Many hours of door knocking and hand-shaking ahead
By Mark Newman, News Staff
It’s a sure sign of a spring election.
Campaign signs have sprouted up on lawns all over the provincial riding of Hamilton Mountain.
NDP incumbent Monique Taylor has been campaigning and moving into her new home in the Lawfield neighbourhood.
She doesn’t hesitate to defend the party’s decision not to support the Liberal government’s budget even though the spending plan had been deemed very NDP-friendly.
“We just didn’t trust them,” said the 41-year-old mother of one. “There were more than 70 promises in that budget; they couldn’t keep three from the last campaign.”
Taylor said climbing hydro rates and jobs are the issues she’s hearing about from voters and that the public should see her as a neighbour who is part of their community.
“When I go to Queen’s Park I know I’m speaking the voice of the community,” she said.
Over at his central Mountain campaign office Liberal candidate Javid Mirsa prepares for another day of campaigning.
“I take my civic duty very seriously,” said Mirza, a west Mountain resident, who has been running his own sporting goods company for the last 30 years.
“I really believe that our Mountain needs a voice (at Queen’s park) and I think I am that voice,” said the 54-year-old married father of two.
Mirza said he’s been hearing two main issues when knocking on doors, the NDP’s failure to support the Liberal budget and concerns about public transit.
Mirza said he would like to see enhanced bus service to build a ridership base before moving to a light rail system in Hamilton.
Albert Marshall vows to fight hard for Hamilton Mountain if voters send the Progressive Conservative candidate to Queen’s Park next month.
“I don’t give up, I fight and fight until I get things done,” said the 48-year-old married father of three. “This city deserves better.”
A lawyer turned businessman, Marshall said jobs and school closures are among the major issues voters are raising at the doors.
He also doubts a Tory majority government would gut Ontario labour law as some union supporters have claimed.
“I don’t believe the party would do that for a minute,” he said. “I would never support that.”
Admitted political novice Greg Lenko is the Green Party candidate.
The 45-year-old single dad, former broadcaster and registered massage therapist is perhaps best known for organizing hundreds of volunteers for The Escarpment Project, an annual clean-up of the green space along the escarpment that began three years ago.
“I am honest, I have lots of integrity and I’m a guy who likes to get things done,” Lenko said.
The east Mountain resident agreed environmental issues have not received much traction so far in the election but he expects that to change.
“I think it’s going to become more relevant in the future because there’s a huge trend right now toward the environment and it’s just growing,” said Lenko, who would like to see provincial legislation limiting urban sprawl in Hamilton.
“Hamilton has to grow up rather than out,” he said.