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May. 22, 2022 | Sunday
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Election profiles: Tony Baldinelli Conservative Party
Niagara Falls riding Conservative candidate Tony Baldinelli at the headquarters on Montrose Road. (Brittany Carter/Niagara Now)

Conservative candidate for the Niagara Falls riding Tony Baldinelli says he knows political experience is essential to properly represent the public – he says he has that experience in spades.

Fiscal conservativism drew him in to the Conservative’s values in the beginning and he said it’s what has kept him loyal to the party ever since.

“We’re responsible in a sense that you can’t spend more than you’re taking in. If a person at home isn’t going to organize their affairs like that, why should the government.”

Baldinelli’s interest in politics began as early as sixth grade and he’s been building on that momentum ever since.

“My mother bought me a little black and white television when I was in grade six because I always wanted to watch the news. I took that interest all the way from high school into university,” he says.

Born and raised in Niagara, Baldinelli says, having worked on behalf of the residents in the Niagara riding for six years with Rob Nicholson, former MP for Niagara Falls, he understands the local issues and knows what it will take to properly address those concerns.

“Experience matters. I have over 30 years in politics that can assist me. I know what the pressures are. Ultimately, I’m in this because I want to help people. It’s about building a better community for my children and everyone else’s community,” he says.

He worked at the Niagara Parks for the last 18 years but is currently on a leave of absence from his position as senior manager of communications and stakeholder relations to pursue his political aspirations as the local conservative candidate.

Baldinelli lists some of the policies the Conservative's plan to push this year: eliminating the Carbon Tax is one of the measures conservatives promise to work toward; reinstating the Children's Fitness and Arts Tax Credit; offering more support for small businesses; pledging $1.5 million for new MRI and CAT Scan machines; and announcing a new housing plan, among many others.

“It’s not an environmental policy, it’s a tax policy. If it was going to be an environmental policy the tax would be so high that it would prevent anyone from actually wanting to drive. So, we’re going to go after the polluters,” he says.

An emphasis will be put on large industrial emitters, he added.

“If you’re going to exceed these limits, which we’re going to put lower than the current lowest, you’re going to pay into a green technology fund.”

While affordability and fiscal responsibility rank high on Baldinelli’s priorities, he says ensuring health care is readily accessible and properly funded is “incredibly important” to him.

“I had twin boys born at 25 weeks, 15 weeks too early. Unfortunately, I lost one of my boys after three days. We were then sent on an incredible 136-day journey up at McMaster Children’s hospital,” he says.

The experience heightened his understanding of certain aspects of the public health system, he says.

“It’s a huge important aspect of our platform. We’re going to guarantee health and social service transfers and grow them each term by three per cent,” he added.

“The campaign to us is all about affordability. It’s about ensuring that people have enough money in their pocket to make sure they have a comfortable future.”