Public service was never far from my 25 years working in the family resort business. My father served in municipal Councils in Orillia Township in the 60’s and 70’s. I worked as a volunteer in the Simcoe North riding association, provincially and federally from 1979 onward and I challenged provincial nomination contests for the Provincial PC Party in 1987 and 1999. After serving the Township of Severn as a Councillor from 1999 to 2003, I learned how public service could bring valuable and measureable results to the residents of my community. After the 2004 federal election, and the merger of the two federal Conservative legacy parties, the opportunity to run for office federally presented itself and I won my first M.P. mandate in 2006.
I believe governments are instruments for common benefit – where we can unite a culturally and linguistically diverse population towards a common sense of purpose that is distinctly Canadian. We all win when our differences are bridged and our collective visions are realized. This unity through diversity gives us the strength to lead global change – and be a beacon in economic, democratic and institutional security.
The guiding principles around public policy, for me, are found in fostering free markets, innovation, and guiding private and public investment. Making personal responsibilities a virtue in society, protecting public safety, defending our sovereignty and using the tax dollars entrusted to us wisely and frugally must be core mandates of our elected governments, at all levels.
Our system of government allows citizens to choose the people and the party that they feel can best manage all of these issues and demands. It is a system that is not without its faults, but it has served Canada well for more than 150 years. Canada is among the happiest societies on the planet for a reason. It is not that we don’t have critical problems to face; it is that we take up that challenge honestly, in an organized way, and always with a good sense of humility.
The day-to-day political conversation in Canada can often seem divisive; almost petulant, especially when it is dominated by attacks along partisan lines. In my opinion, that kind of exchange masks the genuine sense of purpose found in every Member of Parliament, regardless of Party, to do what they believe is best for the people they represent. I have the greatest respect and appreciation for vigorous debate and alternative approaches, with confidence that the best ideas will be honed in the process.
In the years since I was first trusted to be your M.P., I have used the customer service approach, learned from decades in the tourism business, to solve problems, help attract record federal investment, and provide services to the people of Simcoe North. In this effort, I have my outstanding office staff to thank for the thousands of completed cases each year. There is a tremendous sense of accomplishment in serving the people in our riding. People here appreciate even the slightest steps you take to help them. They represent the most generous and civil a community as one could ever hope to represent. The people in this riding make me proud to represent the riding, each and every day. With your support on October 21, I look forward to continuing this important work.