With 2018 in the books, local Liberal MP Don Rusnak has high hopes for Thunder Bay-Rainy River with several goals set for 2019.
Looking back at last year, Rusnak said he's most proud of his party's successes in building relationships to secure funding for infrastructure projects around the riding.
Moving forward, he intends to continue to strengthen those relationships and work with the riding as a team to improve infrastructure.
“There's a lot of people that are doing hard work right across the western part of the riding,” Rusnak told the Times in a phone interview yesterday.
“I hope to just continue supporting them and doing what I can to make sure their voice is heard in Ottawa.”
Locally, Rusnak said one of the areas he will be focusing on in 2019 is upgrading the town's sewer, water, and road projects.
“[Highway 11] goes directly through the town, and there's a lot of heavy truck traffic with the mine and with the forest industry still going in the region,” Rusnak noted.
“So we'll be looking at funding to help with roads and other issues relating to that.”
Rusnak also hopes to work with Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford to complete infrastructure projects here in Rainy River District.
“Hopefully, we can get some constructive conversations going,” he remarked.
“I know my colleagues, the mayors, and the reeves of the communities in the western part of the riding have also been working to get those meetings with Minister Rickford and work through getting that infrastructure funding rolled out,” Rusnak added.
Several projects that are funded by the federal government are made possible through agreements with the province.
“I know that Fort Frances and other communities across the western part of the region have been looking at some infrastructure projects that just can't proceed without a partnership with the province,” Rusnak said.
“So I'm looking forward to building a positive relationship with our provincial partners and rolling out those dollars in our respective ridings to make life better for the people in the riding.”
Another one of Rusnak's goals in 2019 is to win re-election in the federal election scheduled for this October.
“We're going to be working with people across the riding building our Liberal team,” enthused Rusnak, who was acclaimed as the Liberal candidate this past fall.
He said more news regarding his candidacy will be announced as the election nears.