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By Mark Pavilons
Following in the footsteps of one of the longest serving MPPs in history isn't easy.
But Caroline Mulroney, the PC candidate in York-Simcoe, will certainly try.
Mulroney was named the candidate during a lively and well attended nomination meeting at the Georgina Ice Palace on the weekend. She hopes to carry on the tradition set by Julia Munro, who will not be seeking re-election in 2018.
Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown was on hand at the event, electrifying the crowd of party faithful.
“I congratulate Caroline on her nomination as the Ontario PC candidate for York-Simcoe.
“Caroline is a fantastic addition to our modern, inclusive and pragmatic Ontario PC team. Caroline has an extensive resume of experience at investment firms and as a lawyer. She is also the co-founder and chair of the Shoebox Project, which delivers gifts to women and girls in homeless shelters.
“Caroline understands the importance of public service, and I know that she would do a fantastic job filling the shoes of Julia Munro as MPP. I have no doubt that Caroline will work extremely hard to ensure that families in York-Simcoe pay less and get ahead.
“After 14 years in power, life is harder with the Liberals. Ontario families are working harder, paying more, and getting less. It's time for a change.
“In York-Simcoe and across the province, the Ontario PC Party will continue to work hard for a better future. I look forward to working with Caroline as we share our message of change for the better.”
Mulroney, during her acceptance speech, said it's been quite a journey travelling through the riding.
Addressing her family name, she admitted that Ben Mulroney is her brother. “Some of you have asked how I can think being ‘Ben's sister' qualifies me for public office?”
Since putting her name forward just over five weeks ago, she's been making calls, knocking on doors and selling memberships and today, “I am officially your candidate thanks to the hard work of so many people in this room and in this great riding.”
She praised her team of volunteers who have spent early mornings with me at the GO Trains in Bradford and East Gwillimbury, meeting voters in Keswick and the Holland Marsh, and late nights on the phone, calling neighbours. Who have come with me to the Sutton Fair, Bradford Carrotfest, local farmers' markets, and organized so many events.
“You are the bedrock of our party, and the key to our future.”
She also extended her thanks to MP Peter Van Loan, who gave up many days this summer taking her across the riding.
“Peter is a model for parliamentarians and community leaders everywhere.”
Mulroney took the opportunity to showcase Munro's 22-year career.
“She is the longest serving female MPP in Ontario's history, and blazed a trail for women like me,” she said.
She touched on her parents, who instilled a strong work ethic in their children.
“My father got into politics because he cared about Canadians. He wanted a better Canada for all of us. His example has guided me and he has inspired me my entire life, none more so than today, as I officially take this step.” Her father is, of course, former prime minister Brian Mulroney.
For the past 20 years, Caroline has had a career in law and business. She began the Shoebox Project that operates across Canada, helping at-risk girls, women and mothers.
“When I was a teenager, I would visit with my mother what were called at the time ‘battered women's shelters.' This had a big impact on me. Meeting women who had fled their homes and sought help in shelters across this country.
“The Shoebox Project allowed me to reconnect with the realities I learned when I was young and it showed me the absolute best in people – the breadth of generosity in the Canadian spirit.
“But it also showed me that there is so much work left to be done, to build a province that works for everyone.”
People, she said, want a great place to raise their families, opportunities for their children, a clean environment, and a place to build their own happiness. They want government that helps, not one “that gets in the way.”
She criticized the Liberal government, noting they've made life harder for Ontarians.
“Homeowners are suffocating from skyrocketing hydro bills. Families are drowning in taxes. Businesses are tangled in red tape. And generations to come will bear the burden of footing the bill. This Liberal government is not working for us anymore.”
This government, she charged, is “covering its ears, making decisions that benefit them in the short-term while hurting all of us in the long-term.”
“We need is a government that listens to us. I've been listening. And from people in towns across York-Simcoe I hear the same thing. People want the freedom to work and live the life they choose, without government making it so hard for them.
“That's why I want to be your next MPP.
“That's why we need Patrick Brown to be our Premier and the PC Party to form our government.
“We want an Ontario that's the engine of Canada's economy. An Ontario where the most vulnerable are protected. An Ontario where you, and your hard-earned money, are treated with respect. An Ontario that's the best place in the world to live, work, and play.”
She asked volunteers to step forward and help in the local campaign. “I will work tirelessly to ensure the best days for the people of York Simcoe are the days to come.”
Excerpt: Following in the footsteps of one of the longest serving MPPs in history isn’t easy. But Caroline Mulroney, the PC candidate in York-Simcoe, will certainly try. Mulroney was named the candidate during a lively and well attended nomination meeting at the Georgina Ice Palace on the weekend. She hopes to carry on the tradition set by Julia Munro, who will not be seeking re-election in 2018.
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