Tony Baldinelli says he has always been a Conservative. He was drawn even as a high school student to its values, to its support for individuals who work hard, for its support of diversity, and its financial accountability, he says, and has been involved in politics in some capacity ever since.
He has known and respected Rob Nicholson from the MP’s early days in international affairs and defence, which were two areas of interest for Baldinelli, so after graduation from McMaster University with a Bachelor’s Degree in political science, he asked the Niagara Falls MP how he could best pursue an interest in working for the federal government. Nicholson suggested he go to Ottawa, which he did, and went to work stuffing envelopes for the Conservative party.
“I was in the building, meeting people, and handing out my resume whenever I could,” says Baldinelli. When Nicholson had an opening for an assistant, he applied, and was offered the job.
That was in 1988. He stayed in Ottawa and worked for the MP for six years, and then went into public relations after that. In 1995, he got a job at Queen’s Park, as a policy assistant to the Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, and after two years, followed that with another stint in the private sector, in Toronto.
He then returned to his hometown to work for the Niagara Parks Commission, where he is now the senior manager of communications.
Nicholson has been a huge mentor for Baldinelli, and when he met with the MP after he had announced his retirement, “he asked me to stand for the nomination.”
It was something Baldinelli had alway been interested in, and after talking to his family, decided “this was the time to do it.”
He says he wants to follow in Nicholson’s footsteps, working to make Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort Erie the best they can be for families like his to live, work, and enjoy the place they call home.
“I am running in this campaign because I believe in community…and in building a better future for my family and for all of us, who are fortunate to call Niagara home,” says Baldinelli.
Baldinelli’s three top priorities are:
• Affordability: The PC campaign is centred on the theme of making life more affordable for hard working Canadians, says Baldinelli. “If you work hard, you should be able to buy a home, save for retirement, and care for your children and your parents as they age. If elected, I will work hard to help reduce taxes, grow the economy and make life more affordable for all families and seniors.” The Conservative platform includes universal tax cuts to help the average family, an increased credit for seniors, scrapping the GST on home heating, eliminating the carbon tax, and implementing a fitness tax credit and art and learning tax credit for children.
• Promoting economic growth and development throughout NOTL, Fort Erie and Niagara Falls by working with local and provincial representatives, including the tourism community, tender fruit and grape and wine industries, small businesses and industries located throughout the riding.
• Continued quality health care: Under a new Conservative government, says Baldinelli, Canadians will be able to count on stable and predictable health and social program funding, with an increased Canada Health Transfer and Canada Social Transfer by at least three per cent per year. “My wife and I know the importance of our health care sector,” says Baldinelli. He and his wife had identical twin boys born 15 weeks too early – losing one son David, after three days, then having the other, Daniel, spend the next 136 days “on an incredible journey in hospital, to where he is today. We know first-hand, just how precious life is…and what an incredible heath care sector we have. Since Daniel’s birth, we have utilized the services of great agencies and supports such as the Ronald McDonald House in Hamilton, speech pathology services through the Niagara Peninsula Children’s Centre, the Ontario government’s Special Services at Home Program and the Provincial Assisted Devices Program,” says Baldinelli.
To help reduce wait times, a Conservative government will also invest $1.5 billion to replace and add new medical imaging equipment, allowing healthcare providers to quicker deliver quality services with the most up-to-date technology.
Contact Baldinelli at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 289-477-5323 or visit www.niagarafallsconservatives.ca.