Councillor Frank Pullia joins Thunder Bay mayoral race

Thunder Bay councillor at large Frank Pullia announced Tuesday that he’s joining the Thunder Bay mayoral race.

Citizens say 'Thunder Bay needs a clear sense of direction,' Pullia tells CBC News

Thunder Bay councillor at large Frank Pullia announced Tuesday that he is running for mayor. (Frank Pullia/Facebook)

Thunder Bay councillor at large Frank Pullia says he's joining the Thunder Bay mayoral race.

In an announcement on Tuesday, Pullia made his decision official saying he wants to make Thunder Bay the kind of city people will be proud to call home.

"One thing I've heard the most from our citizens was that Thunder Bay needs a clear sense of direction," Pullia told CBC News on Wednesday. "We can do that in many ways by being focused on the key priorities."

Pullia says he plans to keep taxes low and reduce operating costs, while maintaining or increasing investment in infrastructure and services.

"By focusing on our needs first — live within our means — while growing our economy,  those are the key central points of the key priorities that would enable us to have a better, stronger community," he said. 

Pullia adds that it's also important to spend money on making Thunder Bay an inclusive, progressive and safe community for everyone.

"We have had some challenges that have projected a negative image of our city and I think we need to start moving in that direction in a more comprehensive, collaborative way," he said.

"We need everybody at the table, and I think we have made already some good progress, but we need more."

Pullia says he would redefine the Aboriginal Liaison Office as the Office of Indigenous Relations, bring it under the political leadership of the mayor's office, and put special emphasis on reconciliation.

Pullia joins Ron Chookomolin, Jim Gamble, Iain Angus, Kevin Cernjul, Shane Judge and Mariann Sawicki in the race for mayor.

Candidates for this year's municipal election have until 2 p.m. on July 27 to register to run for mayor. Election Day is set for Oct. 22.

With files from Cathy Alex