Thunder Bay·Audio

Sarah Campbell to leave politics; Greg Rickford to run in Kenora - Rainy River

The provincial election may be seven months away, but you would never know it from the political action starting to heat up in Kenora - Rainy River.

Familiar name to be on the ballot for Ontario PC Party

Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell announced she will not run in the 2018 provincial election. (Ontario NDP)

The provincial election may be seven months away, but you would never know it from the political action starting to heat up in Kenora - Rainy River.

MPP NDP Sarah Campbell, who has represented the riding since 2011, will leave politics at the end of this term.

"I really believe that right now the needs of my family are coming first. I'm definitely feeling a lot of mixed emotions. This is an amazing job. It's been a tremendous privilege and honour."

Campbell said she is expecting another child, and medical issues with her other child are her priority.

"Right now, the needs of my family do come first, and, there's nobody else who can raise my family but me. So, it was a hard decision, but one I'm looking forward to."

The riding has been an NDP stronghold since its creation in 1999. Howard Hampton won the riding for three elections, spanning from 1999 to 2011.

Greg Rickford, the former Conservative MP for the Kenora riding, hopes to paint the riding Tory blue, something that hasn't been done since 1985, when Leo Bernier represented the area.
Greg Rickford will carry the Ontario PC Party banner in the Kenora - Rainy River riding in the 2018 election. (Martine Laberge/CBC)

"I can tell you right now there's a palpable desire for change up here. We feel that the Liberals provincially are indifferent to us out here. We've seen a dramatic drop-off in investment," said Rickford.

"And I happen to have the kind of experience that I think will make the difference for folks up here."

A contentious issue for the provincial government has been the development of the Ring of Fire. Rickford said he would not comment on the mining development until he has resigned his seat on Noront Resource's Board of Directors. Rickford said he has informed the board he will be leaving.

During a 20-minute conference call, Rickford highlighted infrastructure as one of his key election priorities.

"In the last couple of years, particularly in the past few months and even the last couple of weeks, as this prospect has surfaced, mayors and councillors have talked about a need to improve our highways, we have a highway twinning that has not started that I announced seven years ago. The province has not moved on this project."

At this time,there is no nominee for the Liberal party in the riding. Riding association President Anthony Leek said he will not be seeking the nomination as he has in the past two elections. He said the association will hold a meeting on December 10 to determine next steps.

The provincial election is scheduled to be held on or before June 7, 2018.

About the Author

Jeff Walters

Reporter/Editor

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jeff is proud to work in his hometown, as well as throughout northwestern Ontario. Away from work, you can find him skiing (on water or snow), curling, out at the lake or flying.

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