Candidate profiles: Windsor West
As Election Day in Canada approaches, there are a few tight races to watch in Windsor-Essex.
One of those is in Windsor West, a riding that has been held by the New Democrats since 2002.
But several candidates hope to change that in 2021.
“We might not be all in the same boat, but we’re in the same storm,” says Conservative candidate, Anthony Orlando.
The long-time Windsor resident wants to go to work for common issues in the area like jobs and healthcare and focus on the innovation and education pipeline.
He’s also confident Erin O’Toole will be the nation’s next prime minister.
“I concluded what was standing in the way was the fact that we didn’t have representation at the governing table. We needed someone who was going to be in government,” Orlando says.
Also fighting for that seat is Liberal Candidate, Sandra Pupatello — who calls this a critical time for Windsor.
“I hope people will see how my experience of having been in government is actually going to count, right now,” Pupatello says.
The long-time member of provincial parliament is pushing for west-end rejuvenation, ensuring climate change is top of mind — and desperately wants to land new product at Windsor Assembly — in the form of a new electric vehicle battery plant.
“We have the workforce, we have the skill and training in our own institutions, here with research that goes on right here in Windsor on battery, for example,” she says. “We need to pool all of that knowledge together and land investment right here.”
Pupatello and incumbent Brian Masse had a close race in the 2019 federal election with the two candidates separated by less than 2,000 votes.
It was the first real challenge Masse has faced in the riding in nearly two decades of federal politics — and this time around, he’s up for the contest.
“I think I’ve shown consistently I’m a fighter for Windsor West,” Masse says.
He’s pushed files like single sports betting and the creation of a national urban park at Ojibway into government legislation. He says a vote for him will translate into more advocacy — regardless of which party wins the election.
“What they want to see is a worker like myself, who can fight the underdog, and fight and win,” says Masse. “Someone who is willing to work with whoever is there in Ottawa in a positive way, but also fight in a hard way when necessary to get results.”
Also running is People’s Party of Canada candidate, Matthew Giancola and Margaret Villamizar of the Marxist-Leninist Party.
The federal election will take place Sept. 20, 2021.