Area doctor challenges MP nomination

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Area obstetrician and gynecologist Gillian Yeates is challenging Conservative MP Kellie Leitch for the nomination for the Simcoe-Grey riding.

“The political climate needs to change,” said Yeates. “I have always strived to be moral and ethical and do right by people and I needed to step up.”

For Yeates, this is her first foray into the political arena. She said she has always been an informed voter but has not been involved in the Conservative Party and it certainly never occurred to her to run, until now. Yeates said the idea of running came in the form of a suggestion from someone else and after a lot of thought and support from her family, she decided to contest the nomination.

She said she had to ask herself the tough question: “Would I be willing to not practice? Because I love my job.”

She decided she could probably scale back her workload and bring in other doctors who are looking to complete their residencies.

Yeates said she could be an MP and work part time unless she had a cabinet post, “but that is a little presumptive at this time,” she said, laughing.

She said she is prepared to take this all the way.

“I don’t do anything if I’m not prepared to do it right,” said Yeates.

Adhering to the rules of challenging an incumbent MP, Yeates has gathered more than the 50 required signatures and is prepared to submit her nomination package to the National Council of the Conservative Party of Canada.

“In our present political environment, there are those who are playing upon fears and advocating protectionism with the result of raising suspicion against people of colour or other religion. I have to say, that’s not okay with me. The Conservative Party needs representation that advocates for social, environmental and fiscal responsibility while having a strong voice in the future of our community. So, this is a time when I must stand up,” said Yeates.

“Stand up to the vilification of hard working entrepreneurs like me who are toiling and saving for the future. Stand up to those who don’t believe in growth and opportunity for all. Stand up to the idea that the only way to grow the economy is by spending way more money than we have. Stand up to the idea that the only way to provide services is to raise taxes rather than spend efficiently.”

Yeates, who has been practicing in Collingwood since 2000, went to Harvard on a hockey scholarship. She said she moved to Canada with her family from Tanzania when she was three years old after racism drove them from her father’s birthplace.

She said Canada accepted them with open arms. Growing up in Brampton, Yeates said she played road hockey with the neighbourhood children and later she was enrolled in a local women’s hockey league and her high school team. She was recruited by Harvard to play goalie on the varsity team. With a degree in biology, Yeates returned to Canada for medical school.

“…Without economic stability, social connections and real opportunities for the future, we cannot have a healthy population,” said Yeates. “I have built a reputation upon equality. I seized the opportunity provided to all Canadians to define their own success by hard work and perseverance. Since I have had this opportunity I want to ensure it is available to all in the future by representing the people of this riding on a federal level. That is what is right by me. That is what I can stand for. That is why I believe I should be the Conservative Party nominee for Simcoe-Grey.”

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