Cornwall ON – The Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry Federal NDP riding association nominated community activist Mario Leclerc as their candidate for the next federal election at their nomination meeting on Feb. 23 at the Navy Veterans Club in Cornwall.
Leclerc, a resident of Cornwall, is employed by Service Canada in Cornwall as payment officer. Leclerc also serves as President of the Public Service Alliance Canada (PSAC), President of the Canada Employment and Immigration Union (CEIU) local 621, and as an executive member of the Cornwall and District Labour Council.
He has served as President of TV Ontario/ TFO Advisory board and as a member of the Ontario Criminal Injury Compensation board.
The fluently bilingual NDP candidate lambasted the federal Conservative and Liberal Governments of the last 27 years and their right wing , corporate agenda which has created a rapid widening of the gap between the rich and the poor and the erosion of the middle class in Canada.
Leclerc stated: “In 1979 in Canada, the average CEO was making about 25 times more than the average worker. Today in Canada, the average CEO is making 250 times more than the average worker. This is shocking isn’t it!”
Leclerc praised the NDP under the leadership of Jack Layton for introducing measures that will create good jobs, make life more affordable for ordinary Canadians, improve pensions, Employment Insurance, and public healthcare, expand access to post-education and training, protect the environment, and eliminate corporate tax cuts.
Leclerc told the crowd that locally he will work to attract good jobs such as green collar jobs, high tech jobs , and the decentralization of federal government jobs from the National Capital Region to our riding and to improve municipal infrastructure. He also pledged his support for expanding the Cornwall Regional Airport in Summerstown and building a new Arts Centre in Cornwall. He said that he will work to reduce the high level of poverty in the riding and to build more affordable housing for families and seniors. Leclerc stressed: “We must provide greater assistance to agriculture and our rural communities to grow and prosper.” He applauded the work of the Winchester District Memorial Hospital to establish a Centre for Rural Health and Education.
Leclerc stated: “After 27 years of Conservative and Liberal rule and their corporate agenda, it’s time for change. It’s time for the NDP.”
The Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry Provincial and Federal NDP riding associations elected their executive members for 2011 at their joint annual general meetings on February 23 at the Navy Veterans Association in Cornwall. Former Cornwall Mayor Brian Lynch was elected as President of both the SDSG provincial and federal NDP riding associations.
Lynch said that 2011 will be a busy year for the two local NDP riding associations as they prepare for a federal election as early as May 2 and the provincial election to be held on October 6.
Lynch stated: “We are fortunate to have a federal candidate of the calibre and enthusiasm of Mario Leclerc to represent the NDP in SDSG. We are making plans to run a strong campaign with Mario highlighting the progressive platform of the NDP under the leadership of Jack Layton, a leader you can trust.” Lynch said that the federal Liberals have been propping up the right- wing, undemocratic, unaccountable Harper Government for the past five years. He stated: “There is very little difference between the Conservatives and the Liberals. In fact, we have had a Conservative-Liberal coalition since 2006. It’s time for a change. It’s time for a party that puts people first.”
Re. the preparation for the October 6 provincial election, Lynch indicated that the provincial riding association’s candidate search committee has been talking with prospective candidates during the past few months. He said that a provincial nomination meeting will be held in late spring after the expected federal election. Lynch told the provincial AGM: “With the McGuinty Liberal Government in disrepute and with the Hudak Conservatives set to turn the clock back to the Mike Harris days of slash & burn, we in the NDP are well positioned to make major gains in the October 6 provincial election. We have the dynamic leader in Andrea Horwath. We have the progressive NDP policies that put people first, that will protect and create good jobs, and that will make life more affordable for everyday people by removing the HST from hydro and home heating bills.”
Also elected to serve on the 15 member local NDP riding associations’ joint executives were Elaine MacDonald as vice president; Paul Aubin , recording secretary; David Denneny, chief financial officer; Diane Besner, membership organizer; Madeleine Lebrun, women’s representative; Carilyne Hebert and Patrique Brisson, youth representatives; Trevor Tolley, Bill DeVries , Claudia Peel, Pierre Rochon, Deborah Jodoin, Darlene Jalbert, Mario Leclerc members-at-large. Brian Lynch and Carilyne Hebert were also elected as the local NDP provincial councillors