This time next year, we will be in the middle of the Provincial election, Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner will be defending his seat, and Premier Doug Ford will be protecting his government majority. Any plan to upset Ford’s desire for a second term will probably pass through the Guelph riding, which means this is going to be a very competitive riding when the writ is drawn up, and it got a little more competitive today.
On Friday, Raechelle Devereaux, the CEO of the Guelph Community Health Centre, announced her intention to seek the Ontario Liberal Party nomination for Guelph. In a press release, Devereaux said that her experience working to fight food insecurity, homelessness, and to promote early childhood education makes he a good choice to represent Guelph and rebuild Ontario post-pandemic.
“This relentless pandemic has highlighted the need for comprehensive and science-based solutions to address the many challenges we face as a community, particularly around mental health and addictions, poverty, anti-oppression and anti-racism,” Devereaux said. “I have extensive experience working with multiple stakeholders to achieve community-based solutions, and this feels like the right time for me to step up to become Gueph’s Liberal MPP and represent Guelph in the provincial legislature.”
If a Liberal candidate were to return to the Ontario Legislature, it will be quite the uphill climb. In the 2018 election, Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis executive director Sly Castaldi ran to succeed Liz Sandals, but she finished in fourth place with 10.12 per cent of the vote. Schreiner finished first place with 45.04 per cent, which was a few points higher than the 41.74 per cent average that Sandals achieved over four elections.
Presently, Schreiner is the only candidate in Guelph that’s been acclaimed for the 2022 Provincial Election. Devereaux though is the first challenger to emerge in what’s bound to be a very competitive race locally, an assertion that even the Ontario Liberal leader agrees with.
“I know the community here in Guelph very well, and I know the great legacy that my dear friend Liz Sandals left here with her work and her leadership, and I look forward to being back in Guelph many, many times between now and the next election day and beyond,” said Steve Del Duca while outside Victory Public School at the end of March, his second Guelph appearance in six months.
“Though we are early in the elections process, it’s clear that change is needed, and that our pandemic recovery efforts will be extensive,” said Devereaux, “I am confident I have the skills and experience to represent the interests of community members and businesses at Queen’s Park under new Liberal leadership.”
You can learn more about Devereaux’s campaign at her website here.