Terry Sheehan greeted supporters during the launch of his campaign headquarters at 485 Queen Street Sunday.
“You can tell that we have standing room only - it’s just packed in here today, and I’m so thrilled and pleased with the support that the community is showing here today for the work that I have done, and for the work that I am committing to continue to do today,” Sheehan told reporters before shaking hands in the jam-packed office space.
When Sheehan initially decided to run for Member of Parliament, he says, there was high unemployment throughout the Sault, with just a "handful of people" working at Tenaris, and the steel industry had a "dark cloud over it."
Algoma Steel went into receivership, he says, just a couple weeks after he was elected.
“Over the last number of years, I worked significantly hard on those files, because it’s extremely important,” Sheehan told reporters. “It’s 40 per cent of our economy - that’s 14,000 direct and indirect jobs they’re counting on, 8,000 pensioners. So we worked really hard to strengthen our trade regime and our regiment, because dumping [of steel] was really hurting us previously.”
In addition to federal contributions of $106 million to Algoma Steel and Tenaris, Sheehan says, the federal government also defeated the steel tariffs imposed upon Canada by the United States.
“We were able to rally everyone together and defeat those American tariffs - meanwhile, the Conservatives, their strategy was to call for capitulation, to raise the white flag in front of President Trump,” he said. “Meanwhile, we know that wasn’t the right strategy.”
“We had our counter-tariffs, and our counter-tariffs worked. We went dollar for dollar, toe to toe with them, and we stood our ground.”
Sheehan also took the time to tell reporters about the "significant investments" and growth in post-secondary institutions locally, totalling over $25 million during his time as Sault Ste. Marie MP.
When asked what his approach would look like for this federal election campaign, Sheehan told reporters that mudslinging is off the table for what could be a hotly-contested federal election.
“What I’m trying to do is keep things positive,” he said. “I think it’s really, really critical. I’ll leave the mudslinging to other people. People know me - I’m a four-term city councillor, two terms before that, I was on the school board.”
“I’m going to take the high road, and certainly, what I’m going to do is demonstrate what my experience has done for this community.”
The public is encouraged to touch base with Sheehan via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by telephone at (705) 759-2855 or by visting his campaign website.