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Don Matheson familySaugeen Shores Councillor Don Matheson of Southampton was officially declared the Liberal candidate for Huron-Bruce for the upcoming provincial election to be held June 7, 2018. Following the nomination ceremony Matheson posed for photos with his supportive family. From left Nic Matheson, Sarah Matheson, Don Matheson and Victoria Matheson, January 6 at the Lucknow Community Centre.

Hub Staff

The Huron Bruce Riding officially acclaimed Saugeen Shores Councillor and high school teacher, Southampton’s Don Matheson, as their man in the upcoming provincial election to be held June 7, 2018, following a ceremony in Lucknow January 6.

Matheson, a History and Physical Education teacher at Saugeen District Secondary School and General Manager of the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks said that his competitive nature has him up for the challenge of changing the riding from its longtime blue association to red. “I have a daunting task in front of me. If you haven’t figured this out about me yet, I'm a very competitive person and I don't like to lose,” said Matheson during his acceptance speech January 6.

Matheson has chosen longtime Liberal John Gates to be his campaign manager. When he took to the podium Gates joked that Matheson has “70 some-odd thousand doors to knock on, so I hopes he’s got a good set of gloves to protect his knuckles.” Gates then announced upcoming “meet the candidate” dates in Clinton and Goderich, with Port Elgin’s taking place January 26 at 7 p.m. at Lakeshore Recreation.

President of the Ontario Liberal Party Brian Johns made the trip to Lucknow and admitted that he sees ridings such was Huron-Bruce as important to the success of the province as the Liberal party is not just a Toronto party. “We are a party that is the entire province and when we win ridings such as [Huron-Bruce], it sends a message,” said Johns, who then added, “I see this riding as completely winnable, there’s no better time to be a Liberal than right now... when you have OHIP +, government delivering on a livable wage, making investments in infrastructure, the time is now.” Johns then declared that there is not a better person than Don Matheson to lead the change in Huron-Bruce.

Many attendees donned red in honour of Matheson’s nomination ceremony and during his speech Matheson said that he was humbled, honoured and “quite excited” before reciting lyrics to John Mellencamp’s “Small Town”. The Liberal candidate then recalled his time working on his uncle’s farm as a teen where he learned responsibility, the importance of community, how to drive and “most importantly that nothing beats a good old fashioned lunch and supper when you're on the farm.” Matheson said that “these old fashioned rural values helped create the person I am today.”

He went on to say that he believes that “government must be a force for good” and that, “it is important that we have a representative at Queen’s Park who will not just be a whisper in the background but a strong voice willing to work hard for all residents of Huron-Bruce.”

Matheson voiced his concern about cuts to hospitals and schools in rural Ontario and addressed his intent for job growth, affordable housing, and infrastructure.

“I believe we need to give our young people a reason to stay... we have to provide jobs and opportunities, we need to continue to build roads and improve our infrastructure, better roads and services will help businesses, when our businesses grow we create jobs and that is a reason to stay,” he said.

When asked how he plans to reach out to potential voters Matheson said to look at the policies that the Liberals have put out in recent years. “The fair wage, the free prescription drugs for people under 25 (OHIP +) that’s huge savings for a lot of families that couldn’t afford it before,” he said.

Matheson then addressed the refurbishment at Bruce Power, and creating new jobs for the next generation. “We want to get our kids out there educated and staying home,” he said.

John GatesJohn Gates will act as Matheson’s campaign manager.

Judy Gates Sarah Matheson flowersPast President of Huron-Bruce Provincial Liberal Association Judy Gates presented Sarah Matheson, wife of Liberal candidate Don Matheson, with flowers at the Huron-Bruce nomination ceremony January 6 in Lucknow.

Ian BurbidgeRecently elected President of the Huron-Bruce Provincial Liberal Association, Ian Burbidge of Saugeen Shores, at the Huron-Bruce Liberal nomination hearing January 6.

Brian JohnsBrian Johns, President of the Ontario Liberal Party, said he believes the Huron-Bruce riding to be “winnable” in the 2018 election.

Don Matheson speechNewly declared Liberal candidate for Huron-Bruce, Southampton’s Don Matheson, during his speech at his nomination ceremony in Lucknow January 6.

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