DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: A Scugog politician is taking his talents to the Liberal Party of Canada, as he looks to run in the upcoming Durham riding by-election.
Currently the Scugog Island municipal councillor for Ward 3, Robert Rock, was announced as the Liberal candidate, on Thursday, January 4th.
“Robert has a strong track record of public service and delivering for families across the Durham region,” Sachit Mehra, President of the Liberal Party of Canada, stated in a quote from their press release. “In this important by-election, the people of Durham have a clear choice: elect Robert and move forward with our Liberal plan to make life more affordable and build an economy [which] works for everyone in the region, or let Pierre Poilievre and his Conservatives take us backward with deep cuts [which] would hurt the middle class.”
Mr. Rock told The Standard, he’s excited about this opportunity.
“It was something [which] was long thought about and something [which] took a while to consider, to make sure it was a good fit for me, [and a] good fit for the family. Also, from the Liberal perspective, they were able to do a wide search for candidates and came upon the idea they felt as though I’d be a good fit for them. So, it feels great to be in that position and to be in a position to fight for this community.”
Last year, Mr. Rock had announced, he was exploring a run to replace Erin O’Toole, as the Conservative representative. However, he later decided they were not a fit for his views and opinions.
“There was long reflection between that time until we got to this point. I’ve taken a look at the Conservative Party over the summer,” he said. “To be honest, I didn’t see myself, and I didn’t see my kids’ future, in there.”
He noted, one of his concerns about the current direction of the Conservatives is the potential for cuts to social services.
“I think the Liberal government has put a lot of things in place [which are] there to help both my kids and my senior parents.”
He mentioned $10 per day childcare, as one of the platform pieces of the Liberal Party’s mandate which speaks to him. He also stated his concerns about potential cuts to old age security and guaranteed income.
“If those things are cut, a lot of vulnerable seniors will be put in a very difficult position,” he said.
While noting, a lot of people have their opinions on the party’s leader, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Mr. Rock is challenging people to prioritize deciding who the best local voice is, rather than deciding an election based on party leaders.
“Are the candidates from this community, [do they] believe in this community, and are willing to fight for this community? I think that’s a key issue. Often people become focused on leaders, and they focus less on who they are going to send there and what voice and what issues they’ll fight for when they’re there.”
The Durham riding by-election which will decide who the replacement for Erin O’Toole as MP is, has not yet been called. The Prime Minister has until January 30th to announce the date of the by-election.