Ken Scmidt named Liberal nominee for Essex MPP riding

By Joel Charron

The Liberal party has named Ken Schmidt as the person who will run for MPP in this October’s provincial election.

The retired ERCA general manager beat out Essex/Kingsville public school trustee Julia Burgess for the spot last Wednesday at the St. Nicolas Macedonian Centre.

A total of 331 Liberals casted their votes, with no ballots ruled invalid. The final voting results were not disclosed.

Schmidt took the podium to address his supporters shortly after being appointed the nominee. Schmidt told the room that he was pleased with his nomination and looks forward to addressing key issues during his campaign, such as the economy education and the environment.

Schmidt stated that the Liberals have not yet made their message clear for the upcoming election but said the public will know of their message in the following weeks. He believed it would be a message that voters will support.

“We have a great message and a great track record as a Liberal government,” he said.

Along with outlining, the Liberals policies, Schmidt said he plans to clear up “misconceptions” and “misinformation” other candidates are saying to the public.

“We will be building on the success of Bruce Crozier, we will be building on the success of the Liberal government and we will be building on the success of everyone here,” Schmidt claimed.

While the Conservative have already named Dave Brister as their candidate and Taras Natyshak taking the reins for the NDP, Schmidt believes he has no reason to play “catch-up.”

Julia Burgess congradulates Ken Schmidt shortly after being named the Liberal’s nominee for the Essex MPP riding last Wednesday night at the St. Nicolas Macedonian Centre.

“Some of the opponents have been out there for sometime. I’m not sure if that has been helpful given some of the positions and some of the signage issues that have created controversy,” he said. “Now is a good time to develop our strategies and release the policies of the Liberal Party.”

Schmidt predicted the Essex riding will “remain a Liberal riding” however, mentioned that they have their work cut out for them.

“This campaign is going to be a difficult one. There is no question about that,” said Schmidt. “We are coming as a team with many, many partners.”

The new Liberal nominee noted that McGuinty government has “weathered difficult times” but pointed out that wait times are down and high school graduations rates are up.   He also pointed out that Ontario has 900,000 new jobs including more teachers, doctors and nurses.

Schmidt said the PCs have “a $14-billion hole in their platform” and questioned what “deep cuts” would be planned to programs and services in the province. He said dismantling the Green Energy Act would cause a “widespread loss of jobs.”

He also added that the NDP platform would result in $9 billon in new taxes for Ontario residents.

Schmidt thanked Burgess for bringing out more Liberal supporters and stated he looks forward to working together to achieve success.

Schmidt and Burgess were given the chance to sway voting Liberals in their direction before the two-hour voting session. Burgess pushed her record on the Greater Essex County District School Board and her work with the youth and poverty reduction. She said if the Progressive Conservative were to return to office, she fears a Mike Harris –style government.

“I cannot go back to the Mike Harris days. That period was very, very dark and a mean spirited government where there was crumbling infrastructure and not enough doctors or nurses,” she said. “”It’s not any different with Mr. (Tim) Hudak now.”

Schmidt mentioned that any help he would receive from the Crozier family is welcome, however noted he and his campaign will be respectful of them with the late MPP having died suddenly June 3.

One response to “Ken Scmidt named Liberal nominee for Essex MPP riding”

  1. Gerry Rivest says:

    As a lifelong liberal and farmer in south east Leamington,I cannot beleive that a person such as Mr Smidt who showed no respect whatsoever for the farm community who be picked by the Liberal party as their representative.Its the end of an era for my famil,my friends and myself.Time to make a move!