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Interview with Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay - Superior North

Written by Michael Hurley
Thursday, 10 September 2015
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Interview with Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay - Superior North
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Continuing with the series of interviews that Think Forward is conducting with MPs and candidates for the 2015 Federal Election, Think Forward Managing Editor Michael Hurley recently interviewed Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North and Deputy Leader of the Green Party, to discuss a number of pressing issues in this election, from climate change to Bill C-51 to post-secondary education.

The following is a transcript of the e-mail interview that Michael conducted with Mr. Hyer this past week.

You have served as the Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North since 2008, and in 2011 you won re-election with almost 50 percent of the popular vote. However, in the 2008 and 2011 federal elections, you ran and won as a New Democrat.

You are now seeking re-election as a Green Party MP after joining the party in 2013. Given that voters in Thunder Bay-Superior North have never elected a Green MP in the riding's 39-year history, and in light of the fact that the Greens attracted 3 percent of the vote in the riding in 2011, do you feel that you are facing an uphill battle in this election?

Not at all. In the past, this has been a Liberal city and currently we are seeing a strong shift toward the Green Party. The Conservatives have not won a seat here in 84 years. The two MPPs are Liberals, one of whom has served their riding for 20 years. In the last election the NDP received 30 percent support nationally, while as you point out I received nearly 50 percent of the vote. Our extensive internal polling shows us WELL ahead in this election, with the Liberals and NDP vying for second place. It is at best a three-way race, where voters are realizing that vote-splitting and electing a Conservative is not a concern here.

Most people in my northern, mostly rural riding “get it” instantly. They understand that the only time they see party leaders in this region is a few months before an election. They know that the three large parties have their roots in regions other than this riding and will not prioritize issues, jobs, and federal money for Thunder Bay-Superior North. My riding likes the fact that I refuse to shut up and let Thunder Bay-Superior North’s interests be marginalized. That’s why they elected me in the first place - they see that I am the riding’s best hope for negotiating deals and resources for this region.



If you could choose one thing that would make your job and/or work environment better, what would it be?