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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Provincial Liberal leader candidate campaigns with Festeryga

Submitted Photo

by Sylene Argent

While candidates have been busy knocking on doors in an effort to connect with residents throughout the Essex Riding since the 2019 federal election race began, Essex Riding Liberal candidate, Audrey Festeryga, was pleased to have a special guest, Ontario Liberal Leadership Candidate Steven Del Duca, help her canvas the area last Thursday.

  Del Duca last visited the area in 2016 when he joined area dignitaries on a bus ride along Highway # 3 when he was the Minister of Transportation. The ride was an effort to show the province the dangers of driving the road and the need for the remaining stretch, from Essex to Leamington, to be widened to four-lanes.

  “It was a pleasure to knock on doors with Audrey Festeryga today. She is a successful business owner, a community advocate, and a champion for seniors. She will be a fantastic Member of Parliament for Essex,” Del Duca said of his visit to Essex last week.

  Festeryga, following University and Law School, returned to Essex County to raise a family, build a business, and supports the community through working with seniors.

In her official campaign biography, Festergya noted she believes in a transparent government which is not secretive and close-minded. She also believes in a strong healthcare and pension system that protects seniors. The social, ethical, and economic issues, which face the aging population, are of particular importance to her.

Her biography continues that she also believes in a fair government that respects the rule of law and the rights of all citizens regardless of gender, age, faith, race or sexual orientation. She also believes in a prudent fiscal policy, which will stimulate job creation and long-term economic development.

  While campaigning with Festeryga, Del Duca said residents spoke frankly about the need for strong champions who can support Windsor-Essex in obtaining the investments needed to grow a strong and prosperous local economy. He stated residents want someone who has the region’s best interests at heart and that there was clear recognition that Doug Ford’s cuts to services are hurting local communities.

  Del Duca reacted to news that day from the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) of Ontario that released a report outlining there will be 10,000 fewer teachers in Ontario by 2023-2024.

  He added that the news was shocking and believes Essex voters are concerned about a number of issues, including education, healthcare, the environment, and the economy, and “Doug Ford is failing the people of Essex on all fronts.

  “Our education system is in chaos because of Ford’s cuts and the impending labour disruption. Our work to reduce carbon and fight climate change has been replaced by stickers on gas pumps that don’t even stick. It’s a complete failure of leadership.

  “There is a reason Andrew Scheer won’t say Doug Ford’s name out loud – the Conservative record in Ontario,” he claimed.

  Del Duca was the first candidate to register and pay the full $100,000 party leadership registration fee. Since then, he said he has received over 150 endorsements, and has already visited over 100 communities across the province. The Ontario Liberal Party will choose its next leader on March 7, 2020.

  Del Duca noted he wanted to run for Ontario Liberal Leadership because his mom and dad - immigrants from Scotland and Italy respectively - chose to settle in Ontario because they had been told this was a place that provided all newcomers with opportunity. 

  The greatest lesson they taught their children, it was noted in an email to the Essex Free Press from his office, is that hard work and tenacity, mixed with real opportunity, is an absolutely unbeatable combination. But for too many people in Ontario today, opportunity remains elusive and out of reach.

  Del Duca believes Ontario can be so much more than what it is today. He wants to create real opportunity for everyone, and he is running to be leader of the Liberal Party because now more than ever, Ontario needs a leader who will be relentless in the pursuit of progress, his office noted.


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