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Mac’s Musings: Duncan on his way to big win

Claude McIntosh ~ Mac's Musings
Claude McIntosh.

When it comes to Monday’s federal election and Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry there are two sure bets: Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry will not be sending an incumbent to the House of Commons and Eric Duncan will succeed Guy Lauzon as the riding’s Conservative MP.

It is not a question of if the 31-year-old Duncan, a political whiz kid who got elected to North Dundas council when he was an 18-year-old student, will win; the question is by how much?

It will be by a whole bunch. It will be in landslide territory. Good chance it will be north of 50%.

After upsetting long-time Liberal incumbent Bob Kilger in 2004, Lauzon turned the riding into a Conservative fortress, one of the safest Tory seats in the country. It is the same with the provincial Conservatives and Jim McDonell. They own the riding. McDonell was re-elected last year with 61.51% of the vote while the Liberals finished a distant third behind the NDP. That had the old Liberal guard spinning in their graves.

The Liberals have struggled in the last five federal election campaigns. They hit rock bottom in 2011 with just 17.9% of the vote (Lauzon had 62.1%), barely holding off the NDP. In 2015 with Bernadette Clement running a strong campaign they rebounded to take 38.54% of the vote, but still finished 6,639 votes behind Lauzon. It wasn’t something to celebrate.

There is no reason to think the Liberals will improve from 2015. A strong showing by the NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh coming down the stretch might help the local candidate and take away from Liberal Heather Megill.

The down side to a Duncan victory, he would be cabinet material, is that the chances of the Conservatives forming a majority government are slim. The NDP will not support a Conservative minority government and already have one foot on the Justin Trudeau bandwagon. May and the Greens, as with the NDP, would prefer crawling under the political sheets with Trudeau and the Liberals. But hey, what about the Bloc Quebecois, making a comeback in La Belle Province, sidling up to the Tories? Politics can make for strange bedfellows.

FROM THE VAULT

Plans for a large commercial and residential development on 15 acres of land on the southeast corner of Pitt and Thirteenth streets were moved by the planning board to city council for approval on Oct. 15, 1965.

The developer said the project would be developed in several phases, the first a shopping centre with a large department chain store and food giant Steinberg as anchor tenants.

Another phase would construct 25 residences.

Industrial Commissioner William Anderson urged city council to approve the planning board’s recommendation (it passed by a single vote), pointing out that city could be “missing the boat” if it denied or delayed approval.

He believed that if turned down the developers would move the project to the township on the city’s doorstep.

Commercial assessment in the city, he told council, was more than what it received from the industrial base.

In short, he said they were talking a lot of money (assessment) and jobs.

Council approved the project but it never got off the ground.

Steinberg built a store in a strip mall on the former CPR property at Sixth and Sydney streets and later moved to Cornwall Square.

ALSO THIS WEEK IN 1965 – Parish pastor Msgr. James Wylie officially blessed the new school in St. Andrew’s, St. Joseph’s School. The school had 333 students and 13 teachers. It was operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph. Sister Regina was principal. … Duncan McDonald, president of the new legion Branch No. 611, asked city council for a $10,000 grant to help it set up. He pointed out that when Branch 297 started the council of the day gave it a $40,000 grant. … Found guilty of stealing a car and driving it into Cornwall Canal two teens received to 12-month jail sentences. … The 1964 census showed that Cornwall’s population had grown to 45,631 from 44,048 in the 1961 census. In that period the city had 10,044 births and 2,000 deaths. The projected population for the end of 1965 was 46,380. … At an election rally for Liberal incumbent Lucien Lamoureux, Guy Favreau, president of the Privy Council, said that if Stormont re-elected Lamoureux he would be named Speaker of the House or given a cabinet post. … Cornwall Property Owners and Taxpayers Association had 826 members. … Standard-Freeholder carriers Grant Scott and Vincent McAlear were presented with Canadian Circulation Managers Association certificates for their outstanding service to customers. … A Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) official told a Cornwall General Hospital membership meeting that a move to regional hospital boards would need regional union representation. … Mike Dorey scored three touchdowns as St. Lawrence High School Saints defeated South Grenville 22-2 in an EOSSA senior boys’ football game. Andy Petepiece and John Poirier had one TD apiece. … Cornwall College Classics dropped a 25-20 decision to Notre Dame in a Quebec Interprovincial Football League game. Pierre Guindon, Bill Haley and Ray Gatient had touchdowns. … Dave Sunday of St. Regis was named most valuable player in the Seaway Junior Lacrosse League. Terry Burgess of Miller-Hughes Mustangs was top goaltender, Mark McAlear of St. Andrew’s top scorer and Richard Thomas of St. Regis was coach of the year.

TRIVIA This Pitt Street restaurant which opened in 1913 was destroyed by fire in August 1972.

TRIVIA ANSWER Canadian country music super star Shania Twain had a summer home at St. Regis Falls, about a half-hour drive south of the Canadian border. Actually, it was a little more than a home. It was a 3,000-acre estate that sold for $9 million. She sold after feuding with the Adirondack Park Agency over construction of buildings on the estate and a recording studio which the agency said broke zoning rules. Twain, a native of Timmins, was a major contributor to the local fire brigade and supplied the local school with a new sound system.

QUOTED “When a man tells you he got rich through hard work, ask him ‘Whose?’ ” – Don Marquis

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