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Provincial Elections: Three Struggles to Watch in Northern Ontario

The Ontario Liberal Party juggles unique situations in all three ridings.

For example, in the riding of Timmins, the Liberals are not fielding a candidate. This situation complicates the choice of many voters.

: “Je te donne mon vote cette fois-ci, mais aux prochaines élections, je voterai libéral””,”text”:”Des partisans libéraux me disent: “Je te donne mon vote cette fois-ci, mais aux prochaines élections, je voterai libéral””}}”>Liberal supporters tell me: “I’m giving you my vote this time, but in the next election, I’ll vote Liberal”says incumbent New Democrat MP for Timmins, Gilles Bisson, who has won every election in the riding since 1990.

However, the party of Doug Ford hopes to dislodge him thanks to the candidacy of the mayor of Timmins, George Pirie.

In Parry Sound–Muskoka, Conservative incumbent Norm Miller has announced his retirement after more than 20 years in office.

Incumbent Ross Romano, accompanied by Premier Doug Ford. (Archives)

Photo: The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn

On the side of Sault-Sainte-Marie, the race promises to be as tight as in 2018. In the last election, only 414 votes separated the Progressive Conservative Ross Romano from the New Democrat Michele McCleave-Kennedy, who came second.

In Timmins

After 35 years in the senior management of various mining companies, such as Placer Dome Canada, Breakwater Resources and San Gold, George Pirie entered municipal politics in 2018.

Doug Ford hopes to dislodge Gilles Bisson thanks to Timmins Mayor George Pirie, right. (Archives)

Photo: Radio-Canada / Jimmy Chabot

Doug Ford described Mr. Pirie as being one of the best mayors in Ontario when he confirmed his candidacy for the Progressive Conservative Party in the fall of 2021.

During the last election debate, in Timmins, Mr. Pirie listed his accomplishments in Timmins since his election as the head of the municipality. He believes he can do the same as an elected official at Queen’s Park.

Mr. Bisson retorts that Mr. Pirie is only reaping the fruits of the community’s work. All these projects, it’s a whole community that is behind them.

Gilles Bisson and his grandson delivered election posters to Timmins last Saturday.

Photo: Twitter/@BissonGilles

Mr. Bisson says he is convinced that support for the NDP will remain strong in his constituency. He received almost twice as many votes as the Progressive Conservative candidate, his closest competitor, in 2018.

The Liberal Party is not fielding a candidate in the riding.

In Sault Ste. Marie

According to a poll, the Progressive Conservatives are leading the race in Sault Ste. Marie. However, NDP candidate Michele McCleave-Kennedy is not giving up.

votes me séparaient de la victoire. Cette fois, je me sens prête, et je sais à quoi m’attendre.”,”text”:”Aux dernières élections, ma candidature a été acceptée tardivement, j’ai eu peu de temps pour me préparer, et seulement 414votes me séparaient de la victoire. Cette fois, je me sens prête, et je sais à quoi m’attendre.”}}”>In the last elections, my candidacy was accepted late, I had little time to prepare, and only 414 votes separated me from victory. This time, I feel ready, and I know what to expect.

A trade unionist and teacher by training, Ms. McCleave-Kennedy has several decades of experience with various communities in Sault-Sainte-Marie.

She thinks it’s a shame the city has lost its bilingual status. I think it changed the reputation of Sault-Sainte-Marie negatively.

Lawyer Naomi Sayers is running as an independent candidate. She initially wanted to run under the Liberal banner, but her candidacy was rejected in April.

Ms. Sayers is running as an independent candidate. (Archives)

Photo: Radio-Canada

Originally from the Garden River First Nation, Ms. Sayers has several years of legal experience with marginalized populations.

Ms. Sayers also wonders about her involvement in politics. I have never experienced so much sexual harassment in my lifeshe laments. I constantly receive inappropriate messages, it’s a lot to deal with, and it has a very negative impact on me.

The Liberal Party announced hours before the May 12 deadline that Liam Hancock would be its candidate for Sault Ste. Marie. The party website does not include any information about this candidate and he is absent from social media.

In Parry Sound–Muskoka

The Liberal Party won’t have a candidate in Parry Sound–Muskoka because of controversial comments about the homosexuality of the man running there. The party dropped the candidate two weeks ago.

Graydon Smith, the mayor of Bracebridge, will try to keep the seat for the Progressive Conservatives, but he will have to compete with candidates from the Greens and the NDPMatt Richter and Erin Horvath, respectively.

Mr. Richter hopes to rally some Liberal Party voters.

The 4th grade teacher finished third in 2018, with 20% of the vote. It was the best result for a Green candidate after the party’s Mike Schreiner. The latter was the only Green Party elected to Queen’s Park between 2018 and 2022.

Moreover, there are several parallels to be drawn between Matt Richter and Mike Schreiner: both manage small food companies and have carved out important places for themselves in their ridings by gradually winning votes over the last four elections.

With the retirement of the outgoing Conservative MP, it allows Conservative supporters to question their political allegiancecomments Mr. Richter.

I think I represent a very interesting option for those who cannot or do not want to vote for their traditional party.

The Progressive Conservative candidates in these three ridings, namely George Pirie, Ross Romano and Graydon Smith, did not respond to multiple interview requests from Radio-Canada.

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