Lambton’s new lobbyist optimistic after meeting with local leader

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Lambton County’s new man at Queen’s Park is optimistic there are things he can do to improve this area’s economy and relationship with the government.

David McNaughton of Strategy Corp was recently hired by Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership with the blessing of Lambton County council to be a lobbyist for the county at Queen’s Park at a cost of $70,000. Politicians are concerned Sarnia-Lambton’s needs are being ignored in favour of the concerns of Toronto – which voted for the Liberal government in the last provincial election.

“Generally speaking, most of southwestern Ontario has felt a bit left out and the results showed in the last election,” says McNaughton. “Sarnia-Lambton has felt left out for quite a while; but they’re not alone.”

George Mallay, SLEPs general manager, says having a few delegations going to Toronto every year is not going to be enough to spur government into action.

“We need representatives to reach the right people within government,” says Mallay. “We’re a small municipality …in a big pond – it is about getting the attention.”

And Mallay says McNaughton can help Sarnia-Lambton understand where the government is coming from as well. “How do we help the government; the government has a vision for the province and how do we fit in.”

Warwick Mayor Todd Case agrees. “We need to start relationship building with this government whether we like it or not,” says Case. “This is our opportunity.”

SLEP directors and municipal and government leaders sat down with McNaughton and his staff Monday to talk about the region’s priorities. Brooke-Alvinston’s mayor was among the leaders. Don McGugan wants to see the provincial strategy focused on the needs of the research park, the industrial sectors’ plan for a heavy haul route and the rural municipalities concerns about continued provincial funding cuts among other things.

McNaughton was pleased with the meetings adding he was a bit surprised by what he heard.

“There are really exciting things going on in this community,” McNaughton says. “I’m optimist there are things we can do that will make a difference.”

One Response to “Lambton’s new lobbyist optimistic after meeting with local leader”

  1. Judy

    I have heard and read over and over about how Toronto voted the liberals in, I think everyone in the rest of Ontario should sit back and give their head a shake. Southwestern Ontario had the largest percentage of people that recused their vote or didn’t vote, because they didn’t like any of the candidates. Where did that get us? If they want to blame anyone the people that didn’t take the opportunity to vote, should blame themselves! One of my neighbours came to me a few days after the election and laughingly told me about how he was the first person in our area to recuse himself and “the people at the poll location didn’t know what they were doing they had never had that happen” and then in the next breath complained about the Liberals getting in. I said “really”. If he didn’t want the Liberals in office then he should have done his part to try to keep them out!!

    Reply

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