Terry Sheehan, Liberal candidate for Sault Ste. Marie, seeking re-election on strength of the steel industry
All candidates from the other major federal parties are first time politicians
After a strong victory in 2015, Terry Sheehan, Liberal Party candidate for Sault Ste. Marie is hoping that recent announcements for the local steel industry can propel him to another term in office.
After lobbying the Liberal caucus to accept that the steel industry in Sault Ste. Marie was important to Canada, Sheehan says that he was able to gain the support of Justin Trudeau and work with cabinet ministers to attack this issue from a number of sides.
They worked to prevent steel dumping in Canada by China, encourage investment in the sector and resolve the tariffs imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump in 2018.
Those are some of his most proud moments in office, Sheehan says.
When it comes to environmental issues, Sheehan thinks that the Liberal Party is in the best position to balance economic development and environmental protection.
"Because we always see those two issues as not separate, that is, being hand in glove. We have to have a strong environment, we have to have a strong economy, and we feel we can do both," he said.
In May, NORONT Resources announced that Sault Ste. Marie had beat Timmins, and been selected as the site for the company's new ferrochrome processing facility.
Public Health Ontario released a report in 2015 noting that products produced by such a facility could be harmful to humans.
"There is a lot of work still to be done," Sheehan said of plans for the facility, "including a robust environmental assessment federally and provincially, which I am committed to. Plus consultation with First Nations."
"That has to be done, and other parties don't have the same record that we have."
Another focus for Sheehan has been youth employment.
He put forward and was able to pass a private members bill which improved situations for individuals who engage in precarious work, he says. Adding that those engaging in precarious work are largely youths.
The Liberal Party's summer jobs program is another accomplishment that Sheehan says he is proud of.
For northern Ontario "youth retention and migration is critical," he said, "it's a known fact that those folks who can't get a job for the summer are going to put down roots," in Toronto or Ottawa or any city where they are going to school.
"In Sault Ste. Marie and northern Ontario the number one thing I'm hearing at the door, to be quite honest, is about jobs and the economy."
When asked if whether recent issues with Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau would cause any problems with the campaign in Sault Ste. Marie, Sheehan dodged the question.
"I've been a Liberal all my life, I've been involved in multiple elections. Even people in the opposition that I talk to briefly and have a cup of coffee with or whatever, they note that the Prime Minister is probably the best campaigner out there."