Cornwall - Feb. 10, 2011 - Pat Finucan stepped into the forefront of the local political scene Wednesday by announcing he is running for the Liberal nomination in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry.
Finucan is best known as the driving force in Cornwall Mayor Bob Kilger's re-election campaign, and as the former executive director of the St. Lawrence College Cornwall campus.
"I want to be involved in public life," said Finucan. "I enjoy participating in community activities. I see things that need to be done for economic development, for education, for literacy, for our environment and I want to contribute to finding solutions that work."
Finucan will join Mark MacDonald in the SD&SG Liberal nomination race, which is scheduled to end in May. The two will be vying for Jim Brownell's long-standing Liberal seat, which came up for grabs when he announced his retirement last year.
"I'm not going to get into a platform today," said Finucan at a press conference in Cornwall on Wednesday.
Finucan did however outline the three areas he will focus his efforts on:
- Increasing environmental sustainability
- Creating opportunity for more economic growth in eastern Ontario
- Being a voice in the Liberal party for restraint in spending
"I have a long history of working for a public institution," said Finucan. "My history has given me some insights and some ideas. These things have prepared me for public service as an MPP."
Finucan said he wants to support the growth of small and medium-sized businesses, as well as entrepreneurs. Other areas of focus included arts and culture, poverty and literacy.
"A strong beginning in literacy skills is the foundation for a successful life," he said.
During Finucan's announcement, MPP Jim Brownell's "legacy" came up several times. The retiring MP was in attendance and said that his presence was not a sign of official support over another candidate.
Finucan pointed out Brownell's efforts in acquiring funding for the Cornwall Community Hospital redevelopment, infrastructure funding for road construction and the revitalization of St. Lawrence College.
"He helped a great many people by listening to their problems and challenges and trying to help them find solutions," said Finucan. "It's a proud personal legacy. I'm eager to follow in his footsteps."
Fellow Liberal candidate MacDonald recently ran for the mayor of Cornwall, falling short to a nearly 60 per cent majority vote for Kilger - a successful campaign spearheaded by Finucan. With only a few months until the Liberal nomination election takes place and no other candidates in sight, Finucan and MacDonald will campaign against each other once again. This time they're potentially going head-to-head. Still, Finucan feels that both candidates are striving for the same thing.
"Mark and I are on the same team," said Finucan. "We both hope for the re-election of a progressive Liberal government that will help eastern Ontario prosper."