DAN CEARNS, The Standard
SCUGOG: Current Scugog Ward 3 Councillor, Robert Rock has thrown his hat into the ring to be the Durham riding's federal Conservative candidate.
Councillor Rock is the second person to announce his candidacy to replace outgoing MP, Erin O'Toole. Jamil Jivani is also seeking candidacy.
"I really felt this community deserved someone who is from the community and cares about the community, and, is currently working in the community," Councillor Rock told The Standard, regarding why he's seeking this position.
In addition, Councillor Rock said, if he does end up becoming the MP for Durham, he would focus on "issues that matter to this community. Issues around affordability, issues around [the] supply chain, issues around responsible gun ownership. Also I, personally, have a background working in the nuclear industry. So, I would want to be a strong voice for the nuclear industry in Ottawa."
Councillor Rock stressed, he is "always looking out for what is best for this community."
"My whole focus in this election is being a voice of the people," he explained.
He further stated, he would continue to serve Ward 3 as its representative on council, while taking part in the nomination process, but added, participating in a by-election may be a different story.
Councillor Rock explained, "When we get to the point of a by-election, if I am successful in gaining the nomination, I'll have to make a determination on my ability to continue in the role of councillor through that time period. I always want to do what is best for the residents." He said, if this happens, he could ask for a leave of absence if need be.
In late March, Mr. O'Toole announced he would be resigning his seat, "at the end of the Spring session." He has held the role of Durham's MP since the 2012 by-election victory.