NAFTA and illegal immigration are expected to be big issues for the byelection in Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, says the new Conservative candidate for the riding.
Michael Barrett, 34, was elected on the fourth ballot at the riding’s nomination on Aug. 11 to replace Gord Brown, who died in office of a heart attack on May 1. Barrett defeated four other candidates, including Dairy Farmers of Ontario board member Henry Oosterhof and Brown’s nephew, Colin Brown.
“They’ve (the federal Liberals) dropped the ball on NAFTA and it has thrust supply management to the forefront,” the Brockville Recorder and Times quoted Barrett as saying.
Barrett is a municipal councillor in Edwardsburgh/Cardinal, and the federal riding association president.
The Liberals have not chosen their candidate as of Aug. 30, but Mary Jean McFall, former chief of staff to federal ag minister Lawrence MacAuley, is expected to win the party’s nomination race. McFall is a lawyer and part of the family that runs Burnbrae Farms, a huge egg producer that, as of 2016, held 470,000 units of quota worth about $141 million.
McFall ran against Brown in the 2015 election. Brown got 26,738 votes. McFall got 22,888 votes, a dramatic uptick from the 7,839 votes that the Liberals got in that riding in 2011.