Libertarians aiming to increase support in Brant

  • Posted on: 3 March 2014
  • By: Allen Small
Regular News

Libertarians aiming to increase support in Brant

The Ontario Libertarian Party is looking to gain traction in the region.

Provincial Libertarian party leader Allen Small, Brant candidate Rob Ferguson and Haldimand-Norfolk candidate Mark Burnison hosted the Libertarian Coffee Break at the Brantford Station Gallery on Saturday to share information about their party.

As they gear up for the provincial election, Ferguson – who is also the Libertarian Party’s regional co-ordinator for Southwestern Ontario – said the party has seen an increase in support here in Brant.

“Even those who have been politically discouraged are now opening their eyes,” Ferguson said.

Small said the party’s goal for this election is to gain enough voter traction to be able to displace the Green Party, which received the fourth highest number of votes in the 2011 provincial election.

In that election, the Libertarian Party took fifth place.

Another goal for the party is to have candidates running in all 107 of the province’s ridings in the upcoming election. In 2011, only 51 ridings had Libertarian Party representation.

“It’ll be difficult because we’re concentrated in urban areas,” Small said.

But he said the party is gaining ground in the northern part of the province.

Small said the party does not favour central authoritarian rule with Queen’s Park deciding what is best for the entire province.

“We’re in favour of local government having a local voice,” he said.

Brantford and County of Brant boundary negotiations and the crackdown on reserve smoke shops are the top local issues of concern for Ferguson.

“We don’t support anything that has to deal with violation of property rights,” he said of the potential boundary adjustments between the city and county.

The federal government's crackdown on smoke shops is unfair, Ferguson said. Bill C-10 introduced in Parliament by the federal government in November looks to amend the Criminal Code to include a section on the possession and trafficking of contraband tobacco.

“People have a right to make an honest living,” he said.

Some of the other issues the provincial party is targeting in the upcoming election are energy – which they believe should be made competitive by expanding the market – and healthcare – which they would like to see include a private option available for people who can afford it.

Burnison is the first Libertarian to be running provincially in Haldimand-Norfolk.

He said the same issues many rural areas are facing plague the area. Those issues include a recommended hike in gas tax to pay for new Toronto transit, which is a service voters in the Haldimand-Norfolk region wouldn’t see.

“It’s rather unfortunate,” Burnison said.

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