April 12, 2017 · 0 Comments
By Mark Pavilons
With unbridled passion and a commitment to the middle class, a Kleinburg entrepreneur feels the time is right for change in Ontario’s political landscape.
Stephen Lecce is not only the PC standard-bearer in King-Vaughan for the next provincial election, he wants to be one of the harbingers of change. Lecce earned the local nomination with a high vote of confidence recently, and just days after his victory, he began visiting King and knocking on doors.
He worked very hard to earn the nomination and demonstrating his commitment to fight for his constituents. After 15 years of Wynne Liberals running the show, change – particularly generational change – is needed. Large sectors of the population are being “pinched” by Liberal policies, to the point where people are struggling, in every nook and cranny of the riding.
Lecce said he’s spoken with residents who “did everything right” their entire lives and tried to live debt-free, only to be burdened by the Liberals’ skyrocketing hydro rates.
Public service, he said, is an honourable calling and he wants to improve the integrity of public office. His will be “a voice of common sense” and he wants to bring the message that “hope and change are on the way.” He also wants to see more transparency in government.
“We can do better,” he said. “I want to raise the bar in public service.”
Among his chief issues are affordability, taxes, hydro rates, accessible health care and leveraging the skills of Ontario workers.
“My pledge to you is to make affordability a centrepiece of my mandate – from lower hydro rates to lower taxes – so working families can make ends meet.”
Lecce pointed out that Ontario has the second highest tax rates for individuals and businesses in the country. We have the highest debt levels in history and the highest electricity rates on the continent.
The current atmosphere in Ontario makes it increasingly difficult for young people to live the dream in this province and Lecce said he and the PCs can offer solutions to many of these pressing issues.
One of the biggest paradoxes is that Ontario suffers from skill shortages, yet has the highest youth unemployment rate.
“We need to take corrective action,” he said, adding we have to create an attractive investment climate and retain the best minds in well paid jobs.
Our future, Lecce observed, is being mortgaged and he finds this level of intergenerational debt “reprehensible.”
Ontarians need a champion who’s willing to talk about the issues and we need to remove the waste in bureaucracy and health care and direct more money to the “front lines.”
Lecce is also keen on preserving Ontario’s cultural and historic heritage. There is no better time to conserve our history for the future than in Canada’s 150th anniversary year.
The son of European immigrants, Lecce is driven by a strong work ethic and pride in Canadian democracy. He has been to countries where free speech is rare and that makes him even more bent on taking politics to a whole new level.
The unacceptable and wasteful Liberal policies should energize voters.
“We can’t be complacent,” he said. “We have a duty to protect our strengths.”
Lecce finds PC Leader Patrick Brown to be a pragmatic leader who’s optimistic, with incredible energy.
“Life is hard under Wynne, but the PC message is one of optimism, not pessimism,” Lecce stressed.
“My hope is that people are ready for change,” he said, adding he plans on travelling throughout the riding getting to know constituents.
Lecce is eloquent and accomplished, having served as director of media relations and chief spokesperson to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and was responsible for enhancing cross-government communications. He has worked in domestic and international markets, and co-authored and executed strategic plans on high-stakes projects, including successive national budgets, free trade agreements, human rights initiatives, international summits and Canada’s combat mission against the Islamic State. Moreover, he has a record of advancing Canadian economic, trade and security’s interests abroad, including at the 2015 G-7 Summit in Germany, and in bilateral missions to Ukraine, Italy and Poland.
While managing core responsibilities in the PMO, in 2014 Stephen concurrently assumed the additional duties as interim chief of staff to the Ministers of National Defence and Veteran Affairs, demonstrating a result-oriented, hands-on acumen managing a large staff, multi-billion-dollar budgets, piloting sensitive projects from inception to completion, and strengthening the reputation of the Ministry.
He operates Northern Narrative, a public affairs management firm, specializing in business development and communications counsel to companies and organizations across the country.
Lecce was accepted to the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law Global Professional Masters of Law executive program, while concurrently focused on local and national service initiatives in the City of Vaughan where he was raised and continues to reside.
For more on Lecce’s platform, visit www.facebook.com/stephenlecce or email him at LecceCampaign@gmail.com