MANITOULIN – Little Current resident Tim Vine will represent the Ontario Liberal Party for Algoma-Manitoulin in the 2022 provincial election, with his nomination on October 28 earning him the title of the party’s first nominated candidate in Northern Ontario for the 2022 election.
“I’m very excited about this. There’s lots of work to be done but I always like a new challenge,” Mr. Vine told The Expositor.
He said he has been thinking about running for public office for a number of years and when Steven Del Duca became the party leader this past summer, he felt he could work well with his approach and style to governance.
Mr. Vine has held senior positions in the municipal and health sectors, as well as private sector work in Toronto before he moved north.
Provincial politics spoke to the candidate because it oversees more day-to-day aspects of people’s lives, including health, housing and justice.
“I know the weight of making decisions and the type of consultation that you need to do to make sure a decision is well-received and well-implemented,” he said.
Readers of The Expositor will likely recognize Mr. Vine for his work as the chief financial officer and vice-president of corporate support services at Manitoulin Health Centre. He also serves on a number of community boards including the board of regents at University of Sudbury, as the treasurer of the Manitoulin Legal Aid board, treasurer at Community Living Manitoulin, a member of the Manitoulin Health Centre Auxiliary, treasurer of John Brown Heritage Foundation in Niagara, served on the federal Liberal electoral district association until his campaign began and as chair of the Algoma-Manitoulin Liberal riding association when party members re-founded it in August 2019.
Mr. Vine holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Huron University College and secured both a Master of Arts degree and a PhD in political science at the University of Western Ontario. He is working on his Master of Business Administration degree in the chartered professional accountant stream from Sir Wilfred Laurier University.
As much as his role as the candidate is to sell the people of Algoma-Manitoulin on the Ontario Liberal Party, he also aims to work to sell the riding to the party so the executives will advocate for the issues of residents in this part of the province when they form their 2022 platform.
“I’ve already spoken with many bright, engaged people in communities and heard great perspectives on how we can improve things and where the challenges are,” said Mr. Vine.
Algoma-Manitoulin has been an NDP stronghold provincially for close to a decade. Mr. Vine acknowledged that hanging the political inertia will be a large task.
“When it comes down to it, I’ll ask people to reflect on who is best able to implement progressive policies for Ontarians,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of trust to earn with people across the province, but I think we’re it.”
Algoma-Manitoulin is a large and sparsely populated riding. Its roughly 110,000-square-kilometre area has a population of about 68,000, as of 2016, equating to a population density of roughly 0.6 people per square kilometre.
“We’re going to be holding a virtual listening tour. It’s too bad there’s a pandemic; my wife and I love driving around (the riding) and having discussions and coffees with people. We’re going to forego that until it’s safe, but in the meantime I want to hear what’s important to the people who live here. I’ve got ideas of what that is but I’m open to hearing about how we can make Algoma-Manitoulin the best place in Ontario to live,” said Mr. Vine.
He has homes in Little Current and Algoma Mills, previously lived in Elliot Lake and his family has property in Sylvan Valley and along Agnew Lake.
Algoma-Manitoulin’s population is also very diverse, adding another layer of challenge as candidates work to advocate for the voices of Francophones, Indigenous peoples, Anglophones and immigrants that all live within the riding.
“I’m committed to engaging with folks. I want to hear from them and present their views; especially when you think about the population demographics and the Indigenous people that live in the riding. I’m very keenly aware of that history and I hear very loudly that it’s because of people that looked and sounded like me, not taking into account the local context, that we’ve gotten to where we are today,” said Mr. Vine, whose political studies specialized in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Crown-Indigenous relations.
He also has friends with whom he has been continuing to develop his French language skills and cited his work on the Manitoulin COVID-19 Leadership Co-ordination Committee as an example of his collaborative cross-cultural work with leaders of different backgrounds.
Mr. Vine has Facebook and Instagram pages for his campaign that are all linked on his website, TimVine.ca.
“No matter the outcome in 2022, I hope this experience will give me a whole suite of new relationships that help in all these community endeavours that I’ll continue to be a part of,” said Mr. Vine.
The 43rd Ontario general election will take place on or before June 2, 2022.