THUNDER BAY – Candidate’s Ledger – Firstly, I would like to thank and applaud the team at NetNewsLedger for making this forum available to the candidates. I look forward to writing many columns in the subsequent months as we move through the provincial campaign. You are providing a wonderful tool to the people of the Northwest.
As this is my first of what I expect to be many postings to the Candidate’s Ledger, it is probably most appropriate that I provide a little background regarding who I am and why I am running in the upcoming provincial election.
My family moved to Thunder Bay in 1981 from Northern Quebec. I attended Agnew H. Johnston Public School, then onto Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate, and ultimately Lakehead University, where I graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science in 1993.
The majority of my professional career has been in the technology sector, most notably close to nine years with Research In Motion (RIM), where I was Vice President of Global Sales. I had the good fortune of joining what was then a relatively small company (approximately 400 employees when I joined), and enjoyed the ride so to speak as the company grew from a small, niche technology company to a global leader and one of the worlds most recognized brands with the BlackBerry.
One of the most exciting aspects of my time at RIM was not just being a part of the company, it was also being a part of the region of Waterloo, and watch the region grow and benefit from the innovation that was happening at RIM. I strongly believe that the Northwest can learn from the past ten years in Waterloo, and begin a transformation for this region. Being a part of the growth within the region of Waterloo and learning from this success is one of the key reasons why I have ultimately decided to run in this falls election.
In 2007, I formed a partnership with another gentleman who is proud to call Thunder Bay his hometown, Keith McCullough.
Keith and I formed Ice Edge Holdings in 2008 originally as a holding company to purchase an NHL franchise. However, since our first conversation, our goal has always been to bring a world-class professional hockey franchise to Thunder Bay.
This has been a passion for both of us and we are convinced that good news will be coming to the city in the coming years on the professional hockey front.
I have had strong ties to the community for over 30 years, most recently as a member of the Lakehead University Board of Governors. My mother continues to live in the city and is a registered nurse working at Roseview Manor. My father was a foreman at Cargill Grain up until his death in the mid 1980’s.
Earlier this year I met Tim Hudak for the first time, and was immediately impressed with his plan, his energy, and most importantly, his knowledge of and vision for the North. Tim strongly believes in the future of the North, but he also knows that so many things need to change for the potential to be truly met. This was on full display last week when Tim was in Thunder Bay and introduced Changebook North, which you can access at www.changebook.ca/north. I suggest you take a few moments to review this document, which is the result of real, direct consultation with those of us that live in Northern Ontario.
I think it is imperative for residents in the riding to know what I stand for, what the PC Party of Ontario stands for, and most importantly, what it will mean for you and your family. I urge you to become engaged.
The biggest mistake we can make is vote a certain way because it is what we have always done. Believe it or not, I have changed my vote in the past, and it has been because either the candidate or the party has resonated with me.
I am happy to say that I feel the incumbent in Thunder Bay Superior North is indeed a very nice gentleman. I do like Michael. The reality is I have a problem with his party, and most importantly his leader Dalton McGuinty.
We simply cannot afford another four years of Mr. McGuinty. I think if you take the time to review Changebook North, you will agree that the PC Party of Ontario is the best choice for Northern Ontario.
I look forward to writing these columns, but most importantly talking with as many of you as I can to discuss what is important to you and your families.
If you would like to follow me on Twitter, please go to www.twitter.com/leblancpc, or you can friend me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/leblancpc. Lastly, you can contact me directly via my website at www.leblancpc.com.
My plan is to help you make an informed decision regarding my candidacy. Therefore, when you arrive at the ballot box on October 6th you will feel confident when you cast your vote for myself and the PC Party of Ontario and our leader Tim Hudak, and you will do so because you are certain it is the best choice for positive change.
Candidate, PC Party of Ontario
Thunder Bay Superior North