Carol Hughes, the New Democratic Party candidate is back for another run at the Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing seat in the House of Commons and she's hoping this will be the last first-past-the-post election in Canada.
She's in favour of some form of proportional representation in the House of Commons as opposed to the first-past-the-post voting model which has been in place all along. It typically favours the incumbent and is not based on the popular vote cast.
"A good portion of the population supports democratic reform and, unfortunately, the Liberals promised it," she said. "Later they failed to approve a model suggested by a federal task force on the topic."
Hughes said a majority of the world's democracies, including Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland and Germany have abandoned or significantly altered their first past the post electoral system in favour of a model that more accurately represents the views of the citizens.
"They have abandoned or significantly altered their electoral system to address exactly the same type of problems which we've seen which was regional, gender, ethnic and political balance that we face here in Canada," said Hughes.
Hughes has now served through two majority governments and two minorities, most recently the minority presided over by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau since 2019.
"It looks like we're headed for another minority government," Hughes said.
She points to her record as evidence that a member of parliament can represent and successfully advocate for their riding regardless of the political party in power.
She cites the recently approved Huron Shore and Manitoulin Island Community Owned Fibre Infrastructure Project, a massive internet broadband project for $270M in government funding. She says it's her job to advocate for the people of the riding.
"I worked hand in hand to push the minister to extend that funding, to understand the program so they would get that funding," Hughes said. "I can talk about that in 2017, Algoma-Manitoulin was second in the whole country for funding announcements."
Hughes also drew attention to FedNor, the Government of Canada's economic development organization for Northern Ontario.
"You know we fought for 13 years to have FedNor as a stand-alone agency. Finally, the Liberals have announced that should happen. But we also have to make sure that it has the money it needs."
She went on to detail a long list of projects she's seen to the finish line; including the Meldrum Bay marine storage and sewer projects, the Gore Bay airport, saving the post offices in Webwood and Constance Lake First Nation, maintaining the Huron Central Railway freight service, saving and relocating Lake Superior Caribou.
She added one disappointing note in this riding election race. Some of her campaign signs, valued at about $4 each, have been disappearing.
In Elliot Lake alone, there's somebody driving around encouraging a child to go on the lawns and pick up the signs and put them in the car.
And this in the middle of the day. In one day over 30 of my signs went missing. And I think it's a sad thing when someone is encouraging a child to do a criminal act.
They're trespassing on private property. And you know they don't believe in the democratic process. I think that's quite disheartening to me.
If people really want the change that they see is needed when it comes to the environment, jobs, housing, I would say vote for me, Carol Hughes.
Also on the ballot on Sept. 20, Conservative Party of Canada candidate John Sagman, Peoples Party of Canada candidate Harry Jaaskelainen, Liberal Duke Peltier, Christian Heritage candidate Clarence Baarda and Green Party candidate Stephen Zimmermann.