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December 14, 2023

Algoma-Manitoulin – The whole is greater

than the sum of its parts

The Festive season is certainly in full swing now. I have already attended more events and celebrations throughout the riding than I can count. I’ve been following this tradition for more than a decade now. The traditional song says, “It is the most wonderful time of the year.”

I join constituents where they live, work and play during this holiday season and year-round. I  attend parades, music festivals, pow-wows, fairs, competitions, fundraising events, craft shows and art shows. I am invited to countless funding grant announcements where someone behind the scenes worked their tail off advocating for a needed community project and jumped through endless bureaucratic hoops to obtain the necessary funding. And I can’t believe how many outstanding individuals are honoured for their service and volunteerism in the community.

Whether running behind my truck in a parade handing out treats, dancing on the pow-wow grounds or plunging to the bottom of a dunk tank, I not only see the smiling faces of onlookers and participants taking in the events and occasions, but I also can see the faces of the generous and talented individuals who work behind the scenes for weeks or months to make the occasion a rounding success.

Readers of this column know that I have considerable difficulty keeping from popping the buttons off my prideful chest when I tell people that I represent the riding of Algoma-Manitoulin. They hear my refrain that while Algoma-Manitoulin is blessed with unbelievable resources and endless natural beauty all around us, I can’t stress enough that our most treasured resource is our people.

I count myself fortunate to have a true grasp of how outstanding the communities and people of this riding are. I have an advantage over most residents in realizing this truth because my position allows me to intimately connect with the people of a region larger in area than the Province of New Brunswick. Most of us naturally focus on our immediate area as we rely upon local newspapers, radio stations and community newsletters to inform us of the good things happening. But my job allows me to understand that the whole (riding) is greater than the sum of its parts. 

So when you hear that someone in your area is being recognized for outstanding community service, that your township has been granted funding for a seniors program of facility upgrade or that there was a record-breaking turnout at a parade or festival, keep in mind that we have nearly 40 townships and communities as well as more than 20 First Nations. And the same kind of outstanding citizens and leaders celebrate similar achievements and add joy to people’s lives all over Algoma-Manitoulin. And to those individuals and groups, I extend a hearty thank you for your time, energy, and care. People like you make all the difference.

Life has been a real struggle for all Ontarians in so many ways again this year. It seems that we are bombarded with so much news of gloom and doom. We hear of negative deeds and losses too often. While life is no bed of roses for Ontarians, we here in Algoma-Manitoulin are still incredibly fortunate to have such a wealth of good, caring and giving people who work tirelessly to make the world a better place. Even if it seems that it is just one little piece of a puzzle in our little corner of the world, when we put all the good news, achievements and reasons to celebrate, what we have here in Algoma-Manitoulin collectively is more than enough reason to be happy and bursting with pride.

On behalf of my team and I, we wish you the happiest of holidays and all the best in the coming year.

As always, please feel free to contact my office about these issues or any other provincial matters. You can reach my constituency office by email at or by phone Toll-free at 1-800-831-1899.       

Michael Mantha MPP/député       


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