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Quaiff officially the Bay of Quinte Liberal candidate

Story and photos by Sharon Harrison
The Bay of Quinte Liberal riding has offically named Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff its candidate for the 2018 provincial election.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime for me,” said Quaiff. “It’s something that’s a long time coming and with a lot of conversations with a lot of different people.”

Before a crowd at the Wellington and District Community Centre Saturday, Quaiff was nominated by Bay of Quinte riding president Peter Landry as the candidate to win the new riding.

Federal Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis describing Quaiff as an organized and passionate man.

“He really is passionate in the mayor’s role and this is the next step for him,” said Ellis. “We have a candidate that I speak very highly of, and looking at the turn out in the room today, you see a lot of his council here.”

Ellis said it’s not about partisan government, but is about the person that’s running.

“It is about a candidate that I know will work hard; a candidate that listens and a candidate that will bring back the riding issues to Queen’s Park. That’s the person we want to represent the riding.

“You’ve got a long road to travel and at the end of it, may there be victory – and you’ll be 30 pounds lighter,” Ellis added, to laughter and applause from the audience.

Lou Rinaldi, MPP for Northumberland Quinte West also chimed in with support, congratulations and noted that after June 7, “it would be nice to have Robert officially at Queen’s Park.”

Quaiff poses with some of his family members during the nomination meeting.

A large number of Quaiff’s family members filled Rotary Hall along with local councillors, friends, residents and party supporters.

Quaiff joined county council in 2000 as a councillor for North Marysburgh ward. A retired financial advisor for Sunlife, he served on council again in 2010, and was elected mayor in 2014.

“Politics is sort of like a family,” he said. “We all work together for one purpose, one common cause and that is for the betterment for Ontarians and our residents in our municipalities. I so, so enjoy being the Mayor of Prince Edward County. It has been so rewarding and gratifying.”

An outspoken critic of the Green Energy Act, he said that won’t change.

“Nothing has changed. The Liberals know they are getting a strong advocate for their community. I will work on your behalf to get what you want. It’s as simple as that.”

He’s ready to hit the campaign trail and start knocking on doors.

“I am going to work as hard as any candidate that you have ever known in the Bay of Quinte,” said Quaiff.

Addressing his wife Susan, he noted he wouldn’t have been a councillor, wouldn’t have been mayor “if it hadn’t been for you.”

“That’s true,” she said with a smile.

“It is true” confirmed Quaiff as the room erupted into laughter and applause. “So for all your years of support – I don’t know what’s wrong with you – but for all your years of support, thank you, I love you and we are going to get the job.”

Once the writ for the election is dropped in May, Quaiff said he will take a leave of absence from his role as mayor.

“That will last for the 28 days, and then depending on the outcome of the election, if I am successful, then I will have to resign my role as mayor and council will have to make a decision as to who should take that position.”

“If I am not successful,” he added, “then I simply come back into the office the day after the election and resume my official role as mayor.”

If unsuccessful in his attempt to be the new riding’s representative at Queen’s Park, Quaiff said he would consider running again for mayor in the November 2018 election.

“I love what I do, I want to be involved in my community, I want to stay involved in my community.”

The provincial election is to be held June 7, 2018. The current Prince Edward Hastings riding is being split into the Bay of Quinte and Hastings-Lennox & Addington ridings as part of the redistribution process and to follow the federal election boundaries.

Incumbent Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith will carry the Conservative Party banner in the new riding. The NDP party has yet to announce a candidate.

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  1. Argyle says:

    It’s nice to have a candidate from this side of the bridge running in the next provincial election, just to bad he is the candidate for the Wynne Liberals.

  2. Tech2 says:

    If I understand it correctly, Mr Quaiff can take a leave of absence, apply for another job, and if he does not get it, comes back as Mayor. Is this really how it works? Not in the rest of business. Still, I wish him all the best.

  3. Dennis Fox says:

    Like many, I am surprised by this announcement – but if it can help the people PEC, then I wish Quaiff all the best.

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