BY HEIDI ULRICHSEN
The New Democrat candidate for Nickel Belt will focus on getting results for the people of his riding and holding the Liberals accountable for the sponsorship scandal during the election campaign.
Claude Gravelle is incensed that the Liberal incumbent for Nickel Belt, Ray Bonin, has never apologized for the dollars stolen in the sponsorship scandal.
"This is totally unacceptable, but what do you expect from a government that has ruled with such arrogance over the last 12 years?," asked Gravelle, in a news release.
New Democrats have a reputation for providing strong voices for people in the north, he said, adding that John Rodriguez, Shelley Martel, Floyd Laughren, Bud Germa and Sharon Murdock are all good examples of this.
"The people of Nickel Belt must decide whether they want an MP from a New Democratic Party with a strong voice in a minority government or a backbench Liberal who sits quietly while his riding suffers some of the highest unemployment in the country," said Gravelle.
In other election news, the Green Party has nominated two rookie candidates to run locally in the upcoming federal election.
Mark McAllister, a 21-year-old graphic designer at 50 Carleton, is running in Nickel Belt. Joey Methe, an 18-year-old public relations student at Cambrian College, is running in Sudbury. This is the first run at public office for both candidates.
McAllister said he decided to run for the Green Party because he has always cared deeply about the environment, and was attracted to the party's focus on sustainability.
"It's not just environmental sustainability, but with our economy as well. They look at the big picture more than anyone else, and they have a real plan for our future," he said.
"We like to bash the United States, but we should at least make up to the commitments that we've made. In 1993 in the Liberal Red Book, they had promised they would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2005.
"Now here we are in 2005, and we've increased our emissions by 24 percent."
McAllister, who uses a wheelchair to get around because he suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy, will also be speaking about disability rights during the campaign.
He wants the government to allow disabled people to have "self-directed care" so they can choose how they live their lives.
Methe, who will be voting for the first time in this election, said he found out about the Green Party when researching parties online this summer. He was impressed by the party's policies on the environment, economy and social programs.
Methe wants to inspire other young people to become engaged with the electoral process. If more young people vote, they can make Canada move toward a "more social-minded society" because they often embrace new ideas, he said.