Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com
PARRY SOUND-MUSKOKA — Can the orange and the green topple the blue?
Or can the reds come up the middle?
That’s the scenario shaping up for a year from now as the NDP, Greens and Liberals take aim again at MPP Norm Miller in the June 2, 2022 provincial election in Parry Sound-Muskoka.
The New Democrats are first out of the gate with Erin Horvath, their candidate of record, getting the nod again.
Just as she did three years ago on May 12.
Horvath’s odds this time are better than 2018 when in her first run she halved Miller’s 22,662 supporters.
Her 10,385 votes gave her the edge over long-time Green candidate Matt Richter (9,438) and Liberal first-timer Brenda Rhodes (4,071).
A second run not only gives her name recognition — not hurt by having a similar surname to her party’s Leader Andrea Horwath (no relation).
But with party policies that are gaining more mainstream credibility and a leading opponent dubbed by some detractors as “Where’s Waldo?” Horvath could make ’22 more of a race than the riding has seen since 2003 when Miller was first re-elected in a closer win over New Democrat-turned Liberal Dan Waters.
Miller’s Tory party is down in the polls and his personal popularity has plummeted thanks in part to his leader Premier Doug Ford who is constituent cottager.
And with Richter a rising threat along with a decline in Miller’s numbers political change may be on the way.
The low-key MPP hasn’t distinguished himself during the pandemic, while preferring to successfully work on legislative bills about coffee pods and dock foam.
On May 14 the legislature unanimously passed third reading of Bill 228, Keeping Polystyrene Out of Ontario’s Lakes and Rivers Act.
The bill, introduced by Miller, requires polystyrene foam used in docks and other floating structures to be encapsulated in order to prevent pieces from breaking off and polluting the waterways.
Both those Miller initiatives are part of Green and NDP platforms.
A party release this week says Horvath works with communities to create social enterprises — like The Hub Muskoka in Huntsville — on community, educational, social, environmental and economic issues.
Party deputy leader John Vanthof says: “New Democrats are lucky to have Erin running with us again. She brings a lot to the team, having extensive experience working collaboratively with groups ranging from communities and non-profits to First Nations and industry.
“These talents will make Erin a superb advocate for Parry Sound-Muskoka families — and an important part of an NDP government that’s focused on helping seniors stay in their homes for longer, building a stronger health care system, and protecting our air and water.”
Adds Horvath in the same release: “While the pandemic has shone a spotlight on the cracks in our health care, education and social services, it has also shown the strengths of community and what is possible when people come together.
“I’m running for the New Democrats again because I know they share my enthusiasm for supporting small and medium sized businesses, public ownership of healthcare, power, and other shared essential services, investment in schools, and for tackling the climate crisis from a place of deep recognition of Indigenous sovereignty. I am proud to be a part of a party that is committed to diversity in its candidates and feel this speaks volumes to the aspiration of ensuring all people’s voices are heard and respected.”
Horvath is completing her PhD with a focus on ethics and social entrepreneurship
In her free time, Horvath loves spending time at her home in Huntsville with her teenage sons, family and friends enjoying nature, gardening, teaching dance, making music and writing.
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