Sylvia Jones launches campaign, predicting a Tory win on June 7

May 3, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Pickford

Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones officially kicked off her campaign ahead of this summer’s provincial election on Saturday (April 28), promising the more than 100 people in attendance that change is coming in Ontario.

Joined by a special guest, former Federal cabinet minister Peter MacKay, the local Progressive Conservative (PC) candidate addressed the current climate of provincial politics in a short speech to welcome guests. There, she informed onlookers that a vote for blue on June 7 is a vote for a better, sustainable Ontario.

Held at Ms. Jones’ new campaign office at 229 Broadway, the campaign kickoff was considered a huge success, with at least a couple of hundred area residents passing through the doors at some stage of the morning. Speaking to the Citizen following the launch, Ms. Jones intimated the real work would now begin.

“This has been a fantastic launch, stronger even than the last one,” Ms. Jones said. “We have a lot of people excited to get this election process started and today’s attendance proves that.”

She added, “Our focus now is to ensure we get out into the community and listen. I’ve already heard about the need for change from lots of local residents. Our job now is to take as much information on board as possible, going door to door and engaging with the people who make up the backbone of this province.”

Mr. MacKay, who served as a Member of Parliament from 1997 to 2015, holding down such roles as Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Minister of National Defence and Minister of Foreign Affairs, noted his excitement for the upcoming election. Following 15 years of Liberal rule in Ontario, Mr. MacKay, a Nova Scotia native who now lives in Toronto, says it’s time for the PCs to lead the province forward into a new era.

“I think there’s a best-before date on this Liberal government that has come and gone. In reality, the unbridled spending and promises of things that haven’t been done for 15 years, I don’t think is resonating with people. We just don’t believe it any more,” Mr. MacKay told the Citizen. “I think the people are looking for a government that will be transparent and be more accountable for their actions.”

If nothing else, new PC leader Doug Ford certainly represents change. Following what could only be described as a stormy leadership race earlier this year, Mr. Ford came out on top, promising to bring Ontario back to its former glory. Passionate, eccentric and relatable, Mr. Ford has an uncanny ability to connect with people, says Ms. Jones.

“I’ve seen Doug working all over the province… He connects with people and he’s able to bring that Progressive Conservative message to a group of voters who traditionally wouldn’t usually consider us, which is really important as we seek to form a majority government,” Ms. Jones said.

Importantly for Dufferin-Caledon, Mr. Ford has committed to completing the environmental assessment for the GTA West corridor project. Back in February, following years of investigative work and millions of tax dollars spent, the Ontario government cancelled the project, citing an expert panel’s recommendation that a proposed 400-series highway in the GTA West corridor is not the best way to address changing transportation needs.

Ms. Jones has been lobbying hard for that particular initiative for several years, stating it would be “massive” for Dufferin-Caledon. While Ms. Jones didn’t go into specifics regarding her platform, she indicated there is much to consider heading into the election.

“I’m going to keep talking about the same things I’ve been talking about down at Queens Park, whether they be transportation issues, health care issues or long-term care issues,” Ms. Jones said. “These are all things I’ve talked about as a member of the Opposition, we’re going to keep talking about them during this campaign, the difference is we’re also going to be offering solutions that will make a difference to the people of Ontario.”

Ms. Jones will face competition from at least four other candidates heading into the June 7 vote. Local beef farmer Bob Gordanier will represent the Liberal Party, while Orangeville business owner Laura Campbell is standing for the Green Party. Jeff Harris is a Libertarian candidate, while Andrew Nowell is representing the Trillium Party. As of press time, there is no declared NDP candidate.

The Dufferin Board of Trade announced last week that it would host two all-candidate forums ahead of the election. The first will be held at the Shelburne Legion on Tuesday, May 15 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., with a second event at Orangeville District Secondary School on Thursday, May 24, also from 6:30  to 9 p.m.

The forums will begin with a half-hour ‘meet and greet’ with the candidates, before a town-hall format question-and-answer period. Residents are asked to submit questions ahead of time for consideration.

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