Progressive Conservative MPP candidate for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, Jim McDonell “enjoys working with people.”
During a phone interview with the Leader on September 16th, McDonell said that he’s “been involved in community for many years (and he’s) talked to a lot of people.” He admitted that it’s “exciting to get out there.”
He went on to reveal, that people are “not asking (government) to do a lot, just for a fair deal.”
McDonell would like to “encourage people to follow basic principles. It’s the whole basis of Canada – work hard, play by the rules.”
He credits the lack of this attitude in government for pushing him into running for MPP.
It “bothers me that I see things misrepresented (and) things that are not good for the community happening.”
McDonell shared that he comes from a small town and he sees that what the government has been doing is “not a smart way of doing things.”
Among other issues, he refers to the decreased service in rural areas, the loss of businesses in rural small town areas, and the migration of rural population to bigger cities in the hunt for work.
McDonell believes that the main issue in this area of Ontario is “unaffordability.”
He recognizes that “income is much less in this area. Things are a little tougher around here.”
“There’s a higher percentage of seniors on fixed incomes. The majority have no pensions.”
“Their children and grandchildren are not getting work locally. Schools are closing because there are no kids to put into them.”
McDonell also sees the apprenticeship program’s current restrictions as an issue for voters in this riding. He believes there will be “a huge shortage of labour in the future but (the current government) is not looking at a program that allows (for the need.)”
McDonell said that the ratio for apprenticeships should be “1:1 instead of 3:1” for craftsmanship jobs such as electricians, plumbers and brick layers.
He maintains that , for example, most brick layers today are around the 65 year age range.
Discussing how he would make things better for the local constituents, McDonell referred to his party’s plan to remove HST from home heating. He also mentioned the debt retirement charge, lowering income tax, and income splitting for couples.
In addition to these money saving plans, he also stated that his party plans to “remove a lot of the red tape” from government services. He stated that there is a “target of 30 per cent” and if the party doesn’t meet the target, then “ministers will take a cut in pay.”
McDonell wants to “make government less complicated.” He is “committed to making government more open to the public.”
When asked what makes him the right choice for voters in South Dundas, McDonell stated, “I’m dedicated and committed to our community.”
Also, he “has a practical sense on how to do things.” He refers to his farming background and rural roots, saying that he is “someone who can relate back” to the people in the rural areas of his riding as well as those in the urban areas.
McDonell says that he wants to “stop the withdrawal” from the rural small town communities.
When asked about the issue of poverty, he replied that he would “focus on getting jobs for a good portion of the population.”
When asked about character, in terms of integrity, responsibility, and accountability, McDonell stated: “I don’t make promises I can’t maintain.”
Tim Hudak joined McDonell for a campaign rally on September 19th at the Ramada Inn in Cornwall.