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John Smylie seeks Bay of Quinte Riding Conservative nomination

Mayor of Quinte West John Williams gives a message of support to Bay of Quinte Riding Conservative nominee John Smylie.

Quinte West mayor John Williams gives a message of support to Bay of Quinte Riding Conservative nominee John Smylie.

Quinte businessman, philanthropist and 436 (Transport) Squadron Honorary Colonel John Smiley announced Tuesday he is seeking the Conservative nomination for the newly reshaped Bay of Quinte riding.

Smylie throws his hat into the ring with Belleville mayor Neil Ellis, the only other announced Conservative candidate to date.

Smylie’s campaign was given an enthusiastic sendoff by more than 100 ardent supporters gathered for the announcement at Tomasso’s in Trenton.

Known for his support of charities and causes, Smylie’s educational bent is toward economics and business, a great foundation for a Member of Parliament, said Pat Koets, a family friend and booster of the Quinte West grocery store owner.

“He plays fair, but he knows when to play hardball when he needs to,” she told the gathering.

Koets said Smylie became MP material for her when she heard a story about how he functioned during the ice storm in Brockville. The store brought in generators to keep it operating and to keep a cash register functioning plus they had many extra items brought in to serve their customers during the storm, including skids of batteries.

“John put those batteries on sale at the same time many other retailers hiked their prices,” she noted. “I knew then John was the person I wanted representing me and my community in Ottawa. Somebody who cares enough, who knows to be prepared, who knows his community, knows what’s going to be involved and will treat us fairly and not take advantage of any situation, an excellent Member of Parliament with our best interests at heart all the time.”

Smylie said he wanted to protect the quality of life for everyone in the new riding located in the Quinte region, which he called a “Canadian paradise.” He said he had a sense of pride for this area and he just felt motivated to stand up for this community with its natural attractions and huge potential.

“The growth of viticulture in the County, the potential of agribusiness in this area in combination with the natural attractions of the Bay of Quinte, the Trent River and the County, the spinoffs of tourism, agribusiness and the service industries is boundless,” he said. ‘I’m not afraid to stand up for this community and be a voice in Parliament who can champion the needs of the Bay of Quinte region,” he added.

Ryan Williams, a member of Smylie’s nomination committee, encouraged those attending the meeting to buy and sell party memberships and get out and support Smylie through the process.

“He supports many causes, charities and organizations. He’s a champion of CFB Trenton and he’s a great leader who can tackle the important work that needs to done to bring growth and prosperity to this area,” he said.

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