“If I can get my message to 40,000 doors, I believe I can get the 15,000 votes I need to win.”
Article & images by Ted Amsden
Colborne resident Derek Sharp views his quest to get elected as an MPP in the upcoming June provincial election for the constituency of Northumberland – Peterborough South as quite doable. He plans to clear his afternoons from 4 to 8 p.m. for canvassing door-to-door for support, as well as on weekends
He announced his candidacy at Gilligan’s Pub Monday night accompanied by the leader of Ontario’s Trillium Party, Bob Yaciuk and incumbent MPP for Kanata-Carleton Jack MacLaren.
Both men spoke from the small stage located at the back of the pub before Derek stepped up to the podium.
The tagline for Ontario’s newest party is, “Something Different, Something Better.”
The Trillium Party has about 30 declared candidates and its foundation is set on the inalienable rights of the individual to prevail, Yaciuk said. It was a broad statement intended to make the point that the priorities of individuals take precedence over those of the government. The family unit is seen as an essential element of this belief and “must be protected against unnecessary intrusions by the government” according to a draft copy of the party’s constitution. Additionally, the government must provide for the basic needs of those who are “incapable of providing for themselves.”
There are other aspects but the core operating principle according to Sharp, Yaciuk and MacLaren is ongoing consultation with the public. Through referendums, and getting out constantly to meet with the public during the term in office, the MPP will be able to vote according to each bill, they claim. The party is dead set against “Whip Voting” which is voting according to the party line regardless of an individual member’s opinion.
The Trillium Party is against all Omnibus bills. Bills should be presented in their separate silos and all members should be allowed to vote according to the preferences of their constituents according to Yaciuk.
According to Derek Sharp’s campaign literature and his brief speech: he does not support a Carbon Tax; believes the present Sex Ed curriculum that the Liberal Party brought in with much controversy needs to be re-visited; the government should not be seen as a co-parent; the sale of Hydro One should be halted; and small businesses need to be helped.
Jack MacLaren, MPP for Kanata-Carleton, is viewed as the template candidate of Trillium Party conscience. Elected for the Progressive Conservatives in 2011 and 2014, he switched over to the Trillium Party last year. Since his declaration, he has both voted for and against 6 bills, a fact that he and the others mentioned Monday night proving to his mind and the others present that party members will vote according to their conscience.
Sharp moved with his family in 2015 from Ajax to Colborne. Sharp says of the town, “I love the people, the neighbours, the conversations.”
A stay-at-home dad, Sharp and his wife, Cheri Davis, have three children: Owen, 16, Kelly, 14, and Emily, 3. Experience in retail management provides the training ground for this next phase of his life in politics, he said. Sharpe’s wife works in the auto manufacturing industry.
Recently, he promoted two events in Northumberland that were fundraisers, a wrestling card and a musical legends evening.
The local Trillium Party Chief Financial Officer is Rob MacArthur and the interim president is Cheri Davis.
At present, in the local organization is small, however, that could change once Derek starts knocking on those 40,000 doors.