“We are still searching,” said Jay Woodruff, president for the Glengarry-Prescott-Russell NDP Riding Association during a phone interview. “I’ve had a couple people reach out.”
The riding association has received requests for information on what being a provincial candidate will involve. There is no specific deadline right now for confirmation of an NDP candidate for the GPR but the riding association would like to have a nominee soon to challenge both incumbent Liberal MPP Amanda Simard and Alfred-Plantagenet Township’s mayor Stéphane Sarrazin, who will represent the Progressive Conservative party.
“We are expecting, potentially, an early election,” said Woodruff, adding that the official start for the provincial campaign could begin soon as both the federal and provincial governments ease the public health safety restrictions dealing with the pandemic.
“We are already in election mode,” said Woodruff, regarding NDP readiness to begin campaigning.
He indicated two of the key local issues for the Glengarry-Prescott-Russell campaign will be affordable housing and food security for people with low or fixed incomes.
“There are a lot of people living in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell dealing with housing and food security,” Woodruff said. “Those are two massive issues.”
As an example of increasing concern over affordable housing in both the riding and elsewhere in Ontario, Woodruff cited a social media post he placed on a site devoted to classified notices. He posted a photo of “a broken-down doghouse” under the Apartments for Rent heading to highlight the affordable housing issue.
“It wasn’t a trick ad, it is clearly a photo of a doghouse,” he said. “I have had over a hundred inquiries.”
Some of the inquiries Woodruff has received are from people who understand that the ad was not meant to be serious. But, he added, “the bulk of the people calling just want an apartment.”
If the riding association does not have its own candidate confirmed before the actual provincial election date is confirmed, the NDP head office will appoint a candidate for the riding, even if it is someone who does not live in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell.
Woodruff said that the riding association would prefer to have a local person represent the NDP. Anyone who is interested in becoming a candidate can email him at email@example.com.