EDITOR’S NOTE: These are the final profiles of candidates in our series
Monte McNaughton came to the conclusion early in life that you have to live within your means.
The PC candidate for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex was just 13 when he was a page at Queen’s Park. He was one of the young people who carried the NDP’s first budget – a budget with a $10 billion deficit – into the legislature.
“The people of Ontario were irrate,” he recalls. His father was one of those people. He told the him to “ask Bob Rae how long a business could stay afloat spending more money than it takes in.” McNaughton eventually did. “He said, ‘Monte, government isn’t to be run like a business.’ He sort of fluffed me off.
The idea of living within your means stuck with the teen and made him a Conservative from that point on. “I knew when I left as a legislative page I knew I wanted to go back as an MPP.”
The young man who had been an avid hockey player started missing games to go to political conventions. It was in his blood. His grandfather – who died before he was born – was the reeve of Newbury and is his political hero. McNaughton followed in his footsteps, serving three terms on Newbury council. He took his first shot at the MPP’s job in 2007 but lost to Maria Van Bommel. In 2011, he ran against her again and won the first of two terms. McNaughton also ran for the leadership of the PC’s in 2014.
Through all of his work, McNaughton comes back to the premise of living within your means – especially now, since he has a young daughter. “I have long said I don’t believe it is right of politicians to be passing a huge financial burden to our kids and grandkids when I see the debt snowballing in Ontario, when I see every man woman and child responsible for $26,000, I immediately think of my daughter. It is going to mean higher taxes a lower quality of life for these people if government doesn’t get its fiscal house in order.”
The PC’s have been criticized for not clearly outlining what the party will do to cut Ontario’s ever growing deficit. Doug Ford who promised “the party will reduce spending by four per cent and the budget would be balanced within the first mandate of the PC government.”
He believes a thorough audit should be able to find the savings.
“When the province spends $140 billon a year finding four cents of every dollar should be fairly easy.
“The (provincial) auditor, found $1 billon in savings and not a single worker would lose a job.”
Ford didn’t say how big the party’s deficits would be in the short term. “I’m comfortable balancing in three or four years. I believe Doug when he says that, when I look at his record.”