The hand-shaking, door-knocking, debating, and staking of lawn signs will wind down this weekend as Tuesday’s federal election draws near.
This election campaign has gone very well, said incumbent Liberal candidate Ken Boshcoff.
“And with the unexpected slumping of the prime minister, I believe it’s actually going even better,” he added.
With election day fast approaching, Boshcoff’s tactics for the final few days are staying the same. “[It’s] knocking on doors, seeing people, and then I’m knocking on doors and seeing people,” he noted.
“It’s an unusual time because of the Thanksgiving weekend,” he added. “Which will basically mean that out of respect for the people’s time, that it will be very difficult to do any kind of campaigning in the last two days.
“The Sunday and the Monday are essentially off-limits for door-knocking, things of that nature,” Boshcoff stressed. “So it will be family time and time for those kind things.”
NDP candidate John Rafferty also is very positive about the how his campaign has gone.
“We’ve run a wonderful campaign, with terrific volunteers, lots of people bringing great food into the various campaign offices, lots of energy, high energy, and we’re working as hard as we can,” he remarked.
With yesterday’s final all-candidates’ debate, Rafferty will spend the last days knocking on doors and canvassing right up until 9 p.m. on Monday night.
The one message he’s hearing on the doorsteps is that Thunder Bay will determine who our next MP is.
“In fact, that’s not the case this time,” Rafferty stressed. “I believe that who the next MP is will be determined by the voters of the west end [of the riding], and I think that’s an important message”
“Like any campaign, it’s been a roller-coaster ride,” remarked Conservative candidate Richard Neumann. “I’m very satisfied with the manner in which we ran the campaign to date. We met an awful lot of people, which for me being the new name on the ballot was quite a challenge.
“It was important for us to get out and give people every opportunity to hear me speak and to hear my position on the issues, and I think we did a great job on that regards.”
Alongside door-knocking, Neumann and his team have been identifying both the “gaps” of places they haven’t been yet, as well as places he can go that would allow him to speak to the most people.
With that goal in mind, he spent yesterday afternoon on his “coffee shop tour,” hitting every Tim Hortons and Robin’s Donuts in Thunder Bay to speak to as many people as possible.
Neumann also will be at the Clover Valley Farmers’ Market here tomorrow morning and then on to Morson.
“I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that every candidate out there would be wishing they had a little more time and I’m no different,” Neumann said. “You just feel that there’s always something else you could have done, and well, we’ve got four days to make sure that we minimize those thoughts as best we can.”
“Personally, I think it’s gone pretty well,” Green Party candidate Russ Aegard said of his campaign.
“I wish I would be able to afford to take time off, to really put 100 percent effort into the campaign,” added Aegard, who is a teacher with the Lakehead District School Board. “But I’m very happy at how it went, the direction the debates went, and the positive feedback that I have received because of the debates.”
With the final days approaching, Aegard will be spending time at the Thunder Bay farmers’ market tomorrow to make an announcement on food safety, alongside more canvassing.
And one big message he has as election day draws closer is for people to just get out and vote.
“Vote with your heart,” he stressed. “Don’t fall into the trap of having to vote for somebody because you don’t like somebody else. It’s a democracy and we need to make sure we vote for the people that we really do support.”
All four candidates will be in Thunder Bay on election night.
A reminder to voters that polls in this part of Thunder Bay-Rainy River riding will be open from 8:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. (CDT). Polling runs from 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. in the Eastern time zone.