Fresh start for Simcoe-Grey

 In Opinion

Conservative Party of Canada members have the responsibility of choosing a nominee that properly represents the party and the riding because there is an overwhelming likelihood that that person will become the next member of parliament for Simcoe-Grey.

MP Kellie Leitch has not made herself available and has had a standoffish relationship with the media. As residents, we didn`t really get to know her.

She is happy to promote her awards programs or slam the Liberals’ budgets but is less than forthcoming on other topics.

When she embarked on her party leadership campaign of Canadian values testing for immigrants and the Not My MP campaign was underway, a large banner was draped from her Collingwood constituency office one night.

For example, we asked would Dr. Leitch like to make a statement regarding the banner that was hung at her Collingwood constituency office last night?

We got this curt answer: The following quote can be attributed to Kellie: “Freedom of speech is a Canadian value.”

We keep hearing about how she has a lot of local support but we always got the impression that she had her sights on Canada’s top job and that her focus on local representation came second.

In 2011, this reporter predicted that she would be Prime Minister. That if she played her cards right, she would be top dog before we knew it. So much for those predictions but it would have been very cool to have been to say that the MP for Simcoe-Grey was Prime Minister. This reporter even thought there was a chance she could hold onto her nomination despite being challenged by two worthy opponents, when party members vote for their nominee.

But she didn’t play her cards right and she has said she won’t seek re-election, which means, unless she makes a political comeback at some later date, she won’t be the first Prime Minister representing Simcoe-Grey.

The only time that we didn’t elect a Tory was when the Reform Party split the vote and Liberal Paul Bonwick was elected. He was one of the most personable and accessible MPs this riding has had in the past two decades.

Even Helena Guergis, who one could argue also felt picked on by the media at times, was more open to the media. She gave personal interviews after that scandal had come to pass, whatever the motivation.

Our humble advice to politicians running for the nomination – and whoever wins is sure to be our next MP – stay real and keep a firm grasp on the community, even if that means making oneself available to the local media from time to time.

Presenting oneself as a neighbour and a community member goes a long way to win the trust and affection of the community. We may not agree on the party politics but we can work for the betterment of the community through good representation.

We are looking forward to a fresh start in 2019.

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