St. Paul’s Progressive Conservative candidate Christine McGirr says the province desperately needs a new direction, and she’s running for political office a second time to try and bring it about.
The business analyst, who lives near St. Clair Avenue East and Mount Pleasant Road, ran federally in Trinity-Spadina during the 2008 election, finishing in third place with 13.8 percent of the vote.
She said the last campaign taught her a lot about politics, such as the importance of getting back to people. Partnered with her experience in the private sector as owner of her own consulting business, the McGirr Institute, she believes she is in an ideal position to serve the residents of St. Paul’s.
“I know I certainly have the knowledge, expertise and experience to help bring this province on track and lead that change,” she said.
McGirr has been involved with the federal Conservative party and the Ontario Progressive Conservative party for about 35 years and has worked on many campaigns.
She was asked by the provincial party to run in St. Paul’s and felt the timing was right.
“I always planned on going for a second run,” she said. “(The first time) was really just a stepping stone.”
She said the Progressive Conservative party’s stance on family values, fiscal responsibility and health care has made her a supporter.
McGirr criticized the province’s current health care system, saying it’s top-heavy with administration fees, which could be going toward hiring new doctors and reducing wait times.
“Our health care system right now obscures the most important person: the patient,” she said.
She had similar grievances in regard to the province’s education system, citing a statistic from her party’s platform, which says there has been a 151 percent increase in school administrators making more than $100,000 a year, according to government statistics.
“All that money is being diverted from the students and schools,” McGirr said.
“All that money is being wasted.”
McGirr believes the Ontario Liberal Party has spent money on its own concerns, rather than residents’. She cited a $7 billion green energy deal between the Dalton McGuinty government and Samsung as an example.
“They’ve lost sight of the core values and needs of families,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what candidate it is, they’re all part of the McGuinty team.”
McGirr said the economy is a huge issue on residents’ minds and her business experience leaves her poised to be an effective MPP for St. Paul’s.
“As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to function at every level of the company in order for the organization to work,” she said. “I can do everything that I need to do to get the job done.”
She said as a small business owner, she understands what many Ontarians are going through, and the McGuinty government does not.
“Small business for example is the backbone of this economy and this province,” she said. “The private sector has only grown by 10 percent, while the government has grown by over 80 percent (since McGuinty was elected).”