THUNDER BAY – The city’s lone declared Progressive Conservative candidate has thrown his support behind Christine Elliott in the forthcoming Ontario leadership race.
Derek Parks, who will contest the long-held Liberal seat in Thunder Bay-Superior North, will also take a leave from the party’s executive, which must remain neutral during the leadership contest.
“Christine Elliott has the experience needed to move Ontario forward. Christine’s understanding of Northern Ontario issues ensures that our concerns will be heard. The north matters,” Parks said in a release issued on Thursday.
He added he believes she’s best suited to handle the needs of Ontario’s North.
“Talking with Christine over the years – coupled with her visits to the North – make me confident that at this point, we are best served with Christine Elliott leading the Ontario PC party into the next election.
“Her passion, drive, and experience is what Northern Ontario needs – and what Ontario needs. We must put our focus on the people of Ontario- which means defeating the Wynne Liberals – who have had their chance.”
Parks was a backer of former Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown, who last month stepped down from his post after being accused of sexual misconduct by two women in a CTV News piece.
Elliott, who finished second to Brown in the last leadership races, said the North will remain a priority if she wins.
“I am dedicated to rural and Northern Ontario. From real progress on the Ring of Fire to investing in improved health care access, I will fight for Northern Ontarians as Leader and as Premier. I am looking forward to working alongside Derek in Queen’s Park to bring real change to northern communities,” Elliott said in the release.