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By Wendy Gabrek
Town of New Tecumseth Ward 1 Councillor Marc Biss has his sights set on becoming the next Conservative MP of Simcoe–Grey.
Biss, who committed to the plan after the incumbent MP, Dr. Kellie Leitch (also Blue) announced she would not seek re-election in 2019, has been given the green light by Ottawa and the local riding association to run in the upcoming nomination election.
Biss' name, along with three others (Township of Essa Mayor and Deputy Warden for the County of Simcoe, Mr. Terry Dowdall, Collingwood area OB/GYN Dr. Gillian Yeates, and insurance industry professional, and former local riding association secretary Tim Bulmer) will appear on the ballot at the Nomination Meeting, to be held at Stayner Collegiate Institute on March 24 – from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On this day, the 2,400 (or so) card-carrying Conservatives of Simcoe–Grey will elect their new Federal candidate through a ranked balloting system.
After the nomination opened on February 1, and seeking approval from his wife, Michelle, Biss submitted his completed application to Ottawa on February 8. From there, he had 14-days to complete a 55 page filing package, and has been thoroughly vetted by the Conservatives – who look at everything from financial background, to police matters.
“Really, they're looking at the whole picture, from legal matters to taxes, and even if I've ever filed for bankruptcy,” Biss told The Times. “Anything that could be embarrassing.”
Biss, a retired member of the Royal Canadian Navy who currently works in the automotive technology sector, lives in Alliston with his wife, and their two children, Myles, 15, and Morgan, 21.
Already in “go” mode, Biss says he's calling and emailing every Conservative in Simcoe–Grey to ask for their support on March 24 – with good results.
“As a true Conservative who's always carried the blue flag, I am getting overwhelming support and feedback from Simcoe–Grey Conservatives from Beeton to the Blue Mountains,” said Biss.
Biss learned his campaigning technique – contact everyone a minimum of three times – during the municipal election of 2014, when he was elected as Ward 1 Councillor for the Town of New Tecumseth.
“My concern with municipal management and fiscal challenges is what got me motivated to run,” said Biss. “The fact that I cared more about my constituents than my own agenda is what got me elected.”
A mantra Biss says he'll carry into his time in Ottawa.
“I am proud of my work with local veterans. I worked very hard with veterans and local historians to provide the Town with an accurate and updated list of the names of WWI, WWII, Korean War and Peacekeeping veterans from New Tecumseth. Every new street in New Tecumseth will be named after our veterans for years to come. I am also proud that Council supported my motion to add the singing of O Canada before Council meetings, followed by a moment of silence. It didn't feel right to start a Council meeting without singing O Canada,” said Biss.
He also says that his role in council's adoption of creating business plans, instead of “just looking at the numbers”, before making decisions – or allowing consultants to make decisions for council – is something he feels good about.
“Saving the Heritage Forest (7th Line at the 10th Sideroad) and working with the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust was a big highlight of my municipal career too,” said Biss.
If Biss wins the federal nomination, he says he will not run in the 2018 municipal election.
If Biss loses the nomination, he plans to run in the fall election locally, and will put his name forward when nominations open on May 1.
He will not comment on what position he'll be running for.
Should Biss make it all the way, and be elected as the next MP of Simcoe–Grey, he says he, “looks forward to making changes in Ottawa and at home, on behalf of the residents in the riding”.
Blue since Confederation (except for Liberal MP Paul Bonwick 1997–2004) the riding of Simcoe–Grey has not had a south-end resident represent them in Ottawa since Helena Guergis (2004–2011).
Post date: 2018-03-10 10:15:53
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