01/03/2012 08:23 EST | Updated 03/04/2012 05:12 EST

Thunder Bay MPs stick to their guns on voter issues

An area member of parliament says he'll put the needs of his constituents ahead of his party in 2012.

Bruce Hyer, who represents Thunder Bay-Superior North, was disciplined by the NDP when he voted with the Conservatives to end the long gun registry. Hyer said, despite that action, he's vowing to follow the wishes of people in his riding.

“I'm going to be maintaining my resolve to stand up for northwestern Ontario and put the needs and desires of … my constituents ahead of … party politics,” he said.

Hyer added he'll focus on job creation in the riding, in the coming year.

Thunder Bay Rainy River MP John Rafferty also wants to tackle economic issues in 2012.

But he added he also wants to champion pensions and severance for forestry workers.

Rafferty said he will make it a priority so that government understands “that this is an issue that is important to Canada … [and] forest-dependent communities and families.”

Rafferty said he hopes that forestry and other northern issues will be on the agenda for the NDP's new leader, who will be elected later this year.