The federal election is hitting the one week mark and while the party campaigns have already begun, few of the candidates have been seen in this part of the riding.
Regardless of the national and regional issues, each riding has local issues which matter just as much as the national platform. In South Dundas, there are many issues, but three that float to the top of our mind for this election: infrastructure, water levels, and accessibility to a constituency office.
South Dundas has many infrastructure needs and there is a federal responsiblity to assist with those. Modern-day Iroquois and Morrisburg are products of the St. Lawrence-Seaway project and as such, have similar infrastructure – above and below ground – which all have the same best-before date. That date is past due. Having multiple multi-million-dollar infrastructure projects all come due at the same time is a difficult challenge for a municipality with a large population. It is even more of a challenge for South Dundas with a population of just under 11,000 people. How can these candidates help South Dundas secure some assistance at the federal level with our infrastructure needs?
Another issue that is related to the St. Lawrence-Seaway has been the fluctuating water levels on the St. Lawrence River. With three record setting years in a row – two for high water levels, one for low water levels. Each peak and valley in the water level affects property owners and river users alike. These fluctuations have become more pronounced after the International Joint Commission implemented its ‘Plan 2014’ control plan for the waterway. What can these candidates do to advocate for South Dundas, and the riding, to bring some relief, some answers, and improved communication to the issue?
Lastly, South Dundas enjoys having constituency offices available for both federal and provincial elected officials. These offices play a big roll in making government accessible for residents here. How are the candidates going to continue and expand this accessibility for South Dundas citizens?
These are just a few of the issues to consider when listening to the local candidates out on the campaign trail.
Hopefully local candidates are informed about local matters and can address them, and not just spout off campaign platform planks from the national party policy books.