20-year-old Eric Melillo of Kenora has announced that he is seeking the Conservative Party of Canada's nomination for the Kenora riding, ahead of the upcoming 2019 federal election. He says that his goal is to bring a new, strong voice to represent the Kenora riding in Ottawa.

“I’ve been going around the riding and meeting with people. What I’ve been hearing, is that they want some new representation and ideas in Ottawa. That’s what I’m going to bring to the table. I feel that I have a strong understanding of our issues and our unique needs in northwestern Ontario. I want to bring back some strong representation for the riding, and some new ideas to get us moving forward.”

Melillo’s application has been submitted with the party, although, local Conservative party members will have to vote on and approve the eventual candidate if any other party members also choose to seek the nomination.

“I think this is an important election. I really believe that we need a new, strong voice in the riding. Someone who will strongly-represent us. That’s what I’m going to bring to the table.”

The soon to be 21-year-old - who is currently finishing his final year at Lakehead University in their Economics program - has long-been involved with the Conservative Party of Canada, the Ontario Progressive Conservative party and local politics.

He has experience working in Kenora – Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford’s constituency office, and created and operated Lakehead’s Progressive Conservatives Campus Club during his post-secondary career in an effort to bring more youth into the political world. He later transitioned into the club’s Treasurer, using skills learned through his economics background.

“That was one of the first things that I wanted to do when I got to Lakehead. I realized we didn’t have one and I took it upon myself to start one. It’s a great way to get younger people involved in politics. It was a fun experience.”

Melillo also has experience with the Northern Policy Institute, who partners with municipalities to allow students the experience to learn about public policy debate - leading to the development of sustainable communities in Northern Ontario.

Melillo served in the Kenora riding through the Experience North program. In late 2018, he authored a study into food insecurity, increased travel costs and a lack of infrastructure in the region, and how to better develop northern Ontario’s growing economy.

The 2019 federal election is set for October 21. Locally, Melillo is the first to announce a candidacy bid for any respective party.

At the federal level, Justin Trudeau will seek re-election for the Liberals, Andrew Scheer is representing the Conservatives, Jagmeet Singh is running for the NDP, Maxime Bernier is leading the People’s Party of Canada, Elizabeth May returns as the leader of the Green Party, and Yves-Francois Blanchet is running for the Bloc Quebecois party.

For more information:
Setting the Table: Food Insecurity and Costs in Ontario’s North

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