Piccini supports Ford

from left: David Piccini and supporters campaigning in Brighton

Article by Valerie Macdonald with images supplied

The local riding PC candidate who supported Christine Elliott going into the four-way Provincial PC Party leadership race is showing solidarity with the elected party leader despite Elliott contesting the election results.

In a statement requested by the News Now Network after it was announced by the PC Party that Doug Ford was the new leader, Piccini said he congratulates Ford.

“This was a hard-fought leadership race and I want to congratulate Doug on his victory,” Piccini stated in the release. “I look forward to working with Doug as he leads our united party into the upcoming election.

“We need to work together to defeat the Wynne Liberals and get Ontario back on track.”

Piccini outlined issues he and his Party have about the direction of the current Provincial Liberal Government in a recent interview with the News Now Network.

Working for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons with the international file focusing on low and middle-income countries, the 29-year-old PC candidate said he has concerns about health care and wants the changes his party will bring if elected.

Bureaucrats are running health care and the Liberals are no longer listening to health care professionals who have the experience, he said. Creation of the Local Health Networks across Ontario has done this, Piccini said. Among the shortfalls under this system is the lack of long-term care beds. The struggle people have in the rural area is harder to see then in urban areas as people travel distances to look after their elderly parents.

“They are just not getting the support of our government,” he said.

Piccini won the local riding nomination against former riding candidate Rob Milligan last September. There is a strong PC membership in Northumberland/Peterborough South, he said and estimated that as of this week there are about 1,600 members. Piccini is contesting this riding in a race against incumbent Liberal MPP Lou Rinaldi, NDP candidate Jana Papuckoski, Green Party candidate Jeff Wheeldon and Trillium Party candidate Derek Sharp.

The provincial election is in June.

Piccini said he has been meeting with people in the riding and the cost of hydro is of great concern to voters especially with those on fixed incomes, he said.

Piccini also said the Liberal’s policies are an “assault on small business” and that “this provincial government no longer is an active partner in the pursuit of greater opportunity, and that’s of concern to me.”

He and the PC party want to attract companies providing jobs and they want to address the skills trade gap.

High hydro rates and red tape means Ontario is not attracting business to Ontario. At the same time, he said the Liberal’s hydro plan (described by the government as cutting about 25% from hydro bills) is just “mortgaging our future for savings today.”

Farmers, too, are struggling with the costs of hydro while its cost is inflated through solar farms that local municipal governments have no real say in, he said. At the same time, excess hydro that is produced is sold off at lower costs to Quebec and the U.S., Piccini said. Both businesses, and individuals like a senior Port Hope couple he met recently, are moving where costs are less. They are being hurt by the Liberal Government, he stressed.

“This kind of thing breaks my heart.”

(This article was changed from the original post to reflect Piccini’s comments on Doug Ford winning the leadership of the pc party.)