Niagara Falls city councillor and former Olympic boxer Mike Strange officially has some competition in seeking the PC nomination for the Niagara Falls riding in the 2018 provincial elections in June.
On Tuesday, Chuck McShane, life-long Niagara resident, announced he was stepping into the ring to contend for who will represent the party.
McShane, who said he has been locally involved in the PC party for more than 15 years, wears many hats.
He’s a four-time president of the Niagara’s Home Builder Association, chief executive officer of the Steve Ludzik Foundation, has been a volunteer firefighter in Virgil and currently works with St. Catharines Building Supplies.
He’s also done other charity work, including work with Hockey Night in St. Catharines, which has raised more than $1 million for United Way.
This will be the first time he has sought a position in public office.
“It wasn’t even on my radar to get involved in Canada’s political arena,” he said, during a phone interview.
“I’ve been involved in the conservative party for many years but it never crossed my mind.”
“However, there were numerous people who’ve asked me to do it … after a couple of weeks of conversation with my family for approval, and my employer, basically we said ‘OK, let’s do it.’”
He said he’s known he would be running for a couple weeks but it was officially announced it at a press conference Tuesday in St. Davids.
“I’m tired of seeing the area lose,” said McShane.
Some of the major issues he’s had with the area have been the loss of the Fort Erie slots, lack of affordable housing and shrinking incentive for young professionals to come back to Niagara after post-secondary education.
“We’re losing our young professionals to bigger cities,” said McShane.
“Our youth go away and they go to Universities and Colleges and they get degrees, and there’s no place for them to work when they get back here.”
He said he will be focused on bringing jobs to the area if he ends up becoming MPP.
McShane said he’s been friends with rival nominee Coun. Strange for years.
“I’ve helped (Strange) with his charity work and he’s helped me with mine … we’re both fighters … I’m running to give him some competition,” McShane said.
McShane is the father of three daughters with his wife of 26 years. He has two granddaughters and one on the way in February.
He said his grandchildren are a big part of what motivated him to seek the nomination.
“I’m forced to wonder what’s going to be here for them,” he said.
‘When I look into my granddaughters eyes, and think about what kind of future she has … I realize there’s nothing there for her,” said McShane.
“I can’t stand by and watch that happen.”
Coun. Strange also has a long list of achievements and charity work under his belt. He’s been a Niagara Falls city councillor since 2014, owned a business for 20 years and has represented the country in multiple Olympics. He is also the founder of BoxRun, a charity that supports children with cancer.