ORILLIA — Michael Coteau, the third-term MPP and Ontario Liberal leadership candidate, campaigned in Orillia Friday for Gerry Hawes, federal Liberal candidate for Simcoe North.
“The biggest waste we face in Ontario is the waste of human potential. Doug Ford and his buddy Andrew Scheer are in it for tax breaks to the wealthy and big corporations—and cuts for everyone else. I’m in it for children and families, our future,” Coteau declared.
“I learnt my values because of how I grew up: as a working-class, immigrant kid. And because of where: in an Ontario that gave me a chance to make it. I’m driven to fight for those values by replacing Doug Ford, stopping Andrew Scheer and restoring decency to our politics,” Coteau concluded.
“Voters want Canada to keep moving forward. They feel the cuts of the Ford government and knowthat Scheer would take us backwards too. The only real choice in Simcoe North is between a Scheer/Ford style government or a positive Liberal plan,” said Hawes. “I believe Simcoe North will choose forward by voting for me and strong, progressive representation.”
Michael Coteau immigrated to Canada as a child and grew up in Flemingdon Park, a working-class neighbourhood in North York. The first member of his family to graduate high school and university, he started his own small business, worked as a community organiser and head of a national nonprofit. He was elected to the Toronto District School Board three times and served as vice-chair of the board, championing digital tools in the classroom, equity strategies and community use of schools. Coteau was elected three times as Member of Provincial Parliament for Don Valley East, and served in multiple ministries where he was tasked with bringing people together to fix tough files, including supports for children with autism, reforming services for children in care, delivering a successful Pan-Am Games, supporting film and cultural economic development, and implementing an anti-racism strategy. He and his wife, Lori, are raising two young daughters.
Gerry Hawes is a lifelong resident of Orillia. For many years, he served as executive assistant to our former Liberal Member of Parliament, Paul DeVillers. He was an entrepreneur and a director with an influential organization of financial executives, and more recently a public policy professional who advised two provincial cabinet ministers. Gerry is a key player behind the renowned Mariposa Folk Festival. In recognition of Gerry’s leadership in this organization over the past 20 years, he was inducted into the Mariposa Hall of Fame, in the company of a short list of luminaries including Ian and Sylvia Tyson, Murray McLauchlan, and Sharon, Lois & Bram. Gerry is bilingual in French and English.
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