Anthony Rota hopes to hold on to his seat in Nipissing-Timiskaming
Rota seeking the seat for the fifth time
The incumbent Liberal candidate for the Nipissing-Timiskaming riding says if he's re-elected, he will continue the work his party started during its last session of parliament.
Anthony Rota is seeking re-election for the riding. He held the seat for three terms before being defeated by Conservative Jay Aspin in 2011. In 2015, Rota won the seat back.
Rota says his experience helps the riding have a strong voice.
"Having been around for awhile, I feel our voice is listened to," he said. "And listened to not only by the folks who are here but in Ottawa."
Rota says if he wins the seat, he will continue on the work his party has already started on a number of issues.
He says voters he's been speaking with say they are concerned about the economy. He says it's something the Liberals have already started working on.
"Like when we look at the Canada Child Benefit — it's a direct injection into the family where they can take the money and spend it on what needs to be done," he said. "We're seeing a big increase there for people."
Broadband improvements needed
Rota says climate change is another concern people have brought up to him.
"What we're seeing is people coming to the realization that all the money in the world is nice but without the environment or air to breathe, it doesn't do us any good," he said.
"We want to marry that with the environment and make sure one doesn't come at the expense of the other. Both have to go ahead."
Rota says internet access in his riding still needs major work.
"Especially in rural communities, it's not all that it should be," he said, but added he's already been in conversation with local companies and municipal leaders about the topic.
"There's a few things we've been working on that I believe will increase the service to rural people," he said.
Rota says his party had already started changes to programs aimed at seniors he says were negatively changed under the previous Conservative government.
He says the Liberals have re-lowered the age of eligibility for Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement programs.
"By doing that, people get income two years earlier,' he said. "At age 67, it really caused a problem. Some people were not receiving the benefits they deserve because they didn't have to enrol for them."
Rota says that program now automatically enrolls people when they turn 65.
He says another change his party made was after the age of 75, the guaranteed income supplement goes up by 10 per cent.
"Once you reach that age, you don't have to worry about surviving," he said. "This is something that is fundamental to retiring in dignity."