Kenora correctional officer Glen Archer put his name forward to vie for the NDP nomination in Kenora-Rainy River riding.
Archer, who filed his nomination papers in mid-February, was approved last week by the party’s executive to run.
Now he’s making his name known across the riding.
“I’ve always had an interest in politics and the last several years, I was an executive board member for [the] Ontario Public Sector Employees Union and travelling all throughout our region and working very closely with [current NDP MPP] Sarah Campbell on some issues here,” Archer told the Times.
“Our union and the NDP are very closely allied on things like Ontario Hydro, keeping our roads safe, and the lack of [road] servicing we’re getting with the private contractor,” he added.
“It’s a very good fit that way.
“I would never, ever had thought to step up against Sarah or, before that, Howard Hampton,” Archer added. “But with Sarah announcing back in the fall that she would not be seeking re-election, I thought, ‘Well, this is perfect. It’s not going to be an infighting thing, it’s not going to be setting up camps politically or anything like that.’
“I just thought the timing was perfect,” he reiterated.
Archer also received a call from an NDP organizer asking him if he would run.
“I thought, ‘You know what? If you’ve got the party asking for you, as well, the timing is right,” he reasoned.
It’s not known if any other candidates are seeking the NDP nomination in Kenora-Rainy River for the upcoming provincial election in June.
Local resident Matt Soprovich had announced his intention to seek the nod several weeks ago but revealed yesterday he was disqualified by the party brass in Toronto, citing “historical content on [his] personal social media feeds.”
A date for the nomination meeting still hasn’t been set yet.
Archer said while the NDP has been strong in this riding for the last 20 years, he noted it would be a mistake to think an NDP victory provincially will be “a slam dunk,” especially with “the events that are unfolding in Toronto right now.”
“The Wynne government is in free-fall and they’re throwing money out like crazy, attempting to buy votes,” he remarked.
“And Ford is ramping up. There’s a bit media circus down there and he gets a lot of press,” he added.
“I am hoping people up here realize, or come to believe, that we are the best fit for the north; that we walk the walk.
“Sarah has, in the past, been standing up for our roads and standing up for Rainycrest in Fort Frances, whereas you haven’t seen any Conservatives or Liberals standing up,” Archer charged.
“The Liberals can’t stand up against their leadership and the PCs–well, it’s a void outside of Toronto.”
Archer stressed that while he lives in Kenora, his activities with OSPEU over the past four or five years has seen him travelling through the region, including Fort Frances, promoting (among other causes) OPSEU’s “We Own It” campaign in favour of public services over private ones.
“We are all about public safety, especially around the LCBO,” said Archer, referring to “We Own It.”
“We don’t like the idea of people having free access to booze in the grocery stores,” he added. “You’ve got kids and elderly people shopping, and people go in there and do ‘smash and grabs’ for beer and wine.
“I’ve been around, and hopefully I’ll be around for a bit more,” Archer concluded.