. Compare that to what the others are offering.

– Alan Aubut, People’s Party

One of the Grandfather Teachings is Humility, therefore I will talk about one of my passions instead. 

As a SA/DV Survivor it’s important for me to give back to my community. I have gone from being homeless to being a Federal Candidate. I am passionate about bringing Awareness to issues which are often “on the back burner” through my lived experience.

Whether it be clean drinking water, poverty, homelessness, fare free transit, mental health, health, MMIWG, GLI, to the environment. During my 2021 Federal Campaign I am using my privilege to advocate for these & many other issues which have been brought to light during the pandemic. Issues which were always there unfortunately prior to this global crisis.

I am a advocate for those living in poverty. I live this every day. As someone on social assistance due to mental health & health issues myself, I know the daily struggles of not having enough to eat, after rent & bills are paid (sometimes having to make that difficult decision between bills or food this month) this is a reality of many like me who can’t work. Who can’t just get “a job.” Who can’t just “get over” their past (traumas). It’s not that easy. 

With the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 today for our neighbours to the south, to the dark history of our own cultural genocides of 6,500+ Indigenous children found & those who are still being found, those who will never be found. My passion is bringing Awareness to these issues, so that change can be made through Education, Awareness & Healing, then true Reconciliation can start. 

We need to implement all 94 Calls to Action from the Truth & Reconciliation Report NOW!! We can never allow these atrocities to ever happen again. Now is the time for Change. If not now, then when? We can’t go back to the way we were pre pandemic. We have this fresh chapter in History, here & now. Let’s rewrite History in Canada, let’s look back at 2021 as the time of Great Change Moving Forward in a good way, with all People’s working together collaboratively, cooperatively & communicating effectively with all Voices at the table, all Voices being heard, respected & valued. 

– Tracey MacKinnon, Green Party

As a woman I am very proud of being an ordained member of the clergy.  Misogyny still exists in many religious circles today and I do my very best to advocate and help any woman who feels a call to leadership in faith circles.  It is unfortunate that churches in Canada that have charitable status still refuse to ordain women.   I felt very honoured, as an ordained Protestant, to be invited to speak at the Women’s Ordination WorldWide movement advocating for Catholic Women to be ordained to the Priesthood in Philadelphia several years ago.

I am passionate about Palliative Care and have chaired several Pastoral/Palliative Care Committees. No one should die alone (unless they want to) or afraid.

The most successful event in my life though was being a caregiver to my father in the last few years of his life. Being with him in his final days and as he died was a very sacred and life changing event.

I am passionate about the arts, especially theatre and music. Theatre and the Arts needs to be part of every school and community program. I toured Europe as a singer song writer in my youth and loved every moment of it!

I am passionate about lifelong learning. I believe that universities should provide free academic courses for those 55 years of age and over that lead to a degree. For a few years I have been working on a Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Formation from Tyndale University in Toronto.  My writings are on hold while I campaign and if elected as a Member of Parliament, I will need to put that study on hold.

– Adelina Pecchia, Conservative Party

Reconciliation is not just a word; it is an ACTION. The country was devastated this summer about the discovery of now over 6000+ children who have died in residential schools and were buried in unmarked graves. In Thunder Bay, a Sacred Fire was lit in June to provide a ceremony for all the children who never came home, to help Survivors mourn and heal, and to provide a safe space for all People, non-Indigenous and First Nations to come together and learn about the intergenerational trauma that continues to this day. I spent over 70+ days being part of the core organizers of the Sacred Fire, which is still burning 24/7 in Thunder Bay. As a non-Indigenous ally, my role was to show up, listen, learn, and help. I connected with Elders, Survivors, community members, and made incredible friendships through active support. I used my voice and connections to help get funding, locations, bring awareness, and amplify their voices. That is a small part of the ACTION that is meaningful Reconciliation. Showing up, listening, learning, and being an ally. My proudest moment was when the Leader, Jagmeet Singh was invited by the Elders to attend the Sacred Fire, and within 24 hours, responded and was sitting with the community within a week. He listened to Elders, Youth, community members and families about the ongoing issues. This is a part of the journey that is Reconciliation; not just making a promise then forgetting about it until the next time an election comes around.

Yuk-Sem Won, NDP

Is there anything you disagree with your party on, and why?

Nothing. Every item makes sense to any normal person. While I could quibble on the suggested solutions the foundation is solid. I have never previously been able to say that for any other party platform.

– Alan Aubut, People’s Party

This is the only major party in Canada where we can be invited to the table for dialogue even if we have a dissenting voice, so no, I don’t disagree with my party on anything.

– Adelina Pecchia, Conservative Party

The main issue I disagree with, is that people are stuck in a false belief that the NDP is not a major contender to make change for all Canadians. The systems that are elections and government have left people not feeling heard, being marginalized, thinking that their voice doesn’t matter. Across the country, we hear that people agree with the NDP priorities, but that they are afraid of wasting a vote. How many times will we flip the red and blue coin, hoping for a different result.

Yuk-Sem Won, NDP

Alan Aubut’s stand on:

Vaccine passports/ mandatory vaccines

These are illegal and a blatant affront on our fundamental rights and freedoms. What ever happened to “my body my choice” as just one example? We are allowing ourselves to be bullied for no other reason other than making us serfs.

The cost of housing

There is no rational reason to explain why housing prices are increasing at the rate they are. One potential solution is just to make land available at reasonable prices.

The economy/jobs for the north

Cut back on the over regulation of far too many of our industries which has resulting in the choking of our economy. We need to encourage industry which results in jobs. As one example, why subject our fossil fuel industry to draconian over regulation and then buy from our international competitors who have no such regulations? Makes absolutely no sense!

Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples

It is time to modernise the treaties starting with letting, in our case, the Anishinabe, do the talking and the rest of us doing the listening. A time where both sides treat one another with respect and honesty. To join together to make this a country that is a model for the rest of the world of cooperation and living together in peace.

Tracey MacKinnon’s stand on:

Vaccine passports/ mandatory vaccines

I think the way forward through this global pandemic is if everyone does their part & gets vaccinated (if they are able to, I understand there may be some who can’t due to medical & religious reasons) 

As someone who is immune compromised I am fully vaccinated. I did the research & decided this was the best option of me prior to the vaccine passport system being announced. As someone who struggles with mental & health issues I wanted to be able to go for a walk, to the grocery store with some form of protection during the different waves & variations. This was my “iron ring” around myself much like Ford promised he would do for our LTC home most vulerable seniors. 

The cost of housing

As someone on ODSP myself, I know the cost of housing isn’t affordable. I pay fair market rent & that takes up 75% of my whole monthly check. I receive $497 as a shelter allowance. I have to use most of my basic needs allowance along with my housing allowance just to cover rent every month. There isn’t much left for other necessities like bills, food or transit.

The economy/jobs for the north

Now is the time for a UBI/GLI. We had the Mincome experiment in the 1970s, the OBIPP in 2017/2018, the CERB in 2019/2020 & CRB in 2021. 

The way forward & through this global recession is to implement some form of a revised & overhauled National standard of Liveable Income. With this type of benefit the economy could be restarted as more people would have more disposable income to spend, therefore investing in the local economy & helping restart a recovery out of this crisis.

Reconciliation with the Indigenous Peoples

I think first & foremost Canada needs to Acknowlege the Truth’s of Canada’s dark History with the Legacy of Indian Residential Schools, the lost & forgotten children who are only now being found after 50, 100, 150 years of hearing, knowing & hiding theses stories, trying to erase a culture was cultural genocide. The Truth has come to light finally. We need to fully Acknowledge, Honour, Respect these lost Children through erecting some form of a National Monument so that those atrocities are never forgotten nor repeated. 

We need to fully implement ALL the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth & Reconcilation Report, starting with the Child Welfare System. It will be through Education with Language, Culture, Traditions, Ceremonies, Justice, & Acknowledgment of our past that we can move forward towards Reconcilation with the original caretakes and rightful owners of Turtle Island. 

Adelina Pecchia’s stand on:

Vaccine passports/ mandatory vaccines

Everyone that can get vaccinated should. I don’t believe in anything being mandatory. Education and compassionate listening and action are best, although many who are part of an antivax party in Canada are treating others with disdain and hateful actions.  This is not right. We don’t know at this point if vaccine passports are going to be effective.  Time will tell.

The cost of housing

Is through the roof! Literally. Many people believe they will never own their own homes.  Personally, my spouse and I have been looking for over a year to buy a home.  

The economy/jobs for the north

There are many innovators in the North.  We need to be able to provide paid training programs to get people back to work and start up renewal and green projects.  We need to support businesses that are struggling to find workers.  Providing a wage subsidy if there are no workers does not make sense.

Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples

Reconciliation and restitution go hand in hand.  The treaties that exist should need to be honoured or dismissed by Indigenous peoples who should have the power to set up new ones on their own terms.  Governments cannot continue to have power over those whom they have mistreated and stolen lives from.

Marcus Powlowski’s stand on:

Vaccine passports/ mandatory vaccines

Vaccines are the key to ending the pandemic and getting life back to normal, and they are safe and effective. This is why we propose making them mandatory for workers in federally regulated industries. Proof-of-vaccination will be an important tool to helping to reduce the spread of the virus, and allowing Canadians to once again gather in large groups, with the peace of mind that those around them have taken the basic steps to protect themselves and others.

The cost of housing

Our platform has a variety of measures to make housing more affordable to Canadians. These include helping renters become owners through a new rent-to-own program, increasing tolls to help first-time home buyers, cracking down on predatory flipping and foreign ownership, and helping local governments build and repair affordable housing.

The economy/jobs for the north

To date, Canada has recovered 92% of jobs lost during the pandemic. By comparison, the United States has only recovered 75% of jobs lost. We have nearly reached our target of creating a million jobs despite second and third waves, because we committed to do whatever it takes. This includes expanding child care, investing in clean-energy projects, and creating partnerships that promote innovation and scientific research.

Personally, in the past two years as MP, I pushed for more independence for FedNor, allowing them to better support our local industries. I have helped to secure contracts for local manufacturers, like the production of streetcars by Bombardier/Alstom for $500 million, and $22.4 billion toward building polar icebreakers by Heddie Shipyards. I will continue to work hard to ensure that our manufacturing sector provides good, quality jobs in our region.

Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples

We have a long way to go in repairing relations and achieving reconciliation with indigenous communities, but I and the Liberal party are prepared to continue this process.

So far, the Liberal government has invested over $4 billion in 535 water infrastructure projects, including 99 new water plants and 436 plant upgrades, and we have ended almost 300 long and short-term water advisories. We will continue to reform the child and family services system, while making sure that those who suffered harm under former systems can receive just compensation. We will also work hard to confront the realities and long term consequences of the residential school system, including accelerating the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, 80% of which have been fully or partially implemented.

Yuk-Sem Won’s stand on:

Vaccine passports/ mandatory vaccines

This should not have been an election issue. The fact that it is shows that the Liberals didn’t want to keep on doing the work to find a solution that is viable for everyone. It is about investing the time and ensuring that all voices are heard. I believe in the science that has saved countless lives by having the vaccine available. In a global health crisis like our generations have never seen, I am grateful that our healthcare research and technology was able to find a way to keep people safe. If people want a quick answer, then a snapshot is that vaccines have saved lives and allowed us to re-open our communities and services. But I recognize and believe that we should be working together to address the concerns of people who cannot or are hesitant to get the vaccine or have a vaccine “passport”. That should be the work we are doing, not dividing people with an unnecessary election.

The cost of housing

In a region that has 40,000 square kilometers, it is crazy that we cannot have affordable housing. We need to invest in the communities with social housing, affordable rental units, and address the insanity that people cannot afford to buy a house. We built the North by being able to build or buy a house, have a good job, work and play in our communities. Now we see fewer and fewer new families in the North, our children have left to try and afford a life elsewhere, and our communities are suffering. The cost of housing is just one of the symptoms that is the crisis of the North: we need investment here to rebuild the North as a vibrant, sustainable, and long-term option for our families and businesses.

The economy/jobs for the north

We, as Northerners, love our land and water. One of the fantastic opportunities we have is to connect that love with the growth and sustainability of our communities with climate and jobs. We are stewards of the land and water, fiercely advocating for the environment that is our home. We need to invest in things that will help us on multiple fronts. Retro fitting homes with green technology to lower our bills and make them more climate friendly. We can invest in technology and training for new careers and jobs in green technology. We can build the infrastructure to have renewable energy infrastructures in our communities because we have the space, sun, wind, and water to be leaders in renewable energy. We can attract new businesses and build our communities through innovation and investment in the green economy while being leaders in addressing the climate crisis.

Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples

As I said before, Reconciliation is not just a word; it is an ACTION. In Thunder Bay-Rainy River, look at the candidates’ actions with First Nations. Look at the Parties’ actions. I have made it a priority to connect with all First Nations communities in TBRR: Fort William First Nation, Lac Lacroix, Seine River, Nigigoonsiminikaaning (Red Gut FN), Couchiching, Naicatchewenin, Rainy River First Nation, Mitaanjigamiing, Big Island (Anishnaabeg of Naongashiing), and Big Grassy; as well as making connections in all communities with the Chiefs and Councils, Indigenous organizations and people who live across the region. Across the country, the NDP have been advocating for action on the Truth and Reconciliation Report Calls to Action, to immediately get access to clean drinking water, to stop taking children and Residential School Survivors to court, to provide equitable access to healthcare and education, to invest in communities for safe and affordable housing, to support the economic development, jobs and infrastructure of First Nation communities, and respect all treaty rights and work with First Nation as partners and equals to have a Canada that recognizes, values and celebrates the First Peoples of this land. It must be part of our everyday actions and priorities.

Learn more about the candidates

Alan Aubut – People’s Party

Alanaubutppc.ca website

Alan Aubut PPC Facebook

#alanaubutppc Twitter

Tracey Mackinnon – Green Party



Adelina Pecchia – Conservative Party


Marcus Powlowski – Liberal Party

Website: MarcusPowloski.ca

Email: info@marcuspowlowski.ca

Facebook: /MPowlowski

Twitter: @MarcusPowlowski

Instagram: @powlowski_marcus

Yuk Sem Won – NDP

Website yuksemwon.ndp.ca

Facebook @yuksemwonNDP

Twitter @yuk_sem

Instagram @yuksemwon