It has become a familiar scene in Sudbury: a crowd of largely silver-haired supporters waving Tory-blue banners, early-’80s hard rock blasting from speakers, and Doug Ford ascending a flag-decorated riser.
“I’ve been up here more than I’ve been in my own riding,” the PC leader remarked Thursday, to a hearty round of applause from the 200-odd faithful who filled half a gym at College Boreal.
The rally marked the third time the PC leader has been in the Nickel City since late February, when he first appeared as a candidate for the party leadership. He was back three weeks ago, at Cambrian College, vowing to replace Kathleen Wynne and put money in the pockets of taxpayers. Ford stuck to a similar script this time around, in many cases repeating the same phrases. He still wants to reduce hydro bills, fire the CEO of Hydro One, and resuscitate the Northlander train.
What’s new is an apparent urge to do a bit of trolling and casting in the region. “Hey Fred, are you going to take me fishing sometime?” he asked, addressing former PC candidate Fred Slade.
There were also, however, some fresh policy planks to highlight, most noteworthy of which for Sudburians is a pledge, announced earlier this week, to implement a resource revenue sharing agreement.
“Everything from mining to aggregates to forestry, we’re going to keep a good percentage of that money (from fees and taxes paid to the province) right here in Sudbury,” he said.
Ford said as a municipal politician he was always irked when the province “came along with a bit of money and said ‘here’s where you are going to spend it.’ Who is Queen’s Park to tell local folks how to spend your money?”
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