On September 16th, Liberal candidate Mark A. MacDonald spoke with the Leader to discuss the upcoming October 6th election.
MacDonald revealed that he has “always been politically aware.” He believes that “everything is political. Every move that we make from stopping at a stop sign.”
MacDonald says that he “knew something wasn’t right” politically when “at a very early age, dad lost his job” and, subsequently, his father’s “license plate was removed from the car” to identify the change in status.
He adds, as a matter of interest, that “we were one of the first families to live in social housing in Cornwall.”
In terms of what he feels is most important to the constituents in his riding, MacDonald believes that “the economic situation is driving everything at this time.”
He claims that “Ontario is leading the way with our economic policies” and that Ontario’s “education system is ranked fifth in the world.”
MacDonald strongly encourages everyone to “look at the news and judge for yourself. The facts speak for themselves.”
He also claims that in terms of the environment, “Ontario’s policies are getting looked at.” He added that “David Suzuki is backing the liberals.”
In following MacDonald’s plea for self-education, an exploration of the David Suzuki Foundation website reveals: “Besides its platform, a governing party will also be judged on its record, and a fair assessment of both the Liberal platform and record would call them good but mixed.”
The David Suzuki Foundation website blog goes on to discuss the advantages and disadvantages for each of the parties, but doesn’t appear to come out in favour of one over another.
MacDonald, who believes that the riding is approximately “fifty per cent Cornwall and fifty per cent rural, claims: “I have a sense for rural issues as well.”
In discussing how MacDonald and the Liberal party plan to address poverty, he chose to discuss the Poverty Free Ontario debate at the Agape Centre in Cornwall on September 15th and, more specifically, the Do the Math Challenge where he agreed to take part in the challenge to eat from a food bank hamper for five days.
In support of his claim to good character, MacDonald stated: “Everybody you meet has an issue. I generally find that if I can meet people face to face I can at least steer them in the right direction.”
Prior to the interview, MacDonald held a press conference to discuss municipal uploads.
He told the Leader that he felt compelled to speak out because of certain events at a recent council meeting in Cornwall.
A September 16th press release explained: “A recent decision by Cornwall City Council to postpone discussion to hire a city firefighter, until municipal budget deliberations, illustrates the need for the province to continue its upload of costs from municipalities.”
In the same release MacDonald claimed, “Fortunately, under a Liberal government, municipalities – like Cornwall – can be assured that the province will continue to upload costs from them, which will free up room in their budgets to invest in local priorities, such as hiring a firefighter.”
During the phone interview with the Leader, MacDonald said that this particular issue “strikes at the very heart of the campaign.”
He believes that it is important to “take pressure off municipalities to pay their bills.”
In terms of why he should become this riding’s next MPP: “I’m passionate about the job that I want to do and I want to do the best job I can possibly do and I want to be the best representative that I can possibly be for you and your family.”
In response to an inquiry about whether Premier Dalton McGuinty plans to make an appearance, MacDonald stated: “As of yet we have not received any information in regards to him visiting the riding.”