Ontario PC Party Leadership Candidates In Wingham

From L to R: Lisa MacLeod, Vic Fedeli, Patrick Brown and Monte McNaughton on hand in Wingham vying for leadership of the Ontario PC Party.

Wingham was the host of candidates hoping to replace Tim Hudak as the leader of the Ontario PC party.

MPP’s Lisa McLeod, Monte McNaughton and Vic Fedeli along with MP Patrick Brown were at the Knights of Columbus Hall while fifth¬†current candidate, Christine Elliot, was unable to attend as she was in Ireland receiving recognition on behalf of her late husband Jim Flaherty.

Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson hosted the event that gave each candidate a chance to present how they would turn the party around after a crushing loss in the last election.

That’s what brought Patrick Brown into the race. He has been an MP for Barrie and not involved in the PC’s previous campaigns. He hopes his federal experience can help.

“I’m tired of seeing our party lose,” says Brown before giving his speech. “I’m part of the successful federal government of Stephen Harper and we have seen our plurality grow each election.”

Vic Fedeli says it is about changing the party’s identity into something that puts the people of Ontario first.

“It’s not about ideology, it’s about doing the right thing for Ontario,” he says.

Fedeli along with MacLeod were also vocal on the future of wind turbines in the province and said they would continue to fight against them.

All four candidates present in Wingham agreed that a change of ideas, and a change of decision making is needed in the party.

McNaughton says if he becomes leader, everyone in the party will have a voice.

“I want all party members to vote on the next platform before it is released to voters,” says McNaughton.

As the MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex,  McNaughton spent part of the summer touring all 107 ridings. He says keeping already held territory, such as midwestern Ontario, is important for the party.

“It’s most important to start where we are strongest and spread across the province,” he says.

Despite a lot of negativity surrounding the party following the loss to the Liberals in the Spring, there is still a lot of pride among MPP’s.

Lisa MacLeod says the future is bright and all that is missing is the solid leadership.

“I think the party has a opportunity to restore itself to its former greatness,” she says. “Once we do that, we can rebuild Ontario.”

The new provincial Progressive Conservative leader will be will be elected in May next year