CORNWALL, Ontario – In a phone interview with Cornwall Seaway News Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry, explained that he was confident his party would be ready for the coming provincial election.
The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party was flipped upside down last month when their leader Patrick Brown unexpectedly resigned after unproven allegations of sexual misconduct emerged.
McDonell was out of the country when the political scandal surrounding Patrick Brown started to unfold.
With less than six months until the Provincial election, the Ontario PC Party, which had been ahead in the polls was suddenly without a leader. The party quickly appointed MP Vic Fedeli and started a leadership race which will select a new leader by early March.
So far there are three candidates vying to replace Patrick Brown. The candidates are former PC MPP Christine Elliot, venture fund manager Caroline Mulroney and former Toronto Mayoral candidate Doug Ford.
Ultimately, McDonell said that he felt that Patrick Brown made the right decision in stepping down.
“It’s unfortunate when anything like this happens,” he said. “The court of public opinion doesn’t let you go through and fight it.”
He explained that his party already has their platform set, McDonell himself has already done public consultations in his riding to determine some of the priorities of his constituents.
“Everywhere we went we heard people talk about the cost of electricity and the cost of living,” said McDonell.
McDonell also gave some insight as to what he would be looking for in the next Ontario PC Party leader.
“I want somebody smart and someone people can really get behind,” he said. “The leader is the one who is out there front and centre.”
He said that he knows Christine Elliot, having served in the legislature with her already and that Caroline Mulroney has been to party candidate meetings as of late, but that he had not met Doug Ford other than at brief encounters at some speaking engagements.
McDonell said that he felt that Ontario PC supporters should feel confident as the party heads into the 2018 provincial election.
“We chose Vic Fedeli to be interim leader,” he said. “he’s been very systematic in the way he’s done things. We’ve sat back and have taken stock and now we’re moving ahead whereas the other side we see scandal after scandal.”