‘We have so much potential here’ [Sudbury] – by Laura Stricker (Sudbury Star-April 29, 2011)

The Sudbury Star, the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper. This article was published on April 29, 2011.

“We could be the research hub for mining and development in the world, and I know
we’re almost there…We have so much potential here in Sudbury. We’ve got wealth
and resources, we’ve got infrastructure … We could truly start to look at the big
pictures and start bringing things together.” 
(NDP Candidate-Glenn Thibeault, April 29, 2011)

Glenn Thibeault wants an oil and gas ombudsman with “teeth, not dentures.”

“The ombudsman can do a couple of things, as long as they have teeth. The one thing I don’t want to do is create this level of bureaucracy that costs money and doesn’t do anything besides saying, ‘Hey, you’re bad,’ ” Sudbury’s MP said during an editorial board meeting with The Sudbury Star.

The ombudsman would have to have punitive powers against the oil companies, Thibeault said, adding that he hopes the NDP’s plan to cut oil subsidies will have an impact.

“I’m hoping that ending oil subsidies is one of the things we can do to make (the companies) take notice, because right now the Conservatives are saying, ‘Yes, gas prices are high, but we’ll continue to give them a subsidy’ and the Liberals are not talking about this issue.”

Thibeault, a one-time executive director for the United Way in Sudbury and a former broadcast journalist, had his first experience as a politician when he was elected in 2008.

“It’s been a great opportunity to learn more about our country, been great to learn about our parliamentary democracy and I look forward to continuing to learn more.”

He is less keen, though, on the political partisanship he has observed over the past few years.

“I didn’t expect it to be as predominant as it has become … We’ve got to start looking at what we can do with some forward thinking.

“What I hope to do is move forward with saying, ‘You know what? You’re a Conservative, you’re a Liberal, I’m a New Democrat. You have a good idea, you have a good idea, I have a good idea, how do we make this work?’ ”

He also touched on a much-discussed issue in the election, the long-gun registry, calling it “political games at its finest.”

Constituents understand what happened with the registry, he said.

“There’s some Conservative spin out there, so I try to let them understand what that is. There was not a time in the last election where I said I’m advocating the elimination of the long gun registry.”

He’s anxious to see the registry fixed, he added, so that more important issues — health care, jobs and the economy — can be focused on.

Asked about what he’s done since being elected, Thibeault discussed his efforts in getting credit card rates lowered and helping residents sort through government bureaucracy.

NDP leader Jack Layton’s election platform includes capping the interest rate on credit cards at prime plus 5%.

“I’m taking on the credit card companies and I don’t have a problem saying that out loud,” said Thibeault.

For the rest of the article, please go to the Sudbury Star website: http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3101346