The riding of Hastings, Lennox and Addington will elect a new MPP on June 2, while the current MPP, Darryl Kramp, steps away from politics.
Horse riding extends over 9,000 square kilometers and represents about 95,000 people.
The largely rural riding is set to see a new MPP elected in June as Kramp, a Progressive Conservative, is not seeking re-election.
He has endorsed the new Progressive Conservative Party candidate, Ric Bresee, for the job.
“I’m from here. I know these people and I can carry that voice to the provincial level. I’m not shy, I’m not quiet, people will listen to me as we move into the new government,” Bresee said.
Bresee is the current Mayor of Loyalist Township and Director of Lennox and Addington County.
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With 22 years of municipal experience, he says he is used to campaigning and understands what area residents want.
“We need to rebuild our economy coming out of this pandemic. We think that in the last two years it has been difficult, but we have done a good job and we have really done very well in terms of health problems with the pandemic. But coming out of this, we now need to rebuild our economy,” Bresee said.
“We need to make sure people have good jobs. People have houses they can’t afford. And those will be the directions that this government will move forward with.”
Liberal candidate Ted Darby is prioritizing infrastructure in horse riding.
“We can take advantage of our large rural communities, our small towns and villages, and we can build additional housing. But we need infrastructure. We need support. We need a helping hand. And that is what a Liberal government will provide,” Darby said.
Darby has a background in health care administration and has lobbied Queen’s Park throughout her career.
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A current professor at St. Lawrence College, he says another four years with the Ford government would mean the privatization of schools and health care, something he says is unacceptable.
“We need to support our public hospitals. Our public education is what defines us as Canadians and we cherish it,” said Darby. “Unfortunately, the Ford government believes in privatization and believes that the public sector does not have a critical role. I think so. I think we need both. And I also believe in fiscal responsibility, and that is a key characteristic that defines the good of public service, support for the private sector and fiscal responsibility.”
The privatization of services is a major concern for NDP candidate Eric Depoe.
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“Do you want our health care system to be like the US health care system?” Depoe said. “Which works very well if you have a lot of money but it doesn’t work very well for people, the average person, and we don’t want to go there, I know we don’t want to go there, but that’s how the Tories take us. And the Liberals have also done things along those lines when they were in power.”
Depoe was a small business owner for 17 years, as well as having worked as a mail sorter at the Post Office for 28 years.
He says that an NDP government would benefit low-income workers.
“Our party plans to raise the minimum wage by a dollar a year beginning in the fall,” Depoe said. “Another dollar in the spring and a dollar in the spring until we hit $20, which is four years from now. That is to allow life to be more affordable for people who earn minimum wage.”
A familiar face in the race, Derek Sloan is running in the district to become prime minister on behalf of the newly formed Ontario Party.
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Sloan won the Conservative riding in the 2019 federal election.
He was later kicked out of the party after it was revealed that he had received a donation from a known white supremacist.
Other horseback candidates include New Blue candidate Joyce Reid and Green Party candidate Christina Wilson, who says she is running as a paper candidate and would not give an interview.
As we get closer to election day, all candidates continue their campaign until June 2.
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