It’s no secret that Jordon Williams wants to represent the provincial Progressive Conservative party in the next election, and he’s ready to ramp up his public profile in the hope of winning the nomination.
While the election is not expected until June, 2022, the Niagara-on-the-Lake man says the riding association is beginning to discuss possible candidates in the next few weeks.
In September, although Premier Doug Ford said he had no plans to call an early election, 72 Progressive Conservatives MPPs were acclaimed in their ridings.
Williams says he believes it’s especially important to have a candidate ready in the Niagara Falls riding, “where we’re going up against a formidable MPP. Getting in is going to definitely be a Herculean task. Getting people lined up for a campaign makes good sense.”
Williams ran as a NOTL candidate in the 2018 municipal election, and says he learned “some good lessons from losing, including how much work is involved in running,” which has led to him starting early.
“I really learned what it takes to be successful, which is to really get yourself out there in a positive way.”
He’s in the process of launching a new business, a travel and lifestyle magazine, first with content on social media platforms, with blog postings to follow, and a quarterly magazine beginning in May. He wants to highlight communities like NOTL “that we can say are safe destinations for the LGBTQ community to visit.”
But if he wins the nomination, he is prepared to take the time to run a good campaign.
In addition to promoting diversity, he says he’s running “to advocate for health and well-being of mind and body.”
In addition to fighting “for those that don’t have a voice or the support that I grew up with,” he wants to push hard on dealing with human trafficking, an issue recognized on the streets of Niagara Falls; he would like to improve trade skills training by putting more money in colleges for trades; and he hopes to work with developers on building houses that younger people can afford to buy.
Willliams describes himself as socially progressive, fiscally conservative. “I grew up in the days of Brian Mulroney, Kim Campbell, and Terry St. Amand locally. Some would say I’m a red Tory.”
There are times when he has questioned whether he should stay in the PC party, he says, “but honestly, there is nowhere else I would go. That’s the beautiful thing about our party. We accept that it’s not one way or the highway, or just one way of thinking. It’s up to us to change people’s minds inside the party and out, and that’s one of the reasons I’m running. I want to create a broad coalition of people who don’t think they generally belong in the PC party, but can look at me and see themselves having a voice.”
In addition to being a member of the LGBTQ community, Williams says he also identifies with the disabled community, having had health issues as a child that continue to this day.
He also represents the hospitality and tourism industry, rather than being “a doctor or a lawyer or an entrepreneur. Many people can see a little bit of themselves in me. We need the Bay Street businessmen, the doctors and lawyers, but the House of Commons should also reflect the majority of the population in every aspect. I really feel passionately that we need a candidate who lives and breathes hospitality and tourism, someone who has worked 12 hours on his feet, who understands the fragility of our industry, but can also speak to industry leaders.”
Williams adds, “we’re in the 21st century. I think we need a modern conservative way of thinking, in a modern conservative candidate.”
He says it’s time for the PCs to have a candidate “more reflective of the community. I’ve faced physical challenges, social challenges and economic challenges. The party needs someone to really speak to others with similar challenges in Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort Erie.”
He sees the time as right for change.
“I’m encouraged on our side of the aisle. We’ve made progress, but we’re definitely not there yet.”
He has started his campaign at jordonwilliams.ca to bring in memberships, and believes if people look at his website, “I’m sure they’ll see someone like themselves, or they’ll see their grandson, or they’ll see a neighbour, and sign up.”
He’s expecting a nomination fight, mentioning a well-known politician in the region who has expressed interest in running.
He expects a late winter or early spring decision on the nomination.
Williams serves on the federal PC board for MP Tony Baldinelli, and says he’s been “very aggressive” about making it known to the provincial association that he’s interested, “because I think the times call for it. I’m waiting for them to call me.”