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Neil Ellis new federal Liberal candidate

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Neil Ellis, with his family. -Brenda Nielsen photo

The new Bay of Quinte riding has a Liberal party leader with Belleville mayor Neil Ellis, on the ballot, as the new federal candidate for the election scheduled for next year.

“We have an experienced campaigner to carry the party banner in the next federal election,” said John Brisbois, president of the Bay of Quinte Federal Liberal Association. Ellis was named as the federal candidate by Liberal members in attendance at the Greek Hall Sunday afternoon in a vote that saw the mayor facing off against lawyer and former candidate Peter Tinsley.

Joined by his wife Susan, a nurse at QHC, as well as his three children Zachary, Maddison, and Abigail, Ellis vowed he would take nothing for granted in the next election, and would work hard with all of them to see the Liberals elected.

In his speech to members, Ellis pointed to his family’s long history in the region, and his mixed feelings about his daughter wanting to get involved in politics some day.

“Politics has been too negative for too long,” he said. “Politicians are ranked almost last among most trusted professions.”

“I want to be a positive candidate, and to help change the way that politics is done. That’s what Justin Trudeau is trying to do. I want to leave my daughter and her generation a Canada that is better off.  We have too many examples in the news these days of politics being negative. We have to do better.”

Ellis also pointed to his support for a strong CBC as crucial to the Canadian identity, which drew applause from the gathered Liberals.

He told members he believes in a Canada that can have both a strong economy and a well-protected environment:

“It’s not a choice of one or the other. It can and should be both.”

Drawing on his experience as mayor of Belleville, Ellis told the crowd he had worked closely with the mayors of Quinte West and Prince Edward County. His experience  convinced him that much more needs to be done to support cash-strapped local governments.

“Municipalities are on the front line of services to Canadians,” said Ellis. “We need the tools to grow and prosper. I will fight to see Quinte West, Prince Edward County, and Belleville get their fair share of federal resources.”

 

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