The Hamilton Spectator
Police officer Pete Wiesner running for Conservatives in Hamilton Centre
Sergeant also worked as corrections officer at Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre
For years, Pete Wiesner has thought about running for political office, but his first memory of meeting a politician goes back much further.
He was in Grade 6, in the front row of an assembly at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School on the east Mountain, when Lincoln Alexander, Canada’s first Black member of Parliament, entered the gym to address students.
“It was the first time I met someone famous in my life, and he just captured the room,” said Wiesner. “And years later, whenever I saw him, he just resonated as someone you admired.”
When Wiesner became a police officer, he would chat with Alexander, who served as honorary chief of the Hamilton Police Service. He said “Linc” would talk about the importance of setting “a higher example” for others.
Wiesner is the candidate running for the PC party in the Hamilton Centre byelection, the Ontario Conservatives announced Friday.
Wiesner, 47, said he feels it is time to run, when there is post-pandemic “momentum” in the province, and city, to generate job opportunities for young people, for example.
He told The Spectator “the time is right for change” in Hamilton Centre, and that the riding needs “a proper voice in the government to help get things done.”
Since 2019, Wiesner, a sergeant, has supervised a police crisis response unit helping those facing severe mental-health and addiction issues.
He grew up near Barton Street East and Kenilworth Avenue North in Hamilton, and also on the east Mountain. He worked as a corrections officer at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre from 19972001 before starting his policing career.
Married with two kids — Isaiah, 18, and Katie, 17 — he appeared in The Spectator in 2011 in a story describing how he joined two police colleagues cycling across Canada to raise money for juvenile diabetes. His son has the disease.
“My son says, ‘Hey we should do that again,’ ” said Wiesner. “I would have to get my biking legs back again.”
Candidates running in the byelection include Sarah Jama (NDP), Lucia Iannantuono (Greens), and Deirdre Pike (Liberals.) All will vie for the seat vacated by Mayor Andrea Horwath.
The date for the byelection has not been announced. A spokesperson with Elections Ontario told The Spec the date must be set by Premier Doug Ford by Feb. 15.