Incumbent Tory MP Tony Baldinelli says it’s been his greatest honour to represent the Conservative party, and he is hoping to be elected Sept. 20 for another term in Ottawa to continue advocating for the issues of importance to residents of the Niagara Falls riding, “as I have from the beginning.”
It wasn’t long after this current government came to power that the pandemic hit, and governance since then has been far from what anyone could have expected, he says. He would have liked to see this term continue, to fight for businesses and farmers, to fight for all employees’ safe return to work, for Canadian borders to be treated fairly, for a clean environment, and for youth and their futures.
He’s looking forward to a term of dealing with not only recovery from the devastating economic effects of the pandemic, but the many other issues that are important to Canadians.
He will block the Liberals on their taxation plans, and he will “fight to ensure we get though this pandemic and into a recovery, as quickly as we can.”
“It is incredibly disappointing,” he says, “to see that the Prime Minister has decided to put his own self-interest and that of the Liberal Party, before that of the residents of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Fort Erie and Niagara Falls.”
“This minority Parliament,” he continued, “has been functioning for everyone but for Justin Trudeau himself. For the good of the nation and to make Parliament work for Canadians, we have properly debated and passed multiple pieces of legislation, even when opposition parties disagreed with elements of these bills. In fact, in the last five-week session of Parliament five Conservative private member’s bills were passed into law, including Bill C-218, which I seconded and which has legalized single-event sports betting, for the benefit of our tourism and hospitality sector.”
Soon after the 2019 election, Baldinelli says he began speaking with local grape growers and wineries, and advocated in Parliament for the exemption to the excise tax on wines.
As soon as COVID hit, he transitioned from Ottawa to working from his Niagara Falls office, on the phone
every day, as were his staff, helping Canadians in need, including those who were stuck in other countries around the world, looking for ways to get home. He also fought to ensure offshore workers, so vital to the agricultural industry, would be allowed into Canada, and started advocating for seasonal workers — there are 40,000 in Niagara alone — to be eligible to receive CERB payments, pressuring successfully to have the Liberals make the program more flexible and available to more people.
In September, 2020, he was made special advisor on tourism recovery, and he continues to criticize the Liberal government for underfunding the recovery of vital importance in Niagara.
He has also worked hard to represent the riding on other issues the communities face and are concerned most about, he says.
One of those issues that was key for Baldinelli in 2019, and remains so, is quality health care and social program funding.
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, a growing 15-year-old.
He knows first-hand just how precious life is, and how incredible the health system has been. He has spoken often of his goal, under a Conservative government, to ensure healthcare providers can deliver quick, quality services with the most up-to-date technology, he says. When Baldinelli ran in 2019, he had the support of former MP Rob Nicholson, who won the 2004 election — his second stint in Ottawa — and continued to hold his seat until he decided to retire from politics, passing the baton to Baldinelli.
Baldinelli says he has always been a Conservative, even as a high school student drawn to its values, to its support for individuals who work hard, for its support of diversity, and its financial accountability, He has been involved in politics in some capacity ever since.
After graduating from McMaster University with a bachelor’s degree in political science, he went to Ottawa, and stuffed envelopes for the Conservative party.
He considers Nicholson a friend and mentor, and when the former MP was in Ottawa his first go-round, from 1984 to 1993, and had an opening for an assistant, Baldinelli got the job. Following that, he worked at Queen’s Park as a policy assistant, eventually returning home to work for the Niagara Parks Commission. He gave up his position as senior manager of communications to enter the political arena in 2019.
He says he still considers Nicholson a great resource for advice and support in his efforts to make Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort Erie the best they can be for families like his.
He also has seasoned Tory politician Bart Maves helping him.
“I’ve known Bart since we were eight years old. We played together when we were young. I’m looking forward to working with him on this campaign.”
As in 2019, Baldinelli is up against Liberal candidate Andrea Kaiser, who came in second, and NDP Brian Barker, who also ran in the last federal election, ending in third place.
First-time candidates also representing the Niagara Falls riding are the Green Party’s Melanie Holm, and Peter Taras running for the People’s Party of Canada.
To reach Baldinelli’s campaign office, call 905-401-4612, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
His main campaign office opened Saturday in Niagara Falls, followed by volunteers setting off with Baldinelli for a Saturday afternoon
super-canvas in Fort Erie.
Hopeful volunteers, supporters, and anyone looking to obtain a lawn sign are encouraged to stop by the now-open Niagara Falls office. All COVID-19 protocols are in place to ensure the safety of everyone.
His office is located at 3777 Portage Road, in Niagara Falls. He is in the process of opening offices in Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake.