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Horwath has high praise for Gélinas in election-style meeting

By: Darren MacDonald - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Mar 16, 2014 - 3:35 PM |
Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas, who is the NDP's health critic, was formally nominated Sunday to run for the party in the next provincial election. Photo by Darren MacDonald.

Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas, who is the NDP's health critic, was formally nominated Sunday to run for the party in the next provincial election. Photo by Darren MacDonald.

NDP leader says Ontario ready to elect 'more New Democrats'

The longest pre-election campaign in recent memory took another step forward Sunday afternoon, when Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas was officially named the New Democrat's candidate.

Gélinas, who has represented the riding for the last 6 ½ years, joined about 50 supporters at Steelworkers Hall for the event, which included remarks by Leader Andrea Horwath.

“France is a proven leader,” Horwath told the crowd. “She knows how to get results … As a health critic, I couldn't ask for anyone more dedicated or skilled than France.”

Horwath then turned her attention to the anticipated spring election, telling party supporters that the NDP is gaining momentum in the province.

“Everywhere I go, I'm hearing the same thing: Ontarians are ready to elect even more New Democrats,” she said. “And the fact that you're here shows you believe change is possible.”

After she was nominated, Gélinas said it was “heartwarming” to receive such a vote of confidence from across the riding.

“I'm very grateful for the support I get from the people,” she said. “The roots of the NDP are very deep in Nickel Belt.

“I'm there to support them … and people seem to be satisfied with what I do.”

Horwath has said she will vote against the Liberal budget in the Ontario Legislature this spring if raises taxes on the middle class. Premier Kathleen Wynne has recently said she'll remove tax increases she had planned to include from the budget, making a spring vote less certain. But Gélinas said it was important for the riding to prepare for an election, whether it happens this spring or not.

“The riding association wanted to be ready,” she said.

As supporters walked around wearing bright orange T-shirts with, 'Team France' emblazoned in white on the front, the meeting had an election feel to it, with many local and federal party supporters on hand. Nickel Belt MP Claude Gravelle was there, as was Sudbury MP Glenn Thibeault, while Ward 3 Coun. Claude Berthiaume was one of the movers to nominate Gélinas.

“We're lucky to have this individual as our candidate,” Berthiaume said.

Also on hand were several party supporters who are running for seats on city council in the Oct. 27 municipal election, including Wyman MacKinnon, who emceed the event.

Notably absent was Ward 1 Coun. Joe Cimino, who is the party's candidate in Sudbury. Gélinas said Cimino told her some time ago he wouldn't be able to make it because of an important family commitment on the same day.
Darren MacDonald

Darren MacDonald

Staff Writer


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