Nickel Belt candidates voice their top concerns in their riding

With less than two weeks left before the Sept. 20 federal election, local campaigns are well underway, including in the riding of Nickel Belt.

Nickel Belt stretches from the suburban neighbourhoods of Sudbury, to Killarney, the French River area to Sturgeon Falls and West Nipissing. Liberal Marc Serré is the incumbent.

“We’re going to look at how we amplify the investments we’ve done in the community through roads, the municipality, through FedNor," Serré said.

"And also, looking at more green jobs. Sudbury is a great example ... (in) the last 40 years on how we can look at the economy and the environment at the same time with the mining. So, the jobs and keeping our youth in the north.”

NDP candidate Andréane Chénier is an occupational health and safety specialist with CUPE. She said people are telling her they need affordable services.

“That includes medical services like eye wear, dental care, mental health services, it includes access to services like the broadband Internet and cellular services that in larger parts of nickel belt there is simply no access," said Chénier.

"It includes investing in clean drinking water, updating infrastructure for hydro."

Sudbury paramedic Charles Humphrey is running for the Conservatives. He said the biggest issue that needs to be addressed is mental health and addictions.

“We are going to invest in long-term infrastructure on this issue by providing a thousand new treatment beds at 50 centres across the country," Humphrey said.

"The key to this crisis is that we need to create a system where those who suffer from opioid misuse disorders know that when they want help, that it’s available immediately.”

Green Party candidate Craig Gravelle also said the most important issue he wants to address is the opioid crisis. He said a guaranteed livable income would help.

“For people to feel safe, they need that income security and when you don’t have that income security, sometimes people end up making decisions that aren’t the best for their health,” said Gravelle.

"As you know, downtown we have a bunch of crosses for all the deaths of the opioid crisis in Sudbury and Nickel Belt and it’s one of the most important issues that we have."

Rounding out the ballot is David Hobbs, who is running for the People’s Party of Canada.

The riding has switched between the Liberals and the NDP over the years. It has been Liberal since 2015.