Ottawa/Queen's Park




- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

Another Friday, another message from the local Progressive Conservatives.

Last Friday we published Bill Walker's full 1208-word announcement that he will not be running in the 2022 election.  The same afternoon we also published the announcement that Rick Byers would be the candidate for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, with no nomination meeting. Over the weekend, we received local responses to that announcement.

Wednesday morning, the CFOS Roundtable, of which Mr. Byers was a member until this week, discussed the issue and the most scathing rebuke came from Mr. Byers' guest replacement Dave Carr, who called it "a major loss of democracy".

We requested comment from the President of the local  PC rriding association last Friday, but have received no response to date.

Today, a full week after the initial announcement, a form letter was sent in response to PC members' enquiries about the decision to appoint Mr. Byers without a nomination meeting, and how that decision was made. The letter signed by Paul Boulter, local PC riding  president, gives no explanation, but is very clear about who made the decision - "I am aware that this decision by the Provincial PC Party has raised questions by some as to why there was not a full nomination process this time. As noted, this was a decision made by the Provincial PC Party, not the local BGOS PC Association Board."  The full text is provided below.

Doug Ford also appointed the candidate in the riding next door, Simcoe Grey, last June - almost a year to the day before the election, in the middle of a nomination race. There was an appeal by local PC members, petitions, and an attempted lawsuit, but Ford's appointed candidate remains.

Hello PC Association Member,

 I am reaching out to you in relation to recent events that you no doubt have seen regarding the upcoming Ontario election on June 2nd.

As you know, after 10 ½ years of great service to our community, Bill Walker has announced he will not be seeking re-election in Ontario’s provincial election on June 2nd. We all owe Bill sincere thanks for his tireless work for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound and for the significant investments in our communities he and the PC Government have delivered. Whether it is the new hospital under construction in Markdale, long-term care facilities throughout the riding, schools in Owen Sound, Meaford and Hanover or support for daycare, broadband and healthcare, Bill has always delivered for our Grey Bruce community. We cannot thank Bill enough and we will find the right opportunity to ensure he is properly recognized for his great contribution.

With Bill’s news came the requirement for a new candidate to run in June. While the usual approach is to have a local nomination process and membership vote to select candidates, the Provincial PC Party constitution does give the Provincial Party Executive the ability to appoint candidates to fulfill nomination requirements. In this case the Party has used this approach and has asked Rick Byers to be our candidate. You likely know Rick as he as been very involved with our Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound PC Association as Bill’s campaign manager in 2018, as well as past PC Association President and currently as our CFO. Rick has done a lot of work and fulfilled many roles for our Association and now wants to continue that work as our candidate and hopefully as our MPP.

I am aware that this decision by the Provincial PC Party has raised questions by some as to why there was not a full nomination process this time. As noted, this was a decision made by the Provincial PC Party, not the local BGOS PC Association Board. After the announcement regarding Rick was public, I convened a board meeting and we discussed the process the Party had undertaken. I would like you to know the board will fully support Rick as our candidate. Our collective goal is to keep this riding PC blue!

I would like you to know the executive is ready and willing to listen to any questions, comments or concerns you may have. Please forward your comments and contact information to [email protected] and we will do our best to contact you. If you are able to help on the upcoming campaign, you can let us know through the same web address. We would appreciate any help you can offer.

We have all been through a challenging two years with Covid. We need to re-elect a majority Provincial PC Government, with Rick Byers as our MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound to do the important work of rebuilding our economy and creating jobs. Thank you again for your ongoing friendship and support.

All the best,
Paul Boulter
President BGOS PC Riding Association

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Provincial PC Association
PO Box 42, Owen Sound, ON N4K 5P1 | 226-909-0008



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