When I first told my wife I was thinking about running to be your MPP I was surprised by her response. Knowing the demands on our young family, she encouraged me to run and had me promise her that I would go to Queens Park to create a better future for our children and help Sault Ste. Marie reach its full potential.
Having been an advocate and a fighter throughout my professional life, she asked me to use my fighting spirit to ensure that our children would not grow up in the same environment that I had, 25 years earlier. That was an environment where my fellow classmates and I were worried about whether or not we would have a future here. That problem continues to exist today.
During the by-election last year, I knocked on your doors for six months and made one promise to you; to fight for you and the issues that matter to you. I asked you to give me the chance to serve as your MPP for one year to prove to you that I would keep that promise.
On June 1, 2017, you gave me that chance, electing me as your first Progressive Conservative MPP since Russ Ramsay in 1981.
Since that day I have worked tirelessly fighting for you and our city. When a Liberal MPP called our region a ‘No man’s land’, I was there to take him to task. In February, when President Trump considered imposing tariffs on steel and our provincial government thought that antagonizing him by placing tariffs on New York was a good idea, I was there fighting for our steel workers.
I have continually fought for the Ring of Fire (ROF) and the Ferrochrome Processing Facility (FPF). I believe that the ROF presents the greatest opportunity Northern Ontario has ever seen. It is often compared to the oil sands of Alberta with a mining basin as large as the nickel basin in Sudbury. It holds the world’s fourth largest supply of high grade chromite, the raw material used to make stainless steel.
I believe that Sault Ste. Marie has the potential to become the economic engine of Northern Ontario. With our ideal location at the centre of the Great Lakes, I believe the ROF will allow us to reach that potential. The ROF is the key to ensuring that our youth are no longer our greatest export and securing the FPF in Sault Ste. Marie is the first step towards achieving that goal.
I have made significant progress in bringing the FPF to Sault Ste. Marie, but my work is not done yet. I promise you I will not rest until I have accomplished my goal of making sure that our City does in fact reach its full potential. Over one thousand good paying, sustainable jobs are within our reach but I need your support to help me finish what I started.
I am asking you to continue on the path we started and give me the chance to once again prove to you what I can do. Consider the progress I have made in only one year as an opposition MPP. Now imagine what I can do with four years in a majority government.