The Progressive Conservatives are hoping two strong hard-working women will end up as MPPs at Queen’s Park after the June provincial election. Sandy Bellows, who recently received the nomination for St. Catharines and April Jeffs, who this past weekend opened her campaign office in Welland, are looking forward to the long hours and tough demands of a provincial campaign.
Both women say they are hearing the same message from voters in their respective ridings – it’s time for change. That was the message Jeffs heard at the opening of her campaign office at the Fitch Street Plaza in Welland. “The energy in this room today shows me that people are motivated and eager for a new government – a government that works for them – not against them,” Jeffs said.
Jeffs said she has knocked on doors across the riding for months, which includes the municipalities of Welland, Thorold, and Port Colborne, and part of the City of St. Catharines, and hears a consistent message. “What I am hearing is a strong desire for change, not only in the provincial government but also in the riding,” explained Jeffs. “I am hearing loud and clear a frustration with having an MPP who is a member of the third party, doesn’t have a seat at the decision making table and carries very little influence to get things done for the people of Niagara Centre.”
In her remarks to supporters and community leaders, Ms. Jeffs said her candidacy in the provincial race represents the appetite for a significant change in Ontario under the leadership of Doug Ford. “Doug Ford is a strong leader with a vision for a strong Ontario that we can all be a part of – and be proud of once again,” she said. “As the MPP for Niagara Centre, I will have a strong voice in caucus – to bring the needs and the concerns of the people of this riding forward.”
In St. Catharines, Bellows secured the nomination on April 9. She came close to upsetting long-time Liberal MPP Jim Bradley, who has held the seat since 1977, two elections ago. After her narrow defeat Bellows told the media then, “This girl is not quitting.” She’s back.
Bellows, an outspoken victim rights advocate and current St. Catharines City Councillor said that garden city residents are looking for a new voice after years of costly choices by Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals.
“As a City Councillor, mother of two, and dedicated community volunteer, I know that St. Catharines families are struggling to make ends meet. I believe St. Catharines needs change and that the Ontario PC Party will make life more affordable for everyone”, said Bellows.
“The Ontario PC Party will make childcare and electricity costs less expensive for families and lower taxes for residents, businesses and entrepreneurs,” added Bellows.
Bellows noted that in recent years, many people in Niagara have been encouraging more women to run for elected office. “I look forward to their support, and their vote, so that as a community we can ensure that more strong capable women are elected to these important roles.”
Bellows and Jeffs can have some confidence as polling in the Niagara region has been positive for the PC candidates and their new leader Doug Ford. Both the Ontario PC Party and Ford as best choice for Premier comfortably lead across the Niagara ridings. But the PC’s have been in that position before. It will require a strong central campaign as well as good local candidates that finally put them over the top this time around.