EDITORS NOTE: The Independent is doing a series of personality profiles on the candidates. The first is NDP Candidate for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex Todd Case
Politics has always been a part of Todd Case’s life.
The Warwick Township mayor can remember sitting in front of the television at the age of nine, watching the news reports of the FLQ crisis “worrying” about what was happening to his country.
It wasn’t surprising the young Case was interested in politics. His grandmother often talked about politics. “She was quite a political person,” he recalls adding she had “spirited conversations” with his parents and once gave him a biography about former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
“She was a Conservative, but she thought everyone had a right to form their own opinions.”
Born in Scarborough, Case made his way to Lambton County as a young man. His father was a banker and had decided to retire. The bank convinced him to take over a branch in Alvinston and he and his family set down roots.
Case’s dad loved rural life, buying a hobby farm and eventually entered municipal politics in Alvinston.
While politics of all sorts were in the background most of the time, Case’s formal introduction to provincial politics came when he was 14.
“I was looking to find a job as a young person…I remember people said you had to call Mr. Henderson.”
Henderson was the larger-than-life MPP for Lambton County, who won four consecutive elections. His memory for names was legendary – never forgetting a person once they had been introduced.
“He was bigger than life…big man who had a hand that wrapped around mine twice.”
Henderson told him where to look for work and how to go about it. Before long, the pair were talking politics.
It wouldn’t be long before Henderson signed Case up for the Young Progressive Conservatives.
It would be one of three parties case would join in his lifetime. At one point, he was a card-carrying Liberal. Then, disillusioned by the way the Ontario government was treating rural Ontario, Case became a member of the NDP in 2014.
He was approached by the party in the lead up to the 2018 race and he decided to run under the orange banner.
Perhaps Case’s greatest experience with provincial politicians comes from being mayor of Warwick Township and as warden of Lambton County.
His 18-year municipal career has been filled with difficult issues. Warwick tried to stop Waste Management from building the largest landfill in Ontario near Watford. After years of struggle, it became apparent the province was going to approve it. Case, his council and staff put together “the best deal possible” for the community.
To this day, Case says, there has not been another deal so generous.
This year, his municipality stands to bring in over $1 million in landfill revenue and it is on track to paying for all it’s capital projects with the money.
Case also fought against cutbacks to rural municipalities by the province, including cuts to drainage grants and changes to the labour regulations around volunteer firefighters.
“My job has always been to fight for my community – it’s always been a team effort.”
And Case firmly believes in representing everyone in his community, whether they voted for him or not. It was a lesson he learned from MPP Lorne Henderson.
“You look after the people, whether they voted Tory or Liberal, you represent them, too.”
SOME OF THE NDP PLATFORM
– $475 M universal pharmacare
– 5.3 per cent increase in yearly hospital funding at an initial cost of $916M.
– Conversion of all student debt into grants.
– 15,000 new long-term care beds by 2023.
– Raise personal income tax on earnings over $220,000 one per cent. Over $300,000 would pay two per cent more.
– NDP will spend $19 billion to fund hospitals over a 10-year period.