MP Terry Dowdall, in it to win it
Incumbent Conservative Simcoe-Grey MP Terry Dowdall said he is planning to run a full bore election campaign even though there are limits due to the pandemic and time constraints due to the short election period.
There may not be any debates planned but Dowdall said his team is knocking on doors and hammering signs every day with the help of lots of volunteers.
“We’re working like we’re in last place,” said Dowdall – even though Simcoe-Grey is widely considered a Conservative stronghold.
What he is hearing at the door is that people don’t think this is the time for an election. He says the Conservatives were being very cooperative and the Liberal minority government was functioning well so there was no need for an ill-timed and costly election.
“For us, this is a very important election,” said Dowdall. “I think we are at a crossroads in society and we need to make sure that coming out of Covid, we have a strong economy and the next generation has the opportunity that we did. You always hope the next generation will do better but unless we change the path that we are on, I see more people falling behind so I’m hoping that they’ll vote us in and really concentrate on helping Canadians.”
Dowdall won the Conservative nomination in 2018 and was elected to his first term as MP in 2019 after MP Kellie Leitch announced she would not seek reelection. The shift to federal politics following an 18-year career in municipal politics, serving in Essa Township with his last post being mayor.
Reflecting on his first two years as MP, Dowdall said there were a lot of firsts for him and his staff as they navigated the onset of the pandemic in Canada. He estimates the office was getting ten times the amount of calls than usual. He said it was a time of worry for his constituents but it enabled him to really connect with many different people in the riding, starting with Canadians stranded abroad, who needed help getting home, and continuing with businesses and individuals looking for supports.
When asked if there were any parts of the Conservative platform he disagrees with Dowdall said, “I am extremely pleased with the platform, there really is something in there that hits the concerns that I am hearing from people.”
His highlights include lowering the cost of living, jobs, doubling disability benefits, GST-free Decembers, doubling health transfer payments to the province, converting unused government buildings to affordable housing. To replace the CERB, the Conservatives are proposing a 50 per cent wage subsidy for new hires to get people back to work. Dowdall hopes this will help address an employee shortfall in entry level restaurant, tourism and hospitality jobs.
So far, Elections Canada lists Dowdall and Christian Heritage Party of Canada representative Ken Stouffer as confirmed candidates. The Green Party of Canada has announced it will field Collingwood Collegiate Institute teacher Nick Clayton as its candidate and last week we featured the People’s Party of Canada and their candidate, Adam Minatel.
Election Day is Monday, Sept. 20.