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Michael Mantha launches election campaign 2018

Incumbent MPP opens campaign office in Elliot Lake
2018-04-29 Mike Mantha
Mike Mantha kicks off his election campaign in the new Elliot Lake campaign office. Brent Sleightholm for ElliotLakeToday 5. MPP Mike Mantha gets support for his run at another term as NDP provincial rep for Algoma Mantitoulin riding with Elliot Lake Mayor Dan Marchiesella and other supporters 6 (as in 5) 7 Mike Mantha shows off the facade of his new Elliot Lake campaign officer Friday night at 16 Brunswick Walk
Algoma Manitoulin New Democrat Mike Mantha launched his bid for another term at Queen’s Park Friday night when he opened his campaign office in Elliot Lake. The office at 16 Brunswick Walk was packed with 30 supporters and well-wishers including Elliot Lake Mayor Dan Marchisella.

Even though the Ontario provincial election will take place on June 7, Premier Kathleen Wynn has yet to drop her writ to signal the start of the campaign. That is expected to happen in early May.

The MPP told the crowd the Ontario NDP will go toe-to-toe in the coming campaign with the Ontario Liberals and Progressive Conservatives, led by Premier Kathleen Wynn and newly-minted PC leader Doug Ford, respectively.

“Ontarians will not vote for the Liberals this time out,” Mantha said. “It will be a choice between Ontario’s New Democrats led by our party leader Andrea Horwath, and the Progressive Conservatives under Ford.”

Mantha described his terms as the Algoma Manitoulin MPP as a period of reaching out to the governing Liberals, the Progressive Conservatives and his fellow New Democrats in the Ontario Legislature, and with other levels of government. He said he has also worked closely with Ontario government cabinet ministers and ministry staff to get things done in the provincial government and bring benefits to Algoma Manitoulin.   

“I pride myself on results,” he said. “I am not seeking praise, but a better life for northerners.”

Mantha introduced his Campaign staff who will operate the newly opened Elliot Lake campaign office, and work closely with workers at his Constituency Office and his staff in Toronto.  

His plans for the weeks leading up to the election include a lot of knocking on doors while his professional staff members carry out day-to-day activities associated with running the campaign in his huge northern Ontario riding.

In the days and weeks ahead, the voters need to weigh their choices, Mantha said. The Liberal era at Queen’s Park has been a history of poor choices and costly blunders which have resulted in people being less well-off, citing Ontario Hydro privatization and cut backs in Ontario’s health funding and services along with injustices to workers from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board as examples of the ways the Wynn government has consistently failed Ontarians.  

Mantha said one third of the people going to Ontario hospital emergency wards in Ontario go there for dental care which they cannot afford and lack coverage for.

He said Liberals have put Ontario’s debt on a credit card, noting the true total debt at Hydro One is in the neighbourhood of $40 billion, “money our children and grandchildren will be paying back over their lifetimes” and called it a “boondoggle” which has taken much needed money away from education, roads and hospitals.

Mantha referred to Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford as a “bumper sticker premier wannabee” and described the Conservative party approach to government in Ontario as a “train wreck”. He said the true cost of a Doug Ford government in the province would be higher for Ontarians than the costs of spending cutbacks during the Mike Harris years.

Referring to Hydro One,  Mantha decried disparities in electricity delivery charges charged by Hydro One in various parts of the province and the utility’s time of use billing practices as two prime concerns for people living in northern Ontario.  

He said the NDP will launch its northern Ontario platform in a few days, noting, “There are a lot things than can change.”

To pay for additional healthcare, drug and dental costs associated with planned improvements in healthcare under a New Democratic government Mantha advocates more tax for higher income earners and large corporations as sources of needed revenue. He said they both need to pay more provincial taxes than they do now.

He also said if the New Democrats form the next Ontario government, they will fund a review of railway services in northern Ontario to the tune of 25 million dollars a year, over three years. 

The money would be used to study railway traffic patterns in the north, both freight and passenger. The idea would be to find ways of improving service and getting some of the truck traffic now congesting our highways off the roads while putting goods and passengers on the rails.

The NDP also wants to see improved passenger rail service in northern Ontario to allow northerners to make good rail connections with the rest of the province.   

To learn more about the NDP platform, please click here 

Running for the Conservatives in Algoma Manitoulin is Elliot Lake business person Jib Turner.  

Northern Ontario Party leader Tommy Lee is his party’s standard bearer in the riding.  

At the time of Mr. Mantha’s Friday announcement, the Ontario Liberal Party did not have a candidate registered.


About the Author: Brent Sleightholm

As a reporter, Brent has covered everything from amateur and professional sports, to politics, entertainment, police and courts, to human interest stories and government issues
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