Mac’s Musings: Hard to see how Duncan can lose

Claude McIntosh ~ Mac's Musings
Mac’s Musings: Hard to see how Duncan can lose
Eric Duncan, député (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry).

When Trudeau the Younger (aka The Trust Fund Kid) fired the starter’s pistol to get the election race – the one nobody else wanted – under way, Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry incumbent Eric Duncan was off and running … by himself.

For the next several days he was the only one in the race.

The Liberals, New Democrats and Greens were still looking for someone to put in the race, as if the election call caught them off guard.

It was like, “Hey, anybody wanna run?”

They can forget about catching Duncan. He is miles ahead. Not only is he a formidable candidate, he has one of the best-operated, best-funded riding machines in the country. In 2019, the record showed that the federal association had a nest-egg of $192,277, fourth richest in Eastern Ontario.
(Breaking news! At this writing the Liberals found a candidate after being turned down by what was described as a couple of excellent prospects. He’s former city cop Denis Moquin.)

Duncan was elected in 2019 with a 15,209 majority. There is no reason to believe that the Liberals can make much of a dent. There is every reason to believe Duncan will take at least 50% of the ballots cast. Duncan’s predecessor Guy Lauzon won four straight elections with more than 50% of the vote. Duncan had around 53% in 2019.
Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry has morphed into one of the safest Progressive Conservative seats in the country. Even the Liberal friendly Toronto Star acknowledged that in a recent story on the riding.

In 2011 and 2015 the Liberals had a super star candidate in Bernadette Clement. She didn’t even come close. In her better performance, 2015, she finished 6,600 votes behind Lauzon. That is called a landslide.


– The more I see and hear Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, the more I like him. He is a major obstacle for the Liberals in La Belle Province and that bodes well for the Tories.

– A cynic could suggest that the $500 handed out to the 75-and-over gang was the ancient ploy of a government trying to buy votes with taxpayers’ money. Most of the bank deposits were made the day before the election was called.

– At age 33, Duncan has claimed several political firsts. At 18, he was the youngest person to hold office in the United Counties. At 22, he became the youngest mayor in the United Counties. He became the youngest United Counties warden. And, when he succeeded Guy Lauzon in 2019 he became the youngest MP to represent a United Counties riding. And, he is the first openly gay federal Conservative MP.

– The Toronto Star said the openly gay Duncan has an opportunity to exert a “lasting influence on the Conservative Party.”

– If the Conservatives form the next government, it is a good bet that Duncan will be given a cabinet post. He has a big fan in leader Erin O’Toole.

– The buzz is that the local Liberals don’t expect to do much against Duncan but are setting their sights on taking down Conservative MPP Jim McDonell with someone described as a “crackerjack candidate.”

THIS MONTH CIRCA 1975 – Three Montreal men didn’t have time to spend any of the $9,000 they made off with in a bold afternoon armed robbery of the Bank of Nova Scotia in the Brookdale Plaza. They were arrested by OPP officers Hugh McClements and Chris McDonell near Lancaster just three hours after the heist. The money, two loaded handguns and a sub-machine gun were found in the vehicle. … Cornwall’s first chief administrative officer (CAO) Maurice Engels left for London, Ont. as that city’s commissioner of community services with a staff of 700. Engels would become London’s CAO. During his two-years in Cornwall, Engels had push back from a small group of aldermen not happy with the new system which they believe took away some of their power. … The city was studying a proposal to take over operation of the Summerstown Airport. … Lining up against incumbent New Democratic Party MPP George Samis in the Cornwall and Cornwall Township riding were Rev. Rudy Villeneuve (Conservative) and Madeleine Germain (Liberals). Premier Bill Davis had called an election for Sept. 18. It was a bold move by the popular priest. His decision didn’t sit well with the autocratic Bishop Eugene (Rocky) Larocque. The bishop’s problem was that Father Rudy was more popular among Catholics (and non-Catholics) than the bishop.

Cornwall Police Department extended the deadline for bicycles in the city to be registered after 5,000 owners registered their two-wheelers. There were an estimated 12,000 bicycles in the city. The fine for an unregistered bicycle was $5. … Newly-appointed Crown attorney Don Johnson said the caseload in the local court system had increased from an average of 30 a day to more than 60. Johnson and two assistants prosecuted cases in Cornwall and the United Counties. … Chalet Glass closed its glass-blowing business in the city leaving 36 workers out of a job. It was learned that the two owners had moved back to Italy, … With the help of a $91,000 provincial grant, work on the first phase of the Gray’s Creek Marina was under way. … After pounding the pavement for 39 days, Cornwall Transit drivers were back behind the wheel with a new two-year contract that gave them a $1.48 an hour raise. …. Diane Beaudette, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Beaudette of RR 1 Maxville, graduated from Grade 13 at Tagwi Secondary School with a 97.7% average, the highest Grade 13 average in the United Counties. She was headed to Queen’s University to study physio therapy. … Cornwall Transit introduced the exact fare system. … After neighbours voiced opposition to a much-needed Ontario Housing Authority rent-geared-to-income project at Fourth and Gloucester streets, the project was scaled back to 29 units from the original plan to build 35 units. … Rookie goaltender Tim Bernhardt was showing his stuff as the Royals opened training camp. The Sarnia native was the Royals first-round pick.

TRIVIA This current member of city council was the New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate in the 1995 provincial election, when the riding was called Cornwall-Cornwall Township-Charlottenburgh, and the NDP candidate in the 1997 federal election. Riding was called Stormont-Dundas.

TRIVIA ANSWER Alexandria was first named Priest’s Mills. It was named Alexandria in honour of Bishop Alexander Macdonell, the first Roman Catholic bishop of Upper Canada.

QUOTED – “You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.” – Winston Churchill

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