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Written By MIKE BAKER
The Dufferin-Caledon PPC Association is hoping to take advantage of the lingering uncertainty in the local federal riding ahead of October's general election.
Hosting a community meet and greet in Orangeville the local People's Party association, which only secured official status in April, introduced two nomination contestants to local residents. In the running to represent the new party are Chad Ransom, an automotive salesman, and Keith Frazer, a semi-retired industrial electronics control specialist.
Sitting down with the pair, both Mr. Ransom and Mr. Frazer explained why they made the switch to Maxime Bernier's People's Party.
“I've been looking for something different for a long time. With federal politics, it seems like we've been stuck in this vicious cycle of voting one party in, then, when they don't do what we want, we vote the other party in. As time has gone on, both the Liberals and Conservatives have been getting closer and closer to the middle, to the point now where it's almost like we're trading in four quarters for a dollar every time we swap,” Mr. Ransom said.
Born and raised in Orangeville, Chad said he first become aware of the PPC late last year, shortly after former Conservative Party leader hopeful Maxime Bernier launched the right-wing entity.
“I like that the PPC are a straight-shooting party. Our platform and policies are very easy to understand. This is a party for the everyday person,” Mr. Ransom said. “We're going to help out Canadians, put more money into Canadians' pockets and show you exactly how we're going to do it.”
The PPCs platform heading into October's election is based largely on the policies Mr. Bernier lobbied on during the 2016/17 Conservative leadership race. Top of the list on the PPC website is the restructuring of the federal equalization program, which provides payments to each of Canada's 10 provinces and three territories, to ensure that only the provinces with the greatest needs benefit. The Party also vows to take a stand on anti gun-control legislation in a plan it states respects legal firearms owners and targets criminals, while revamping health care across the country, promising to give provinces incentives to deal with wait times and rising costs.
As of the end of 2018, Mr. Bernier claims the PPC had registered 33,800 members across Canada. The Party has formed electoral district associations in all of Canada's 338 ridings and plans to run a full slate of candidates in the 2019 Canadian federal election.
Mr. Frazer noted it was an easy choice to switch his allegiance, away from the Conservatives and over to the PPC. He echoed his belief that Mr. Bernier was a man Canadians could stand behind and be proud of, noting he was exciting about the possibility of representing the party here in Dufferin-Caledon.
“When you look at Maxime's policies, they're realistic. Finally, for the first time, here is someone thinking about the people, not only himself. He is thinking about what people truly need and want,” Mr. Frazer said.
He added, “I've had some good discussions with local residents already, but am looking forward to knocking on more doors between now and the nomination meeting to talk to the voters and learn about the real issues, about the concerns that are effecting them.”
The Dufferin-Caledon PPC has announced its nomination meeting will take place at Tony Rose Arena in Orangeville on May 27, starting at 7:30 p.m. With approximately 150 members signed up, local association President Kevin Gomez admitted there was much work to do over the next few weeks to boost the party's profile in Dufferin-Caledon. With that in mind, a second meet and greet is being held in Bolton today, at 25 Nixon Road, North Unit at 6:30 p.m.
After working closely with Mr. Bernier during his unsuccessful Conservative leadership campaign, Mr. Gomez noted it was an easy decision to defect to the PPC upon its founding in September last year. When asked what, specifically, he liked about the Party, Kevin gave two examples of policies he could stand behind.
“One of my favourite PPC policies is the tax policy. It's so simple – there will be no taxes for minimum wage employees and under, with only two brackets identified from there – that being 15 percent, and 25 percent for high earners. That is going to help so many people in so many ways,” Mr. Gomez said. “I also like that Max wants to balance the budget in exactly two years, and like his general stance on cultural beliefs. Freedom of speech is a big one, not being excited about political correctness another. He doesn't want to give every single group token point just to secure votes. I respect that.”
In the wake of local MP David Tilson's impending retirement and the uncertainty surrounding the local Conservative association following the disqualification of one-time candidate Harzadan Singh Khattra, Mr. Gomez believes there is an opportunity for change here in Dufferin-Caledon.
“We think we have a unique riding. We're realistic, but also enthusiastic about Dufferin-Caledon. Of all the ridings in and around the GTA, we have the best chance of putting a candidate in Ottawa,” Mr. Gomez said. “I'm on a Council with other GTA-area presidents, and they're all saying the same thing. There's a feeling we have one of the best shots, not only in the GTA, but (across the country).”
For more information on the People's Party of Canada, visit peoplespartyofcanada.ca.
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