Sault candidates clash over Algoma Steel

Sparks flew in Sault Ste. Marie on Thursday as candidates in the riding get in some final blows before the Sept. 20 federal election.

Liberal incumbent Terry Sheehan got into it with Conservative candidate Sonny Spina.

Sheehan was joined this week by fellow Liberal and cabinet minister Bill Blair at Algoma Steel as Sheehan outlined how his party has helped the local steel industry.

That includes a recent $420 million investment for green technology at the steel manufacturer. Sheehan said that investment would be in jeopardy under a Conservative government.

"(Tory Leader) Erin O'Toole said he was going to scrap all Liberal deals, and so it's really hard to (gauge) what Erin O'Toole is going to scrap (or) what he won't scrap," said Sheehan. "He says something different each and every day. We know that we have committed to it and we will see it through."

Spina said any investment made in Algoma Steel would remain and that workers would be consulted moving forward -- something he says the Liberal have failed to do.

"Erin O'Toole and myself have both made it clear: we're fully committed to fully funding all commitments made by the Government of Canada before a transition into a new government or a new party takes power," said Spina.

"Those commitments will be fulfilled and we will bring forward the union and the workers to make sure they have a seat at the table and that their voices are heard."

New Democrat candidate Marie Morin-Strom said her party firmly believes in union consultation, especially when it comes to investments at Algoma Steel.

"It's part of their contract to have meaningful consultation on investments, especially investments like this that could mean significant changes to how the plant is run, what sorts of products that they can make and potentially job gains and job losses," said Morin-Strom.

Sheehan said during his tenure as MP, the Liberals have invested more than $750 million in the Sault Ste. Marie riding.