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Race for Tory nomination in Barrie, Oro-Medonte riding heating up

Coun. Doug Shipley says the timing was right to try his hand at federal politics
2019-05-24 Doug Shipley crop
Coun. Doug Shipley represents Barrie's Ward 3. Photo supplied

Two Barrie city councillors are now vying for the Conservative nomination in Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte ahead of this fall's federal election.

Coun. Doug Shipley, who represents Ward 3 in north-end Barrie, officially announced his candidacy Friday afternoon. 

With full support from his family, Shipley said he has submitted his nomination papers to the party.

"I'd been thinking about this for years, but I didn't think the timing was right," Shipley said this afternoon.

Shipley, a married father of two who owns his own business, says he has been approached by both members of the community and the Conservative Party about throwing his hat in the ring. 

"I really sat down about a week or two ago with my family and mulled this over," he said. "It's been a blessing and I've finally been able to do it, because my kids are at the age now (where it makes sense for me), with one going off to university this year and the other one entering high school."

With the ability to work from home for the last two decades, Shipley said now is the "right time."

"I will be missing some family things if I win this, and going off to Ottawa, but my kids are a little older and I've got the full support of my wife," he added. "It's not like I've got little babies at home anymore. It's time to get out there and see what I can do."

Although he considered a run at provincial politics with the Progressive Conservatives in 2017, Shipley, who's a former riding association president, said he never officially filed his paperwork with the PCs. 

Instead, he remained in municipal politics. 

Shipley, who arrived on city council in 2010, secured his third term in Ward 3, with just under 70 per cent of the vote, in last October's city election. 

Potentially jumping from municipal to federal politics has its challenges. 

"I'm sure there's going to be a difference," Shipley said. "Definitely, it's party politics when you're in Ottawa, but I will still have my own opinions. There will be a concerted team effort to get things done, because that's the way you do things.

"I've been involved and around politics for a long time ... so it's not going to be new to me," he said. "I fully know what I'm getting myself into and I look forward to the challenge."

The other confirmed candidates for the Conservative nomination are fellow city councillor Sergio Morales and Logan Ross. 

"There's some good people in there and I'm looking forward to some good healthy debate," Shipley said. "Hopefully, the nomination proves out that I'll be victorious through that, but I'm looking forward to it and like a good challenge.

"I like to win," he added. 

Matthew Kelman, who works as the executive assistant for current MP Alex Nuttall, has withdrawn his bid for the nomination. 

Nuttall announced a few weeks ago that he will not seek re-election, instead focusing on his young family. 

Within the Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte riding and across the country, Shipley said there are things that need to be fixed.

"The direction I'm hearing over and over is it's time to get back on fiscal track," he said. "Across the whole country, there's been some spending these last three, four years under the Liberal government that's gone on too much, too long."

"Everybody knows me around the council table as being a true fiscal conservative and I will take that attitude to Ottawa and try to get help with the party to at least get spending under control again," Shipley added.

"There's just been too much spending, too much debt, and it's time to get the country back on track. Hopefully I can help with that in some small way."

The federal election is set for Monday, Oct. 21. 


Raymond Bowe

About the Author: Raymond Bowe

Raymond is an award-winning journalist who has been reporting from Simcoe County since 2000
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