The Garden City Refugee

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An Ugly Battle

March 16, 2024

I was delighted to learn recently that fresh, new candidates are stepping up to run for the CPC nomination here in St. Catharines, namely Hayden Lawrence and real estate agent Kim Schwenker. It is further confirmation that the shrinking violet otherwise known as Krystina Waler has indeed left the building. And good riddance, if you ask me. These new candidates can only be an improvement.

And this past week, I learned that a third candidate has entered the fray in the person of regional councilor Peter Secord. One of the people on his campaign even called me asking for my support for Secord’s nomination for the “PC Party.” That the federal conservatives haven’t been known as the “PC Party” since the late Brian Mulroney was its leader is apparently of little consequence. Equally inconsequential is the fact that my CPC membership expired nearly a year ago. I’d have to dig into my pocket to renew that membership in order to vote in this race, something, despite the trivially low cost, I have little inclination to do. But when you’re a politician, you need to pursue every possible vote, wherever you can find it.

At first, I was pleased to hear that he was running. I voted for him when he ran for mayor in 2014 and again when he ran for regional council in 2022. Were I still a CPC member, I’d have been inclined to support him once again.

That is, until I listened to more of the message his rep left for me.

He said Secord needs supporters to get the nomination to run against “people we don’t like.” “Out-of-towners and younger kids,” he added.

Hmm, I thought.

Someone who has got the most political experience, as the rep later said, should be a little more cognizant of the fact that running a campaign based on badmouthing others in his own party isn’t going to win many brownie points. He is the one candidate who should be most aware that Chris Bittle and Justin Trudeau are the enemy. Not his fellow conservatives. Even if those fellow conservatives are political neophytes. Stick to highlighting your own strengths. Save the personal attacks for Bittle.

Clearly, the local CPC nomination is shaping up to be a battle.

And judging from the tone of the call I received, it’s going to be an ugly one.

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