Bill MacDonald, Liberal candidate for the provincial riding of Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington, celebrated the opening of his campaign office at 88 Gore Street East in downtown Perth on May 12. Numerous members from both the provincial and federal Liberal associations as well as other candidates and Liberal supporters from across the riding gathered for the celebration.
MacDonald is a resident of Central Frontenac and served for 18 years in political office, as a three-time mayor of Central Frontenac, as a Reeve and as Frontenac County warden. He also owns and operates his own forestry, firewood and tree cutting service in Central Frontenac.
He said, “It's absolutely essential that we push the Liberal program forward. I'm a grandfather and I am not doing this for me. We cannot allow the Conservatives to take power and experience again what Mike Harris did back then when I was Mayor of Central Frontenac. Hudak's planned lay off of 100,000 workers will lead to an additional 775,000 layoffs and the fact is that Hudak's announcement last week has turned floods of people toward the Liberal party. The Liberal story, on the other hand is a positive story and that is what we have to push.”
MacDonald spoke of the importance of building the Ontario Pension Plan.
“The Ontario Pension Plan is doable and it is something that we need and the only way that it is going to happen is if we elect a Liberal government. For the first time in a long time I am getting all kinds of indications that this riding can go Liberal but I need and want your help and support to make that happen.”
Regarding specific issues, MacDonald said that he supports lowering electricity costs and he thinks it can be done by removing the delivery charge from hydro bills.
“That charge should be treated like any other infrastructure cost. We do need the new infrastructure but we do not get a bill when a new highway or a new subway needs building. In the same way we should not be getting billed for new electricity infrastructure that needs to be upgraded. We should be able to find an alternative way and time frame to absorb the costs and perhaps put that cost on the general coffers of the province so that we can relieve the heavy costs, especially those being experienced by low-income residents who are forced to choose whether or not they heat their homes or put food on the table.”
Perth Mayor John Fenik also spoke at the event and said he was present to support Bill and welcome him to what he thinks will be MacDonald's “new constituency office.” Fenik said he felt that MacDonald is getting a great response from Perth residents, whom he described as “some of the most progressive, forward thinking and brightest people around and who can see through Hudak's destruction of the economy and the 100,000 planned lay offs.” Fenik pointed to a picture of Kathleen Wynn hanging in the new office and said she possesses the “honesty and energy to carry the day along with Bill at Queen's Park, which is exactly what we need to move this province forward.”
MacDonald's campaign manager, Roger Martin, who is also president of the LFLA Provincial Liberal Riding Association, said that he picked Perth for the location of the campaign office because it is central in the riding; it is a location that is very visible and easy to access and is also a major service Centre for residents in the riding. Martin said he has another team in Napanee and that he and his team will be making appearances all across the riding.
Following the speeches MacDonald said that he is running again for a number of reasons, including the fact that he is not satisfied with the representation that local residents are receiving in the riding. “We have not had a provincial representative from Frontenac County as it sits today since 1962 with Jack Simonett and when it comes to satisfying voters and working for projects within the community we have nobody working for us.”
MacDonald pointed to the fact that there are no long-term care facilities in Frontenac County while there are nine in Lanark and four in Lennox and Addington.