Seven candidates are running for the Brantford-Brant area this upcoming election.
Looking for the votes are current MP Phil McColeman, Green Party candidate Bob Jonkman, Sabrina Sawyer for the NDP, Liberal Danielle Takacs, Dave Wrobel for the People’s Party of Canada, Independent Leslie Bory, and perennial candidate John Turmel.
The candidates have until Sept. 30 to offically register.
Danielle Takacs, Liberal:
History: Born and raised in Brantford, Takacs is looking to run for her second time. In the last election she doubled the Liberal vote, and is looking for more as she was the runner up against current MP Phil McColeman. She finished her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto and then achieved her Masters at Guelph. During that time she worked for the MP on Parliament Hill and later at Queen’s Park.
“Sadly the issues are the same as last time,” she said.Danielle Takacs
She will be fighting for affordable housing, road infrastructure, better time commute, and agricultural concerns.
“I would really like to work on these issues and it’s why I think having a representative who is part of a government is important, because you have direct access.”Danielle Takacs
Bob Jonkman, Green Party:
History: Born in the Netherlands, he lived there until he was eight-years-old, and then moved to Canada. In 1991 he applied to become a citizen.
“I asked the citizen test judge why I needed to know who the Governor General of Canada was and she replied, ‘when you become a citizen you have the obligation to participate in politics’ … so I took that to heart.”Bob Jonkman
Jonkman volunteered for the 2007 Ontario Electoral Reform Referendum, which later pushed him to enter politics to better accomplish this goal. He ran federally in 2015 and provincially in 2018 for the Green Party for the Kitchener-Conestoga region.
“The climate crisis is upon us. It needs to be addressed.”Bob Jonkman
He wants to kickstart the green economy by using renewable energy sources. He says there are millions of jobs available in the green sector for engineers, plumbers, and computer consultants.
Dave Wrobel, People’s Party of Canada:
History: Wrobel served three terms on Brantford City Council as Ward 4 councillor. He is a community college professor of skilled trades and engineering technologies. He actively participates in the Kinsmen Club of Brantford, The Grand River Environmental Group, and Canada Day Celebrations.
“When I came back to Brantford I was concerned about what was going on … A friend of the family said ‘you know, instead of complaining about it Dave, do something about it … So of course I ran for municipal council in 1997.”Dave Wrobel
Wrobel is wanting to give the provincial and municipal government more freedom and more responsibility in the state. He believes that government is a bottom up organization.
“The municipal says to the province and the province says to the feds, and that’s the way it should be. Let’s give them the tools to do their job effectively to represent the people.”Dave Wrobel
Sabrina Sawyer, New Democratic Party:
History: Born in Mnjikaning First Nations and moved to Brantford 14 years ago, Sawyer started a small business. Currently she is an Indigenous education leader with the Grand Erie District School Board. Because of her title she deals with the minister directly. She works with Six Nations and Mississaugas of the Credit and oversees two education service agreements.
“Over the time I’ve become incredibly involved in the unions locally … From there it’s hard not to be engaged in politics.”Sabrina Sawyer
For Brantford-Brant riding, Sawyer believes two of the crucial pieces are affordable housing, and the pharamacare plan proposed by the NDP.
“We see families here in Brantford-Brant and Mississaugas of the Credit and Six Nations, struggling pay check to pay check… People are one pay check away from being homeless and people need to understand that’s the face of homelessness as well.”Sabrina Sawyer
Phil McColeman, Conservative:
History: Currently the MP for Brant-Brantford, he was at one point the President of the Ontario Homebuilders and was lobbying for the industry association to the government. He was a small businessman for 25 years in the building industry. In 2005 he was more interested in politics with the sponsorship scandals in Quebec.
“The straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of motivating me … They treated us, as tax payers, with disrespect.”Phil McColeman
For Brantford-Brant, McColeman is looking to long-term planning for road infrastructure, bringing industry and businesses to the area and bringing state of the art infrastructure to communities.
“The Mohawk Residential school is being restored to be a reminder of our history … and all of these things play a large part in our community … That’s one project I’m really invested in.”Phil McColeman
Candidates Leslie Bory and John Turmel were latecomers to the race. Further details about their candidacy to be updated.