Lib­eral can­di­date Joe Gow­ing try­ing to stem the tides of change

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS - FAISAL ALI


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.

Joe Gow­ing

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