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Redekop seeks MPP’s post in October

The Ridgeway Herald special web release May 19, 2011 edition

Touted for years as a potential candidate, former mayor Wayne Redekop plunged into the fray and will seek the nomination for the New Democrats for the upcoming election.

Wayne RedekopMaking the announcement at the Italo-Canadian Hall on Wednesday night, it was the same venue where he announced his retirement after three full terms as Fort Erie mayor in 2006.

“I am not seeking the nomination so that we can all say the party put in a good showing in the election,” he said. “I intend to win.”

Redekop has met with success in every endeavour to seek elected office. He was chosen to represent Ward 1 as councillor in 1991. He stood aside for the municipal election in 1994, but returned to defeat incumbent mayor John Teal in 1997. He was acclaimed to the position in 2000 and beat councillor Bill Brunton for the mayor’s chair in 2003.

Seeks changes at provincial level

Redekop brought with him a lengthy list of reforms he will seek from the provincial government if elected.

Foremost on his agenda is to reinstitute full emergency services at Douglas Memorial hospital.

“It makes sense to do because it will lessen the burden on Greater Niagara General and because it is the right thing to do,” he said.

“We have heard far too many stories from and about individuals who have been ill-served by our health system to wait for further evidence before taking action.”

He said the Niagara Health System should be investigated to determine why it hasn’t been able to do its job for the past decade.

“There should be fewer administrators and more front-line health providers,” he said. “We should scrap the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs).”

If he is successful in gaining the nomination — and there is no apparent reason why not since he is the highest-profile and experienced candidate the party would have ever fielded in the riding — he would be up against current Liberal MPP Kim Craitor and Niagara-on-the-Lake grape farmer George Lepp who will carry the PC banner in the Oct. 6 election.

As the elected MPP, Craitor was the de-facto candidate-in-waiting for the governing Liberals and nominated April 9.

Lepp was chosen over former Fort Erie town councillor Sandy Annunziata in November. In was a bitter battle that saw a contingent of Annunziata’s opponents from Fort Erie block his bid for the nomination.

Among the anti-Annunziata crowd at the nomination meeting who were originally behind Arlen White were former councillor and defeated mayoral candidate Ann-Marie Noyes, councillor Bob Steckley, former councillors Richard Berry and Brunton, Joy Russell of the Yellow Shirt Brigade and others.

When White was out-polled on the first ballot, they threw their support behind Lepp who won on the second ballot.

Redekop’s health-care platform includes providing resources for the elderly to remain in their own homes, encourage healthy life styles for young and old and ensure providers are available to meet the needs of communities.

“We need to roll back the HST,” he said. “It makes no sense to tax essential goods and services no matter what sleight of hand you use to pretend that the exercise does not hurt families.”

He also said policies to assist small businesses should be implemented “and look for ways to provide relief from the high dollar, tight credit and endless regulation.”

Electricity rates are too high and more effort should be placed on alternative generation and end coal-fired generation.

Education at all levels should be enhanced with more resources devoted to teaching and reducing the cost to students for post-secondary education, he said.

Protection of natural heritage is important and so is encouragement of growth and development. “They are not mutually exclusive,” he said.

“We should insist that provincial ministries have coordinated policies so that policies are not contradictory or confusing.”

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  1. Mike Cloutier | May 27, 2011 | Reply

    CONFIDENTIAL TO TAMMY — the email address you provided does not exist. Please resubmit your comment with a real address and your full name.

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