There will be at least one familiar name on the Thunder Bay-Superior North ballot come the 2019 federal election as incumbent MP Patty Hajdu has secured the Liberal nomination for the northwestern Ontario riding.
Hajdu made the announcement in Thunder Bay on Saturday.
“We have had some tremendous successes, not just in Thunder Bay-Superior North but also throughout the country, and part of that will be talking about those successes but also doing a lot of listening,” Hajdu told CBC News on Sunday of what she expects to focus on during her campaign.
I am honoured to be the Liberal candidate for Thunder Bay-Superior North in 2019. Thank you to everyone who joined me today for all of your hard work to make sure we continue on our path of positive politics. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/tbay?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#tbay</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamTrudeau?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#TeamTrudeau</a> <a href=”https://t.co/EXIv6XFd7r”>pic.twitter.com/EXIv6XFd7r</a>
The current Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour was quickly named to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet upon her election in 2015, initially serving as Minister of Status of Women before gaining her current portfolio in January 2017.
Hajdu said she’s still focused on the Liberals’s announced national housing strategy and “making sure that, as that housing strategy unfolds … that some of that [money] lands in Thunder Bay and stays here so that we can address our significant housing shortage.”
Growing the northern economy, helping secure FedNor dollars for initiatives in the riding as well as supporting post-secondary institutions and the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre are also priorities, she said.
“That’s how we ensure that we have a diverse economy where we can foster the entrepreneurs that doing some fantastic things in the region,” Hajdu said.
Fundraising, door knocking
Securing the nomination involved meeting a set of criteria from the party, Hajdu said, including meeting fundraising goals, knocking on doors and meeting people, as well as securing 150 signatures from party members within the riding.
“We were able to achieve our goals,” she said. “We’re very grateful to all the people that helped us achieve those goals.”
Continuing to speak with as many people as possible across the geographically-large riding leading up to the 2019 vote will be a challenge, she said.
Hajdu’s three years in office so far have been “a dizzying ride,” she said, adding that she’s grateful for the opportunities she’s had in caucus and for her staff that helps her with more local concerns.
“We are able to help people with constituency problems, their own personal problems with various different arms of the government and I think that personal touch, I think, is something that I’m very proud of as well.”