Eric Duncan eager for second term in SDSG

By Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Eric Duncan eager for second term in SDSG
Eric Duncan, député (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry).

UNITED COUNTIES of SD&G, Ontario – Conservative Party of Canada candidate Eric Duncan has been ready for months for an upcoming election. But he still thinks that the August 15 election call was unnecessary. In fact, it is one of his biggest issues this vote, and one he hears resonating when he is out campaigning.

“The unnecessary election, and the fact that it costs $600 million dollars. People are very frustrated and see this election is unnecessary,” Duncan told The Leader. “I think it’s going to be an issue over the course of the campaign.”

Duncan explained that the election is an opportunity to see who has the best economic plan for the post-pandemic recovery, and he feels his party has it.

“I think about getting businesses re-opened, to be able to hire workers, getting people going to businesses to eat out, we have a plan,” he said. “We can get the economy firing up, which is a big issue locally and nationally as well.”

Some of the issues he campaigned on in 2019 are still top-of-mind for him, but were sidelined because of the pandemic. This includes working on St. Lawrence River water levels, which Duncan said he had made some by-partisan advancements in the last term, and he wants to continue working on it.

“I work with Conservative, Liberal, and NDP MPs that are along the Great Lakes. Having been there for two years and working across the  aisle, I have a very good sense of what we need to do,” he said. “[Water levels] impact everybody. It’s not an easy undertaking. There are a bunch of the silos between [government ]departments. I’ve  got a good handle and I’d like to go Full Throttle ahead to try to make  progress on the water level issue.”

He added that the issues are both from an environmental perspective, and also the economic aspect and how water levels affect businesses that rely on the St. Lawrence River.

Duncan identified the housing cost issues for both buying and renting homes in the region saying that his party’s pledge to build one-million homes in three years will help.

“We’ve committed to building a  million homes over three years and that is in the private sector and getting supply of new homes being built in the country,” Duncan said.

He went on to say that his party will work with provinces and municipalities to cut red tape.

“Conservatives have a very good reputation for that,” Duncan said. “Building faster, increasing supply is the single biggest way to improve options and to make housing prices more affordable.”

He added that his party will provide incentives to build and create rental units as well.

Scrapping the Liberal Party’s $10 per day child care plan, Duncan said that his party’s plan of a 75 per cent tax credit for parents was the better way of providing child care. Before the August 15 election call, Ontario had not yet agreed to the federal government’s plan.

“It’s going to be instant relief for  people right off the bat,” he said. “Even with all the [Liberal] announcements, they admitted they are three-to-four years away from those childcare spaces. People getting that service need it now,” Duncan explained. “Our plan comes into effect immediately, and it is flexible.”

Duncan said that a Conservative government would change the childcare expense option from a non-refundable, to a refundable tax credit. And reimbursement for childcare would be monthly, not yearly, so families would not have to wait long for a refund.

“This is going to be thousands of dollars more in their pockets and make a massive difference right away,” Duncan said adding that home-based daycare providers would be allowed under his party’s plan if elected.

When asked why he should be voted in for another term in office, Duncan said, “I love what I do, and I love the opportunity to represent our community and being out there. I enjoy what I do and I think I have a  pretty good grasp of both local and National issues, and the  pulse of our community.”

Duncan was first elected to North Dundas council in 2006 as an 18 year old candidate. He was elected mayor of that township in 2010 and served two terms in that position. Duncan also served two consecutive terms as SDG Counties warden, and was the former parliamentary assistant to Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry MP Guy Lauzon. Lauzon retired in 2019 and Duncan succeeded him in office. He received 53.9 per cent of the popular vote in the riding in 2019.

This article was originally written for an published in The Morrisburg Leader.

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