NDP acclaims incumbent Hatfield in Windsor-Tecumseh for 2018 election
A 16-year-old NDP supporter nominated incumbent MPP Percy Hatfield as candidate for WindsorTecumseh in the upcoming provincial election.
Uncontested, Hatfield accepted the nomination and will run for the NDP in 2018.
“I’m known for speaking up on issues for this area, and I’ll continue to do that,” Hatfield said. “I think it’s important, at this stage, a year in advance, to remind people that they will have a candidate that they know and can respect.”
The nomination meeting, held at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 255 on Wyandotte Street Sunday afternoon, was attended by about 25 NDP members from the Windsor-Tecumseh riding.
“I know that sometimes people can feel that it’s more exciting when there’s a huge contest involved,” said Noah Tepperman, president of the federal WindsorTecumseh NDP riding association.
“But to be able to come together as a group of people, really in support of a single candidate, is also a wonderful feeling.”
Tepperman pointed out the vast range of ages in the room; the youngest and oldest members present joined to nominate Hatfield.
Hatfield’s 16-year-old nominator, Evan Tanovich, was also his first legislative page.
“Speaking as a young person, there’s a lot of energy to take this election and hopefully make it a victory,” Tanovich said.
As Hatfield’s nomination was uncontested, much of the talk focused on the upcoming election.
In interviews prior to and after the nomination, many members raised the Hydro One sell-off as a major concern. Tanovich called the sell-off a “detriment” to the Ontario Liberal Party’s chances of winning.
Others said they don’t have a sense of the Ontario Progressive Conservative voice.
Hatfield said members of the public don’t know what Patrick Brown stands for because the party isn’t formally adopting any policies until after their November convention.
“So we don’t know where they stand on anything,” Hatfield said. “They don’t have a hydro plan, they don’t have a pharmacare plan, they don’t have a minimum wage plan.”
The Progressive Conservatives are currently polling ahead of the Ontario Liberals and NDP. Tanovich said he thinks the Progressive Conservatives are the party to beat.
“But I believe our progressive agenda, the NDP’s progressive ideas, are going to ultimately overcome some of the austerity measures proposed by the Conservatives.”
Others were impressed by Andrea Horwath, leader of the Ontario NDP.
During the last Ontario election, Tepperman said he didn’t think the party’s vision of leadership was “quite ready for showtime.”
But now, he says: “I think it’s an entirely different story.
“I find it really exciting to see just how much strength of policy and of presentation that the Ontario NDP leadership is putting out there. Andrea Horwath has come through to be a much ... stronger leader than I found her to be just a couple years ago.”
Peter Pellerito, a NDP supporter for over 40 years, said he was “totally amazed” at how far Horwath has come in the last few years after seeing her at the last provincial NDP convention.
“I think she would be the person to vote for.”
The meeting ended on a united — and optimistic — note.
“For my money,” said Pellerito, “I’ll vote NDP until the cows come home.”