ST. ANDREWS WEST, Ontario – Caroline Mulroney, a candidate for leader the Ontario Progressive Conservative (PC) Party made a campaign stop in St. Andrews West on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018.
The event was organized by Stromont, Dundas and South Glengarry Conservative MP Guy Lauzon and was held at Quinn’s Inn.
While introducing Mulroney, Lauzon remarked how the inn was first built in 1865 by Ontario’s first Premier Sir John Sanfield MacDonald and how MacDonald was buried just a few feet from where he was speaking in the cemetery across the street.
Eric Duncan, Mayor of North Dundas and former Conservative Party staffer remarked that it was only decided on Wednesday that Mulroney would visit the riding.
“They asked me if we could get 30 people together by Friday,” Duncan joked to a packed house.
Part of the crowd was made up by a group of New Yorkers from Lake Placid having a late afternoon lunch at Quinn’s Inn who did not expect to be caught up in a sudden political event.
Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry PC MPP Jim McDonell was present and said that he would be listening carefully to what Mulroney had to say.
“What I’ve seen of her I think she’d be great, she’s a fresh face,” he said, but admitted that he had not yet decided who he would vote for as next PC leader.
Mulroney spoke to the crowd about how she felt that life in Ontario was becoming unaffordable, that the province had sunk too far into debt and criticized the current Liberal government for what she characterized as an adversarial attitude with business.
“We have to get back on track,” she said. “So I’m putting my name forward. I know I’m the only one who can beat Kathleen Wynne.”
She went on to say that businesses across the province do not want a government working against them.
She also joked about the issue around her name, and being the daughter of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney .
“Some people think I’m Ben Mulroney’s sister and because of that I shouldn’t run,” she joked.
Ben Mulroney is her brother and a former host of Canadian Idol.
Before finishing her address to the crowd Mulroney made a point to state in French that she is the only current candidate for the leadership who is bilingual.
After she was finished speaking, Guy Lauzon endorsed Mulroney as a leadership candidate.
“Make sure you go out and support this young lady,” he said.
Mulroney is currently in a four way race for the PC leadership with former MPP Christine Elliot, former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford and Tanya Granic Allen, President of Parents as First Educators.
The new leader will be chosen on March 10, three months ahead of the June 7 provincial election.
Mulroney will be running in the York-Simcoe riding in that election.