For many voters in this election, there will be a new choice appearing on the ballot. And for locals in the riding of Perth-Wellington, that new choice will be represented by a new face to politics.
Bob Hosken, a long-time resident of Harriston and high school math teacher at Wellington Heights in Mount Forest, will be one of the choices on ballots this June as he represents the New Blue Party. Born and raised in Kirkland Lake, Hosken and his wife have a family of two daughters. He indulges in a few hobbies, including coaching high school hockey and playing guitar, and prior to teaching he worked in the private sector as well as owning a small restaurant business â€“ something he credits giving him an appreciation for the work ethic required to be an entrepreneur.
Hosken agreed to be interviewed by the Stratford Timesâ€™ Matt Harris. What follows is the question & answer session from that interview.
Stratford Times: Have you ever run for political office before, and if so, which office and how did that turn out?
Bob Hosken: No, this is my first run for office but not my first experience with politics. I look forward to the challenge, knowing that I have the support of my family and friends. I enjoy a good debate. Listening to different points of view is the only way to learn and sharpen your critical thinking skills.
ST: Itâ€™s safe to assume that you have conservative leanings politically-speaking, so what is it about the New Blueâ€™s party platform that spoke to you and made you want to run under their banner in this coming election?
BH: I have great respect for Belinda Karahalios, a sitting New Blue MPP at Queenâ€™s Park, who seems to be the only opposition voice left in the legislature against the Ford PC government. All three establishment parties donâ€™t seem to represent anyone but themselves. Belinda was kicked out of the PC caucus for voting against Bill 195 â€“ the ironically-named â€˜Reopening Ontario Actâ€™ â€“ which did nothing to stop the spread of a virus but instead hurt families, small and medium-sized businesses, and especially our children. Instead of shrinking away as an independent MPP, Belinda and her husband Jim decided to start the New Blue Party of Ontario. This is a grassroots effort and many of the candidates running are just like me: teachers, police officers, nurses, small business owners â€“ not party insiders. I believe our New Blue Party has the opportunity to represent those voters who feel they have been left out and no longer have a voice in Ontario politics. The New Blue platform is one that will grow our economy by cutting wasted taxpayer subsidies, fight against the powerful corporate lobbies who seem to have taken control of our establishment parties, and promote and protect the family unit and our individual rights and freedoms as Canadians.
ST: How does the New Blue platform differ from the Ontario Progressive Conservative platform, and how do you plan on making that distinction clear when youâ€™re campaigning?
BH: As Belinda Karahalios recently said about Fordâ€™s Progressive Conservative party, â€˜itâ€™s â€˜progressively left, and conserving nothingâ€™. The Ford PC party has been spending more of our taxpayer money than the Wynne Liberal government who preceded them â€“ and that was before the pandemic. And the worst part is that they have no strategy to balance the budget in the future. That doesnâ€™t sound fiscally conservative to me. They also supported every left-wing policy coming from the federal Liberal/NDP party in the last two years, including the newest daycare program and carbon taxes. Every PC MPP voted in favour of advancing Bill-67 past second reading, a private education bill introduced by an NDP MPP. The only MPP who voted against this was Belinda Karahalios.
ST: Setting aside party politics, what are the issues of greatest importance to you for this election? And what do you believe are the ones most important to voters and the public at large?
BH: I think most people in Ontario are experiencing a drop in their standard of living with the rising prices of commodities. All prices will rise when the price of gas and diesel rises. This is a direct result of the green energy policies being promoted by the Ford PC government, who are, again, following the federal Liberal/NDP policies. The push for green energy is being subsidized by the taxpayer, whether it be the existing contracts of wind turbines or future electric vehicle production. If governments have to subsidize private company business models, those are not good business models. New Blue will put an end to using taxpayer money to subsidize threse economy-killing, disastrous plans.
ST: Can you sum up the goal of your campaign in three sentences or less?
BH: I am running to be the representative of the people of Perth-Wellington in the Ontario legislature; not to govern over them or blindly follow what the party and their lobbyists want. Ontario needs to move forward â€“ the right way forward. Itâ€™s time to get our province working again by empowering individuals, strengthening our democracy, defending taxpayers, promoting small businesses, and standing up for faith and families. Ontarioâ€™s establishment political parties are entrenched in radical left-wing ideology that seeks to socially re-engineer our province through tax-and-spend economics, government overreach, and crony capitalism.
Those wishing to find out more about the New Blue Party of Ontario can find their party platform and other related details on their website at www.newblueontario.com.