Salim Mansur runs as Freedom Party candidate for London North Centre

Salim Mansur announces, via email:

Friends,

I have conceded to the wishes of my friends to be the Freedom Party candidate for London North Centre in the upcoming provincial election to be held on June 12, 2014. (…)

My association with the Freedom Party of Ontario goes back to the mid-nineties through many of its members, friends and supporters who also supported the Reform Party when it was founded by Preston Manning. As some of you will recall I was encouraged by Preston to seek the Reform Party nomination, which became the Canadian Alliance in 2000, and I did. In the 2000 federal election I was the CA candidate in London West, and though the Party lost the election its role in federal politics as the Official Opposition spurred its eventual merger with the federal PC to emerge as a united Conservative Party of Canada at the federal level. (…)

My support for the Freedom Party in Ontario is for similar reasons as I supported the Reform Party at its birth and growth in the mid-nineties. If you recall the country was in disarray both politically and fiscally, and the fiscal burden resulting from years of deficit spending blighted the economic future of Canada. We are similarly faced with a worsening economic situation in Ontario as our deficit has grown with 10 successive deficit budgets under the McGuinty-Wynne Liberal governments, with scandalous and wreckless spendings, misgovernance, betrayal of fiduciary trust in the management of the economy, and the promise in the last budget of even more of the same to be dished out to Ontarians. We need people at Queen’s Park who will hold the feet to fire of whichever party forms the next government and squelch spending, and then work towards balancing the budget without tax increases. In other words, do what the Reform Party did in Ottawa that has made Canada one of the stronger economies among the G-7 countries. I was persuaded to help Freedom Party in this effort to bring Ontario’s economy back to some sane and prudent level of economic management, and I am hoping that we can at least in London elevate the level of political discussion by our participation in the June election. Winning or losing is, of course, at the end in the hands of the voters and their judgment.

I believe the main issues of this election is rather simple, but with huge implication for all of us in the years to come. In the top of my short list is the issue of trust, and do and will Ontarians trust sending back the same crew into Queen’s Park to manage their affairs who have been so reckless and feckless in their responsibility over the past decade. We in the Freedom Party want to talk about trust, as I did in my first radio interview of the campaign today with Any Oudman of CJBK1290. We want to drive the matter of trust, hence responsibility and accountability as among the key principles of Freedom, the freedom of an individual and his/her dignity not to be constrained, compromised and squandered by reckless spending that leaves the individual impoverished and vulnerable to present and future uncertainties.

The next two issues are about the economy. First, about balancing the books and turning our deficit into surplus. We can then think about how we will tackle our debt burden, which has corroded the health of Ontario’s economy. Remember, once upon, a time until not too long ago Ontario was the keystone of the Canadian federation, the engine of Canada’s economy, the plank upon which the federal government of Pierre Trudeau relied in patriating the Constitution. Ontario is now a have-not province, recipient of equalization payments from provinces that have grown richer in the past four decades as Ontario has shrunk in stature. We want to talk about this during the campaign, for we need to restore pride and confidence even as we prepare to do the tough things to sort out the economy which has been down-rated by the major rating agencies such as S & P.

And related to the economy is the burgeoning utility rates in the Ontario economy that hurts each and every Ontarian daily as the electricity rates soar. The coming summer months will not be pleasant as Ontarians pay higher utility bills knowing well, or they should, how McGuinty-Wynne Liberals have thoroughly, almost criminally, mishandled this file.

So there we have the issues that should decide this election. If only now the media play their responsible role in informing Ontarians about the state of their economy. Any other issue, such as Ontario Pension Plan proposed by the Liberals, is diversionary to deflect away the rot of their mismanagement from the public. We cannot, in a sane world, improve our health care, our education system, our infrastructure developments, without restoring some sanity to our fiscal situation. Our view is to hold the line on expenditure, to meet our obligations without promising any new spending, to trim the budget where we can without causing unnecessary pain, and to begin a serious conversation on the economy for the next cycle of governance.

I am writing to you for support. We have all at various times talked about these issues, we have debated among ourselves, and broadly speaking we have been more or less on the same page on these issues. I would like to see more be done, more issues be discussed, but a short campaign such as the one immediately ahead of us will be by necessity one focused on the priorities at hand that I have described above. Other issues that concern us are mostly at the federal level and only tangentially relevant in a provincial setting. I am aware that some people, my opponents likely, might raise these issues with me, or about me in the media and in the campaign, such as multiculturalism, immigration, the Middle East, whether I am an Islamophobe or no, etc., and though I have nothing to apologize on these issues I will be reminding those who raise them that these are mostly outside of the provincial jurisdiction and I am quite happy for my public record to stand scrutiny if this is what they wish for.

You all know me by now pretty well, and you know that I am a realist in every sense of the word. I have no untoward expectations going into this campaign. It will be for the people of London North Centre to decide who they want as their representative in Queen’s Park. But in agreeing to be Freedom Party’s candidate, I am offering people of London North Centre an alternative choice to that of “none of the above” and having choice is consistent with the philosophy of freedom, which the party represents. Your support in any shape or form, most importantly by sending some contribution for which you will receive tax credit for your 2014 returns, will help go a long way in giving the people in London North Centre that important choice in this election campaign.

Here is the link to the website Freedom Party has put together for me.

 Please take a moment and go through this site. Here you will find all the many ways you can lend your support to my campaign.

Here is the link to the Freedom Party of Ontario website, if you wish to learn more about its vision, values, principles and platform:

The media in London has already announced the names of candidates in the three main London ridings. I was, as I mentioned, interviewed this morning on London’s most widely heard radio show with Andy Oudman at CJBK 1290 AM. Here is the podcast of the interview taped by Freedom Party for distribution. If you have some time at hand you might want to listen in.

I want to thank you for your support, for your friendship, and for the interest in all things that we share in common.

God bless.

Salim

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