Provincial NDP leader Howard Hampton, in town to address the International Association of Machinists AGM, dropped by a Stratford restaurant on the weekend to talk to local riding association members.
About 20 members of the riding executive and election planning committee crowded around a large table at Joe's Diner to share ideas and to raise issues that are important to the community, states a press release. Past candidates Jack Verhulst and Keith Dinicol along with provincial candidate-hopeful Donna Hansen participated. Dave Jasper, Labour Council president, filled in Hampton on the job losses and plant closures in the area.
After spending an hour or so with the group, Hampton said he felt the underlying theme of the discussion was the issue of fairness and gave as an example the MPPs' recent, immediate and hefty pay raise as opposed to making hard-working Ontarians wait three years for a significant raise to the minimum wage.
"In the NDP's view this is, simply put, unfair," states the press release.
"With an election around the corner, it was wonderful to have this time with the leader, to exchange ideas and information in a relaxed setting and to get a glimpse of the campaign ahead," said Donna Hansen, candidate for nomination. The nomination meeting will be held June 14 at the upper Optimist Hall.
Hansen said, "For nearly four years we have watched as the Liberal McGuinty government broke promise after promise. Dalton McGuinty has kept the citizens of Ontario waiting for more affordable housing, significant raises to Ontario Works and ODSP and for clean, safe power generation. I have grown impatient with our provincial Liberal government and, for that reason, I have decided to seek the nomination to run for the NDP in Perth-Wellington in the October provincial election."