Nickel Belt Liberal candidate Marc Serré seeking re-election
Marc Serré won 42 per cent of the votes in Nickel Belt in the last federal election
In 1972 Nickel Belt Liberal candidate Gaetan Serré lost his re-election bid by just 1,932 votes. Forty-seven years later, his son is hoping history doesn't repeat itself.
Liberal candidate Marc Serré is seeking re-election in the Nickel Belt riding. In 2015 he unseated NDP candidate Claude Gravelle who had held the position for the two terms prior and handily beat the Liberal runners up in each election.
This time around, Serré doesn't think much about his campaigning will change. He says people have seen the results he has brought to the community, and he stands by them.
In an interview with CBC News, he listed off a number of projects he has secured funding for including a splash pad in Onaping Falls, the Capreol Valley Theatre Centre, and seniors programming at the Lockerby Legion, among others.
"For the past four years, I haven't stopped," he said. "Campaign or not, I'm active in the communities."
Standing by Trudeau
The SNC Lavalin issue has been front and centre for Liberal leader Justin Trudeau as the federal election season has kicked off, and as the Liberal Party's local representative, Serré stands by his leader.
He hopes that, were it needed in northern Ontario, Trudeau would take a similar course of action.
"If there was a northern Ontario company, with thousands of jobs and thousands of pensioners," Serré said, "I want my Prime Minister to fight for that company."
He added that keeping jobs in the area was a top priority for him.
Cell phone and Internet connectivity has also been identified as a major issue in Nickel Belt by other candidates in the riding.
"It's complex because it involves the private sector," Serré said, "You've got small companies and you've got the larger telcos that haven't necessarily been so friendly to rural areas all across Canada."
He added the Liberal government has earmarked $1 billion in the 2019 budget for rural broadband development and created a new Minister of Rural Economic Development to focus on issues just like this.