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Column: Why I did what I did

For the last six years, as your federal MP, I fought for the things that matter most to Sudburians. I understand the unique issues that we face, including the need for high-quality health care, safe roads and Maley Drive.
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Liberal candidate Glenn Thibeault said he expects the campaign ahead of the Feb. 5 provincial byelection in Sudbury to be the toughest of his political career. Photo by Jonathan Migneault.
For the last six years, as your federal MP, I fought for the things that matter most to Sudburians.

I understand the unique issues that we face, including the need for high-quality health care, safe roads and Maley Drive. Now, as your Liberal candidate in the upcoming byelection, I want to take my knowledge of the issues and the skills and experience that I have gained as your MP, and put them to work where I know I can make a bigger impact on our community — at Queen’s Park.

When explaining why I think I am the best candidate for the job as Sudbury’s MPP, I’d like to start by answering a question — a question I have been frequently asked in the past few weeks.

“Glenn, why the switch?”

It is a fair question. Everyone deserves to know why I think our community will be better served by my decision to run provincially for another party.

Six years ago, I ran federally to represent Sudbury because, simply, I wanted to work for Sudbury. I ran for the NDP because I wanted to work with Jack Layton.

He had a message of hope and a vision that politics could be about more than partisanship and vicious attacks.

Since his death, however, much has changed. My work on behalf of the people of Sudbury grew and changed, as I learned how to serve my constituents more effectively. And, with Jack gone, the NDP changed. There came a time when I could no longer reconcile my goals and values for this great city, with those of the NDP.

So I began to reflect on my future in politics. I love serving Sudburians. I love making an impact, big and small, for the people of our community. I love helping constituents access the services they need, and I am proud to champion their causes.

But the issues I most frequently dealt with as your MP were related to health care, education and infrastructure — areas that actually fall under provincial jurisdiction.

Another thing happened.

Ontario’s new premier, Kathleen Wynne, came onto the scene with a positive, collaborative approach to government. I was drawn to her message that government can be a force for good in people’s lives, and that our best days are ahead of us if we work together to address the challenges we face.

Kathleen Wynne has a proven track record of working with anyone who has good ideas. As a member of her team, I know that when I speak up on behalf of my constituents, I will be heard — Sudbury will be heard, and the government will act.

The last few weeks have taught me that there’s not much room in my life for negativity. Negativity leads nowhere. I listened as people attacked my credibility instead of debating the issues, and resolved not to play their game.

I don’t have much time for those who think the only work that matters is done by people wearing their team’s colours.

My allegiance is to the people of Sudbury. This is my home. I attended LaSalle Secondary School; I graduated from Cambrian College; I was married at Our Lady of Hope; and Sudbury is where I have chosen to live and raise my family. I want to keep doing all that I can to help improve the lives of those in my community.

I was proud to represent Sudbury for six years as an MP. I hope to serve you again as your MPP. I am proud to run on my record of service to my community.

I am going to keep fighting for Sudbury’s PET scanner, to ensure Sudbury’s roads are safe and well-maintained, that Maley Drive is delivered and that every person in Sudbury has a doctor. Under Ontario Liberal leadership, there have been more than a 1,000 new jobs created in our community in the last two months and I know I can build upon that success.

That is why I am asking you to elect me as your provincial representative. I want to keep working for you as a member of the Ontario government, to ensure that we keep our promise to be a force for good in people’s lives. I hope I can count on your support.

Glenn Thibeault is running for the Ontario Liberals in the Sudbury byelection.