DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard
KAWARTHA LAKES: Tom Regina has been named the Green Party of Ontario’s Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock candidate for the provincial election. Mr. Regina is a longtime Haliburton resident and a former teacher. “As a teacher in a rural community, Tom has seen the challenges faced by many families regarding equitable access to housing and transportation as well as employment and recreational opportunities,” Mr. Regina’s bio on the Green Party website reads. He is also described as “a founding member of the Green Party Constituency Association for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock.” However, Mr. Regina told The Standard he was a little surprised he had been chosen. “I’m much more of a background support kind of person in the way I like to do things. I started out a few years ago exploring how to just do some volunteer work in the riding for the Green Party,” he said. “It just seemed to snowball, to be one thing after another. It’s just kind of an escalation, and I’m surprised to find myself in that position. The people [who] I know, when I talk to them, they go ‘oh, well great, good for you. I’m surprised you would do that.’” Mr. Regina joins incumbent Conservative MPP Laurie Scott and the NDP’s Barbara Doyle as candidates in the riding. “The riding, I suppose, is one that may be considered a safe riding. However, this riding, in the past, has delivered some very surprising results,” Mr. Regina said. He pointed to the time in 2009 when John Tory lost a by-election in the riding as an example. Mr. Regina is passionate about the issue of electoral reform. “I know there is strong support for electoral reform, particularly for proportional representation,” he explained. In a proportional representation election, political parties would be given seats based on the percentage of votes they received across the province or country in that election, rather than based on what candidate received more votes in a certain riding. For example, if one party received 40 percent of the popular vote, they’d be given 40 percent of the seats.