Three candidates vying for Algoma-Manitoulin

by Alicia McCutcheon

MANITOULIN—With just over 40 days until the provincial election, voters in Algoma-Manitoulin have three people to choose from for the position of Member of Provincial Parliament, including Liberal incumbent and Kagawong resident Mike Brown, Northeastern Mantoulin and the Islands Mayor Joe Chapman who is standing for the Progressive Conservatives and political organizer Mike Mantha of Elliot Lake, the NDP candidate.

Mr. Brown has served as MPP since 1987 is currently the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry and is also a member of both the Standing Committee on Government Agencies and the Cabinet Committee on Legislation and Regulations.

Little Current’s Joe Chapman is hoping to give Mr. Brown a run for his seat this election as the candidate for the Progressive Conservative Party. While busy as the mayor for the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin, Mr. Chapman won the candidacy for the PC Party, by acclamation, at a nomination meeting held in Espanola in January. Mr. Chapman, in his day job, practices law.

Mike Mantha of Elliot Lake is running for the NDP and was won the nomination in his hometown in July. Active in union politics, he is the president of the Algoma-Manitoulin and District Labour Council. Mr. Mantha has been MP Carol Hughes’ primary constituency contact since her first electoral victory.

When contacted, Ray Scott of the Big Lake area, said he has made a conscious decision to spend more time with his family and will not be running as the Family Coalition Party candidate this election. He noted that an FCP meeting is organized in this area at the end of the month and says he hopes a “suitable candidate will materialize. As you might guess, I consider it very important that every riding has the option to vote for a pro-life candidate and Algoma-Manitoulin deserves no less.” Mr. Scott stood as the FCP candidate in the last two provincial elections.

The Green Party is not yet represented in the riding either, but Sarah Hutchinson of Sandfield says she is hopeful that a local candidate will come forward, rather than a “parachute candidate.”

There are two all candidates nights planned for Manitoulin this fall. The Expositor will again be hosting its usual All Candidates’ Night, scheduled for Wednesday, September 14 at 7:30 pm at Manitoulin Secondary School with Carolyn Lane-Rock as moderator. As usual, coffee and donuts will be provided. Don’t forget to bring your questions.

Rainbow District School Board trustee Larry Killens is also hosting an education-based candidates’ evening on Tuesday, September 20, also at MSS, at 6:30 pm.