French commits $40,000 to honesty in politics, challenges others to do the same
News release from the Bill French campaign
ELMVALE – If elected, Springwater mayoral candidate Bill French will commit $10,000 a year for an initiative to make politics more honest and transparent – and he’s challenging other Simcoe County politicians to do the same.
“There’s no question that there is a concern for the lack of ethics and training of some politicians,” French told supporters at the launch of his campaign last week.
“When I become mayor I will commit $10,000 a year from my salary for the four-year term, or $40,000, to create programs, courses or seminars to better prepare those who want to enter politics.”
French told the crowd that his campaign has been in contact with the Manning Centre for Building Democracy in Alberta, which offer a training seminar that could be the first step in a program for this area.
“I will approach Georgian College and its University Partnership Centre, or Lakehead University to establish a course on Ethics and Democracy in the public square, specifically geared for new or aspiring politicians,” French said.
French added: “I would also like to announce a challenge to all Mayors, Deputy Mayors in Simcoe County and our sitting politicians at the Provincial and Federal levels to match my pledge.
“In this way, we could create programs that become the model of political ethics and democracy in Canada and at the same time protecting the largest economic sector in Ontario, agriculture.”
French has also asked a group headed by Bernard Pope of Ontario Farmland Preservation to create a Farmland Preservation program to look at ways of ensuring that adequate agricultural land is available to meet the needs of the province, “since at the present rate of population growth, by 2036 we will be in a huge deficit of available land to feed Ontarians. “
In his first campaign speech, French also outlined a vision of Springwater “not of massive city-style growth, but of steady economic growth based on agricultural production and small industry.”