Liberal candidate Joe Gowing trying to stem the tides of change
IF NEXT WEEK’S TRIP
to the polls is, in fact, the change election opponents of the Liberal party have suggested, then Liberal candidate for the Kitchener-Conestoga riding Joe Gowing has the onerous task of defending the status quo.
A former trustee on the Waterloo Catholic District School Board with professional experience in finance and a mortgage specialist, Gowing is hoping to bring his set of skills and experiences to Queen’s Park.
“Basically what I bring in is I have the election experience, I have the political experience, I’m going to bring in my financial side,” says Gowing, a resident of Kitchener. “I believe in the social services, but we also need to be financially responsible, and those are the two areas that I want to bring into the government, for sure.”
Stay the course may be the message, though Gowing adds that the Liberal party will see changes with an influx of new and young MPPs running in this elec- tion. The party’s core philosophy, and the direction it is taking to grow Ontario is ultimately the best for the province, says Gowing, drawing a careful delineation between the mounting deficit concerns and drastic cuts.
“Realistically, we have the plan. We have the better plan to continue to grow Ontario, and I know that again with my background in finance we’re going to stick to our plan, but we also have a plan to get into the black with our debt,” he says.
The Liberal’s Fair Hydro Plan, which has drawn flack from rival political parties, and some criticisms from independent government watchdogs like the Auditor General of Ontario and Financial Accountability Office, was nonetheless the best course of action for the government to take, argues Gowing. Ontarians needed relief from the high price of electricity.
“As a mortgage specialist, when somebody ... comes to me with debt problems, living paycheque to paycheque [they] have cash flow issues,” says Gowing. “And realistically that’s what everybody in Ontario was having. Cash flow issues with the hydro bill. So what the government did is exactly what any financial institution would do, is they took the debt that people had, put it together and extended it out”
According to a CBC poll tracker, the Liberal party is sitting at about 20 per cent support, a significant distance from the PC party’s 37 per cent and NDP’s 38 per. Whether those numbers reflect the reality is not something Gowing agrees with, but he does admit to a decline in Liberal leader Kathleen Wynn’s popularity.
“You’re not mistaken. And she actually ... came out and publicly stated she know people don’t like her. She’s sorry for that, doesn’t know why, but yes people’s opinions of her are not positive,” he notes.