Day 26: Jack Layton heads to the farm, then up north to Thunder Bay
New Democrat Leader Jack Layton is heading to a fifth-generation family farm in Stoney Point, Ont. owned by high school shop teacher and wrestling coach David Tremblay and his wife, Linda, a seamstress and shop owner.
They raise pigs, chickens and alternate between growing wheat and soy. They have a fruit orchard too. Can you guess what the announcement at 11 a.m. will be about?Not so fast — they also have a wind turbine!
But no, you were right the first time.
The policy Layton will present is about farming and the visuals will involve a tractor and people sitting on bales of hay in the background. The campaign will then fly to Thunder Bay, Ont., where Layton will hold a town hall-style event about health care.
Tremblay Farm is in the riding of Essex, where Conservative incumbent Jeff Watson won with 40 per cent of the vote in the 2008 election. Liberal candidate Susan Whelan placed second with 29 per cent and New Democrat Taras Natyshak placed third with 27.6 per cent of the vote. Natyshak is running again for the NDP in Essex and the Liberal candidate in this election is Nelson Santos. On the surface this appears to be a long-shot riding, but the NDP views its two seats in nearby Windsor as a sign that Essex is in play.
The town hall will be at the Current River Recreation Centre in the riding of Thunder Bay—Superior North, where the NDP incumbent is Bruce Hyer, who won with 37 per cent of the vote in 2008. Nearby Thunder Bay—Rainy River is also held by the NDP, with John Rafferty having won with 40.3 per cent in 2008. Both Hyer and Rafferty voted with the Conservatives to scrap the long-gun registry, so they are not facing the same challenges as some of their caucus colleagues in rural and northern Ontario. In Thunder Bay, it is the Liberals who are working hard to take the seats, running Yves Fricot against Hyer. The Conservative candidate is Richard Harvey.
In Thunder Bay—Rainy River, the Liberals are running Ken Boshcoff, who represented the riding in Ottawa from 2004 to 2006 until Rafferty defeated him in 2008. The Conservative candidate there is Moe Comuzzi-Stehman.