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Beth Mairs drums up support as finish line approaches

NDP candidate hosts 'Orange UpRiSingh' at campaign headquarters

Sudburians will head to the polls next week to cast their vote in the 2019 federal election.

With less than a week to go on the campaign trail, Sudbury NDP candidate Beth Mairs is not coasting to the finish line, but keeping her nose to the grindstone.

The NDP candidate held an "Orange UpRiSingh" rally on Oct. 16, and her campaign office on Larch Street was packed to the gills with more than 50 supporters taking shelter from the rain and chanting "Beth" and "NDP".

"I think that we've had momentum from the start, and I think that the momentum that we're experiencing across the country for the NDP is certainly reflected here," said Mairs.

"People are more willing to go NDP. I'm finding that people are in this terrible dissonance where they're disappointed in the Liberals and they're scared of the Conservatives, but they're not really sure about us. I think now it's becoming clearer and clearer that we're a legitimate choice."

Mairs was joined at Wednesday's rally by MPPs France Gélinas and Jamie West, who have been in Beth's corner since her campaign kicked off.

The pair introduced Mairs as Sudbury's next MP before she took the microphone to address the crowd.

"A moment in our history where the possibility of a more equitable society, embracing economic, environmental and Indigenous justice is upon us," said Mairs.

"The vision of Canada put forward by the NDP and Jagmeet Singh is lifting people from apathy and disillusionment to hope."

Mairs said when going door to door, there has been a heartfelt admiration for Jagmeet Singh's vision. While she sang the praises of the NDP leader, Mairs wasted little time taking aim at incumbent Paul Lefebvre and the Liberal party.

"Here in Sudbury we see just how out of touch the Liberals are with the reality of most Sudburians; people struggling to pay their bills, overwhelmed with debt, suffering low-paying precarious jobs, suffering with high rents and a lack of services. Our city is buckling under the opioid crisis, the affordable housing crisis and a low wage economy," said Mairs.

"The Liberal candidate has been trying to whitewash the facts, every single debate and at every opportunity we hear the Liberal mantra that we have the lowest levels of unemployment and that they've lifted more people out of poverty, but these claims just don't hold the mustard. They can spout slogans all they want but the view on the streets is grim and 31 per cent of us don't bring in enough money every month to pay the bills."

While the picture painted by Mairs of what the city has been dealing with a Liberal MP, she was optimistic that a change could be on the horizon.

"There is some magic in the air, in this riding, there's excitement," said Mairs.

"Excitement that we can actually vote the status quo out of power. People know that when I'm elected I will roll up my sleeves and focus on the most urgent needs before us. Those who feel left out and that they don't count will have an advocate in Ottawa."

Matt Durnan

About the Author: Matt Durnan

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