SDG – Local provincial Liberals held their nomination meeting April 23rd in Cornwall acclaiming Heather Megill as their candidate for the upcoming June 7th election.
Megill was the only candidate to run for the Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry nomination for the Liberals, in the hopes of challenging incumbent Progressive Conservative MPP Jim McDonell. She announced her candidacy in March.
“I am excited to be the Liberal candidate,” Megill told The Leader. “I feel the Liberal message is a really solid one for the community.”
The meeting was held at the Cornwall Legion with about 50 supporters and members in attendance.
Former SDSG MPP Jim Brownell made the formal motion to acclaim Megill as the candidate.
Megill acknowledged the uphill climb she has taking on an incumbent, and with Premier Kathleen Wynne’s low approval numbers but she is undeterred.
“It’s important for an MPP to be seen in all parts of the riding,” Megill said. “I intend to knock on as many doors as possible in the riding.”
She explained that her focus for the campaign will be on representing the riding, and the positives of the Liberal platform.
“Take OHIP+ and the upcoming addition of those 65 and older,” Megill said. “The Liberals will remove the co-pay and the deductible.”
She added that she hoped that the program would help put pressure on the federal government to create a universal pharmacare program for all Canadians.
As a teacher, Megill’s interest in local schools is at the forefront, touting the province’s move to creating community hubs.
She told The Leader that the benefit coming out last year’s accommodation review process was looking at more ties between schools and the communities they are in. To date, no formal community hub has been created in SDSG, however community partnerships have been started.
“Seaway and Ross Video is a good example of this,” Megill said. “The solution of moving the Grades 5 and 6 students from Williamstown to Char-Lan is another.”
She said she believed that the rural and northern school funding would be continued past the 2018-19 school year if her party was re-elected.
“When I am MPP, I will fight to see it continue,” said Megill.
She said she would like to see additional Student Support Workers and Educational Assistants added “throughout the whole education system.”
To bring more jobs into the riding, she said that she wanted to see more work done to bring in and retain tourism investment, along with building on the success of programs like the Cornwall Innovation Centre.
She would also like to see an expansion of the courses offered at St. Lawrence College.
“I want to be able to have our kids be able to grow up here, be educated here, and then have reasons to stay here.”
Voters in Ontario will head to the polls June 7th.