A letter is being circulated to Progressive Conservative supporters.
It's from Douglas Judson of Emo, who says he's ready to step aside, so Greg Rickford can be acclaimed as the nominee for Kenora-Rainy River. The nomination meeting is expected next weekend.
Rickford had previously served as the federal minister for Natural Resources in the Conservative government under Stephen Harper.
Rickford was on hand to greet provincial Tory leader Patrick Brown in Kenora, and the former federal cabinet minister said a few words to supporters.
The Liberals took the Kenora riding, as Justin Trudeau swept to power. New Democrat Sarah Campbell holds the seat provincially, but the riding is set to be split into two parts for the next provincial election.
The legislation passed at the end of October at Queen's Park will result in a total of four ridings in Northern Ontario, where previously there were two. They include the newly-created riding of Kiiwetinoong, which will be formed from the northern part of Kenora-Rainy River in the northwest.
While Kenora, Dryden and Vermilion Bay will remain part of Kenora-Rainy River, Sioux Lookout and north will help form Kiiwetinoong.
An election is expected for June of 2018.
The letter being circulated:
On November 18, we will choose the person who will become the next MPP for Kenora-Rainy River. That’s the day local PC members will nominate Greg Rickford to be our candidate in the June 7 provincial election.
That’s right – I am writing to let you know that I have decided to withdraw from the race to be the PC candidate. I am absolutely delighted to do so, because Greg will be an exceptional representative for our region.
Greg is a true progressive conservative who understands the unique challenges and issues facing Kenora-Rainy River, and his career has been dedicated to getting results for Northwestern Ontario. Greg was a distinguished member of Cabinet in the previous federal government, and I have no doubt that he will be an effective champion for our region at Queen’s Park.
You’re among the first to know because I would not have been able to put my name forward without your support. Many of you will have received notices of the nomination meeting taking place in Dryden, and it was important to me that you knew what the business of that meeting would be, should you choose to attend.
I entered this race to show that young people had a role in the future of our communities in Kenora-Rainy River, and to help build the modern, inclusive Ontario PC Party of Patrick Brown. I am proud of the outreach and engagement my campaign has achieved since last May, and the new interest in the Ontario PCs that it generated in the Northwest.
This will be the first provincial election with our new electoral boundaries – the old Kenora-Rainy River having been split into a smaller Kenora-Rainy River in the south and Kiiwetinoong in the north. These new ridings present a real opportunity for our communities to have a strong voice in government.
In the weeks and months ahead, Greg will be touring the riding to meet with as many constituents as possible. I encourage all of those who have offered their support to my candidacy to help us make Greg Rickford the next MPP for Kenora-Rainy River!
P.S. Both Greg’s nomination and the founding of the new Kenora-Rainy River PC Riding Association will take place at the meeting on Saturday, November 18. For those interested, the meeting will start at 12:30 PM at the Best Western at 345 Government Street in Dryden. To participate, you must have had a valid Ontario PC Party membership as of November 3. Questions about the meeting can be directed to [email protected]
(Note that the annual meeting of the Kenora riding federal Conservative association will occur beforehand, at the same location, at 10 AM. Contact [email protected] for more information about that meeting. A schedule for the full day is available here.)
For more information: