Even though a provincial election call is still about a year away, the conservatives have their candidate in place for Mushkegowuk-James Bay. Moonbeam town councillor and current Town of Kap public works manager Eric Cote was nominated by the riding association recently. He says there are lots of challenges ahead, including the size of the riding.

“Getting out to Kashechewan, getting out to Moosonee to see your constituents is always an issue,” he said. “It is far out there and it’s a lot of time but we will go. If we are going to be doing this, you are representing the entire region not just the highway 11 corridor.”

Cote says another challenge facing him is changing the mindset of the people in the riding.

“This is traditionally NDP territory so to change that mind set, to alter that mindset, and to sway the votes is going to be interesting.”

The conservatives haven’t held the seat since the early 1980s when former Kapuskasing Mayor Rene Piche represented Cochrane North. Cote says his experience as a councillor and employee for the town of Kap for 18 years made the move a logical next step in his political career.