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Former Caledon Councillor considering run for MP seat

November 15, 2018   ·   0 Comments

Written By JOSHUA SANTOS

Barb Shaughnessy may not leave politics after all.

The former Town of Caledon ward 1 regional councillor is now keeping an eye out at the vacant Dufferin-Caledon MP seat.

“I actually had to do some investigation first,” said Shaughnessy. “I had to take a look, do my homework, which is something I always do and I was really flattered that my community in Caledon didn’t want to lose my voice.

“I’ve been considering it. I’m doing my legwork at this point. There is no commitment but I certainly can say that I’m looking at and evaluating it and making sure that whatever decision I make, it will be the right decision for Dufferin-Caledon, definitely.”

David Tilson announced he would not seek nomination for a sixth term as MP. This opened the doors for many to speculate who his successor would be.

At this time two individuals have confirmed their bids with Kevin Weatherbee and Harzadan Singh Khattra in the running. Former Orangeville mayor Jeremy Williams is now in contention.

Shaughnessy lost her mayoral bid to incumbent Mayor Allan Thompson in the Caledon municipal election. Thompson had 7,392 votes, Shaughnessy obtained 4,976 votes and Kelly Darnley received 3,925 votes.

Shaughnessy said residents were upset that she lost. They said her voice was too valuable to go away suggesting a stint as MP.

“I’m still talking to people at this point,” said Shaughnessey. “I would hope to have a final decision by the beginning of December, no later than that but right now I’m still doing my legwork and talking to people and they’re talking to me and we’re having discussions here, there and everywhere and trying to feel the pulse of the people, especially those in Caledon, which would be my base.

“I think what the people in Caledon thought is my voice is an important voice for the people. I have to say that no matter I’m doing, I’m not finished advocating on behalf of the people.”

She said she was not ready to walk away as she still has that passion and fire in her to continue working for the people. She just wants to find the right fit.

“I loved doing what I was doing and the split vote happened. It is, what it is. I come from the business world. You have to keep moving forward and I’m going to keep moving forward. I see in my future definitely still representing the people and the people’s voices in whatever way I can.”

Shaughnessy was first elected as regional councillor after defeating incumbent Richard Paterak in 2014. She heard people say she had to be an area councillor before running as regional councillor when she was running for that seat. She doesn’t agree with that.”

“I think what it comes down to back when I made that decision to be the regional councillor and not go from ward to regional, it was the fact that I had the time, the ability, love to educate myself and the passion to do the job,” said Shaughnessy. “I think that translated in being a regional councillor. I don’t think there’s a particular process that educates you for anything in politics other than the willingness and wanting to do it for the right reasons. The right reasons are the passion for the people and making sure the people’s voices feel heard.”

Shaughnessy said she heard residents suggesting the idea of her running as the Chair for the Region of Peel. She said she turned it down because she felt it was more of a bureaucratic position.

“From what I know about the regional chair position is that people usually go there from being a councillor or mayor when they finish their advocacy,” said Shaughnessey. “When you look at Emil Kolb, he was a councillor then he was a mayor and he lost running for mayor and went for a regional position and he was happy to go on the bureaucratic side.”

A meeting will be held in early 2019 to determine the next Conservative Party of Candidate for Dufferin-Caledon.

         

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