Norfolk County voters will join others across Ontario to cast their ballots to elect MPPs for the provincial government. Election day is Thursday, June 12.
There will be five names on the ballot for voters in the riding comprising Norfolk County and Haldimand County. Each of those nominated candidates seeking to represent residents in the riding are currently knocking on doors pushing their party’s platform, they are: Toby Barrett of the Progressive Conservative Party; Anne Faulkner of the Green Party; Brad Mottashed of the Libertarian Party; Ian Nichols of the New Democratic Party; Karen Robinson of the Liberal Party.
Toby Barrett, PC
Incumbent Barrett has represented the riding for the past 11 years. His supporters were quick off the mark to place their blue ‘Vote Barrett’ lawn signs in most parts of the riding. He has been talking to people across the riding to feel the pulse of what people are saying. Mr. Barrett reported to The Maple Leaf on Monday he had spent about 10 hours in Port Dover on the weekend speaking with people. He said at Tim Horton’s men, some middle-aged, explained they were furious that they had to find employment in Alberta because there were no jobs for their trade in Ontario, one mentioning he was a welder. As well, he says people with university education are working in low-pay jobs with no security or pension.
Mr. Barrett spoke to business owners who were frustrated with the amount of red-tape they are required to fill out and with the bureaucracy of big government. Seniors expressed concern about taxes, high costs and with the current multi-billion dollar deficit that will adversely affect their grandchildren’s lifestyle. Mr. Barrett spoke about the Conservative’s million jobs campaign initiative.
Karen Robinson, Liberal
Liberal candidate Karen Robinson is anxious to speak with people about the Liberal platform as she makes her rounds in the riding with Port Dover visits in her plan. She was out with a university student this week putting up red ‘Vote Liberal’ signs. “I am finding that people genuinely like (Liberal leader) Kathleen Wynne and have taken a shine to her,” Ms Robinson told The Maple Leaf on Monday. Her political message is being well received this week on her rounds, and at the Liberal campaign office at 18 Argyle Street in downtown Simcoe.
The Liberal candidate says she is finding that many young adults seem unaware that a provincial election campaign is underway. She is hopeful that perception will change. The Liberal campaign manager is Lisa Bishop.
Ms Robinson is a fourth generation agriculture-based business woman who says she “understands the importance of working hard, and the management of outside forces to achieve success”. Her experiences include managing a music store, debt facilitator, a crop scout for Norfolk Fruit Growers’ Assn. She has been a member and a volunteer on many committees, associations and charitable organizations. She proudly states having graduated University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus as a mature student and has resumed agricultural consulting.
Ian Nichols, NDP
NDP candidate Ian Nichols, and his wife Cheryl, reside between Simcoe and Delhi. They have a family of three grown children. Ian Nichols was born in South Wales, England, and came to Canada as a child. He grew up in Brantford, where he worked in factories, and until 2006 lived in Paris. He is in his mid-fifties and keenly interested in the loss of jobs over the past 25 years. He was the NDP candidate in the 2011 provincial election and is hopeful for a winning result on election day in June this year.
Mr. Nichols has been directly involved in politics since the 1993 federal election. In this June’s election the NDP leader is Andrea Horwath who voted with the Conservatives to defeat the government over the Liberal Budget. The NDP declared they had lost confidence in the ruling Liberal government headed by Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Anne Faulkner, Green
Anne Faulkner is the candidate for the Green Party in this riding for the June 12 election. She and her husband reside close to Nixon, having moved to Norfolk County 12 years ago. She is a retired school teacher (not the well-known Anne Faulkner in the Port Dover area). She has been politically active since 1965, and has taken leading roles in teaching organizations and executive positions on school boards. She is an accomplished artist.
This riding’s Green Party candidate strongly supports the Party’s stand of one school system across the province. She spoke to The Maple Leaf at length of the benefits for students and cost-savings for taxpayers with their proposal of one education system. She mentioned that Ontario now is the only province in Canada with a dual system and noted that jurisdictions around the world are changing to a single school board. Candidate Faulkner says it would cut waste and ensures fairness in Ontario’s schools. As much of the media attention goes to three other parties who have a chance to lead a government, the Green Party’s message is downplayed. Ontario voters have never elected a member of the Green Party to the Legislature. She says Greens are working to convince voters that supporting them at the ballot box is not a waste of a vote.
Brad Mottashed, Libertarian
Brad Mottashed is carrying the Libertarian Party message to Haldimand-Norfolk voters. Printed material states the vision of their political party is for Canada to be a place where limited government and personal responsibility are recognized and established as the basis of society. Society under a Libertarian government permits every citizen (as long as each person respects the rights of others) has the right to live as he or she sees fit, “as a free trader in a free market”. Tim Moen of Fort McMurray is leader of the Libertarian Party.