There are only a few weeks left before the Ontario Progressive Conservatives’ choose a new leader to take them into the next provincial election.
With the date fast approaching, PC candidates are crisscrossing the province to drum up support. Both Christine Elliott and Caroline Mulroney have visited Southeastern Ontario and on Feb. 20, Doug Ford made a number of stops.
The PC leadership candidate made a number of stops in Brockville, Gananoque, Kingston and Belleville. Ford called the tour an opportunity to go one-on-one with constituents and to really hear what the people want.
“I’m hearing the same message, they’re fed up with the high hydro taxes, they need to reduce the size and cost of government, we have to make sure we bring good-paying jobs back, the health-care system is broken, education system is broken,” said Ford.
Ford also said he’s the only candidate fit to be leader. “Well, I’m the only person, the only person that has actually governed, governed a budget of $12 million in the city of Toronto — we saved the taxpayers of Toronto $1 billion. Replacing Kathleen Wynne, with Kathleen Wynne “light” with my other candidates, you’re going to get the same.”
But what do other PC members in the region have to say about the leadership race? Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith is chair of Christine Elliott’s campaign.
“To me, she’s the candidate in the race that brings the most experience to the table for issues that matter at the provincial Parliament,” said Smith. “I think the question should be, ‘Who’s best prepared to be premiere on June 8?’ and I think without any hesitation, Christine Elliott is the one.”
Provincial PC candidate for Kingston and the Islands Gary Bennett hasn’t announced which leadership candidate he’s backing, but he says it’s important that whoever wins helps bring the party back together.
“Unfortunately, political parties are a lot like families and they often have disagreements and arguments. They’re usually not out in the public eye though, like a leadership race is, so I think the No. 1 role and the important thing for our incoming leader is to be able to demonstrate how he/she is going to provide the kind of unity this party needs going forward.”
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