New Liberal choice for Orléans voters

“I’m waiting for my red shoes,” Lalonde quipped during a brief speech prior to the launch of the canvassing drive. McNeeley opened the evening’s round of speeches to give his blessing to his succes- sor. “We’re lucky in Orléans to have a great candidate,” he said, smiling. “She knows more people in Orléans than I do.” “I’m here to be your champion, your de- fender, your representative,” Lalonde said. “Every single one of us in this room tonight understands it’s not about us. It’s about ev- eryone in the community.” Lalonde cited her background of 17 years in the community health care field, work- ing with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and other agencies, and also her co-ownership and operation of the


ORLÉANS | Exit Phil McNeeley as the vete- ran politician steps down as MPP for Ot- tawa-Orléans after 15 years in municipal and provincial politics. Enter Marie-France Lalonde as the new face for Liberals in the riding in next month’s provincial election. Lalonde made her official debut early last Thursday evening before a crowd of close to 100 volunteer canvassers packed into her St-Joseph Boulevard campaign office in downtown Orléans. The May 8 event was the forerunner to a planned three-day door-knocking blitz of the riding over the May 10 weekend.

Marie-France Lalonde is taking over for Phil McNeeley as the Liberal choice in the provincial election for the Ottawa- Orléans riding. Manor Portobello retirement facility, includ- ing the 90 jobs it provides, as providing her with the experience necessary to represent both private citizens and the business sec- tor of Ottawa-Orléans at Queens Park. “I really want to make that sort of impact in our community,” she said. During both her inaugural speech and a later separate Vision interview, Lalonde list- ed her current top five campaign priorities as support for the Ottawa River Action Plan, continued investment in transportation infrastructure improvements for the rid- ing, education, health care and the made- in-Ontario pension plan included in the proposed 2014 budget the Wynne govern- ment tabled in the legislature last month. “We need a secure retirement future,” she said. Lalonde noted that, while this is her first real campaign, she has always had an inter- est in politics. “I’ve always wanted to become a politi- cian. I felt I would be able to contribute, based on the healthcare background I have, and also the business sense that I have earned over the years. It’s about serv- ing my community. It’s about making sure that Ontario gets the best representation at Queens Park, and I believe I am that person.” Where transit is concerned, besides see- ing that Ottawa-Orléans gets “its fair share” of future transit infrastructure development support from the province for its light-rail transit project and other programs, Lalonde also declared her support for future up- grade of the Highway 174/County Road 17 connection between Orléans and Rockland. “We (Liberal government) already com- mitted $40 million to fix it,” she said, not- ing the environmental assessment is now in progress. “For me, it’s very important to make sure this is moving forward.”

911 Watters, Orleans ON



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