Candidates in 1 of Ontario's newest ridings outline their priorities ahead of debate
Kiiwetinoong candidates debate scheduled Wednesday evening at Sioux Lookout Legion
Candidates in Kiiwetinoong, the largest riding in Ontario, will debate Wednesday night in Sioux Lookout, the electoral district's largest community.
Candidates from the three sitting parties were interviewed by CBC Thunder Bay to determine what their priorities are.
- Ontario riding profile: Kiiwetinoong
- Polls in Kiiwetinoong showed poor turnout in previous provincial elections
Sol Mamakwa, the NDP candidate, said his priority is health care. Mamakwa is a health advisor with Nishnawbe Aski Nation.
"I think to be able to provide that voice in Queen's Park is very critical," he said.
The concept of working together is one of the pillars of Doug Lawrance's platform. Lawrance, currently the mayor of Sioux Lookout and a small business owner, is the Liberal candidate in Kiiwetinoong.
Lawrance said his track record of working with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities makes him an ideal candidate to represent all the people in the riding.
"Relationships don't develop because you decide to turn a switch on," Lawrance said. "They develop over time by building trust."
Lawrance said Ontario is on the right track, and should continue the path it is on.
PC Candidate Clifford Bull, the Chief of Lac Seul First Nation, touted his party's plan to put money back into the pockets of constituents, partially though decreasing the cost of energy in the north.
"We're also going to look after the people up north in terms of gas," he said. "I went up to some of the northern communities to get a sense of the pricing, and it's well over $2.50 a litre."
All of the candidates agreed the geography of the riding is a major challenge, with just over 30,000 constituents spread out over nearly 300,000 square kilometres.
What makes the riding unique, besides its size, is that all of the candidates from the three major parties know each other and have worked together on various projects.
"When I see them on the road, and on the campaign trail, I say hello and have greetings and have nothing against them," said Mamakwa. "It's a democratic process and we will work together towards betterment of the people of Kiiwetinoong riding."
We're probably going to have the friendliest campaign in all of Ontario- PC candidate Clifford Bull
"We're probably going to have the friendliest campaign in all of Ontario," Bull said. "I've seen Sol [Mamakwa] at airports, I've seen Doug [Lawrance] ... it's all about democracy."
Other candidates include the Northern Ontario Party's Kenneth Jones and Green Party candidate Christine Penner Polle.
The debate in Sioux Lookout is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. at the Legion.