Q&A With Candidates Running To Be MPP of Hastings-Lennox and Addington

The Napanee Beaver reached out to all candidates running to be MPP of Hastings-Lennox and Addington and received responses from (left to right) Ric Bresee (Conservative), Ted Darby (Liberal), Eric DePoe (NDP), Joyce Reid (New Blue) and Derek Sloan (Ontario Party).

The Napanee Beaver reached out to each of the candidates running to be MPP of Hastings-Lennox and Addington, looking to succeed Daryl Kramp who will not be seeking re-election. Each candidate was asked the same set of questions, their answers listed below. The provincial election will take place June 2.

Ric Bresee- Progressive Conservatives

Let’s start with a brief bio-where are you from, what is your educational background and professional background prior to getting into politics?

I was raised and have spent most of life in Amherstview. The growth and vibrancy of this community is in my bones.

Trained at St. Lawrence College as a Systems Analyst, I then worked there for over 20 years, both as technologist, and as instructor. Then I spent five years working with the Hospital Foundation in Kingston, after the hospitals they support did so much for my family.

I live in my hometown, with my wife Heidi, and we enjoy visits from our children and grandchildren.

What made you decide to enter the race to be MPP of Hastings-Lennox and Addington?

We need results in this riding. With my time on municipal council, I have seen many years of different governments. I have been most impressed by the actions and efforts of outgoing MPP Daryl Kramp and this PC government. Their responsiveness to municipal needs over the past four years has been a breath of fresh air. With Mr. Kramp retiring, I felt it was time for me to step up, to ensure we continue to have a strong voice at Queens Park, to ensure that this riding’s needs continue to be heard.

Over my 22 years on Loyalist Council, as a Councillor, Deputy Mayor and Mayor, I have seen how important good government is and the importance of the municipal/provincial relationship. As Chair of Economic Development for seven of the last 10 years, I can tell you landing a new business and watching a small business grow is always rewarding.

Why is your party the right choice for Hastings-Lennox and Addington?

Premier Doug Ford and the PC Party get things done. Ontario’s economy is humming right now, and our Party’s support of enhanced apprenticeship programs and advanced skilled trades training is going to keep it humming. And ensure we have the skilled workers needed in this area. We have eliminated Ontario income tax for people earning less than $30,000 a year, and our budget raises that limit to those earning up to $50,000. We have eliminated licence plate fees and have lowered the provincial gas tax to help compensate for higher fuel costs.

For Hastings-Lennox and Addington, we must continue to add well-paying jobs so people can make plans and grow their families here, close to their parents and grandparents. We will continue to build and expand schools and daycare facilities, and also continue to add long-term care beds, and hospital capacity; over 500 new LTC beds in 5 riding communities have been approved and will soon be under construction – an additional 300+ are being 100 per cent re-built. As announced in the April 28 budget, we will expand Highway 401 to six lanes across the region, the first major changes since it opened here in 1962, and are quickly improving internet and cellular access everywhere in the riding. We are getting it done.

What would you say are the top three issues facing Hastings-Lennox and Addington right now?

Cost of living is an issue everywhere and our government has been cutting costs for car registration and gas, cutting red tape that delays building, and increasing grants to municipalities to keep property taxes in check.

Broadband construction projects and filling in cellular gaps has been under way for over three years with a provincial completion date in 2024. All of the telecom trucks and project operations personnel around the riding show the companies are busy and very serious about this multi-billion dollar project. This will serve all of us today and in the new economic opportunities broadband and other technologies generate locally.

An ongoing challenge and goal is continuing to increase the size and scope of our skilled workforce; it’s vital for our economic growth and social cohesion; keeping our next waves of youth here after they finish high school, trade school, college or other education will help us keep families together and grow our economy.

If elected, what would be your biggest priority?

The most important thing for an MPP is to listen to the community, consult across the riding on an ongoing basis, and listen some more. I will stay connected and always available beyond the election, and I want all to know they will be able to call me with concerns and ideas. Helping our municipalities connect with provincial funding will remain a priority; current MPP Daryl Kramp has made communications with municipal partners a hallmark of his term and I will continue that as a high-priority. My two decades in municipal government will assist me in serving the 20 municipal governments in this riding, and all their residents.

Why are you the right candidate for this riding?

I get things done. I have a track record of bringing in business, creating jobs and working with all levels of government to get it done. During my years on municipal council, I have always stayed connected and listened. Municipal experience is vital for understanding how the provincial government operates, and I bring 22 years of that to this campaign and the role of the MPP after election day, if all goes well.

I am not shy and advocate for policies and programs which help our communities, such as the paramedicine program which helps people stay in their homes. I have been an active advocate in the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and will continue to speak up and be heard as a member of the government caucus at Queen’s Park. I have worked with the province to restore our heritage properties and have them used for education. I have worked for more long term care beds for our county, and better financial support for their operation. I have lived here all of my adult life and through the Lion’s Club, and on local and county council have always sought to make our community the best it can be. I will continue listening and put forward the same passion and commitment for the full riding of Hastings-Lennox and Addington.

Ted Darby-Liberals

Let’s start with a brief bio-where are you from, what is your educational background and professional background prior to getting into politics?

I have a Bachelor of Science and Master of Health Science Degree from the University of Toronto. My professional career started as a Director at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in 1982 and progressed to Vice-President at North York General Hospital and CEO at the Mattawa General Hospital. We moved to Stone Mills in 2008 when I joined the three Kingston Hospitals as Joint Vice-President responsible for facilities and planning.

Now semi-retired, I have been active as a professor at St. Lawrence College teaching postgraduate courses and a municipal and hospital management consultant.

What made you decide to enter the race to be MPP of Hastings-Lennox and Addington?

I believe that we must make life better for the next generation. I believe we at a crossroads and I cannot sit still and watch our province go down the path where we lose our public education and healthcare systems.

The Ford Conservatives have the wrong priorities. Instead of building up supports, they make deep cuts. They side with billionaires and big box stores over workers and small businesses. They choose costly highways over our kids’ schools. They scheme with developers and shut out communities. They choose to invest in the GTA, not rural Ontario.

What I am most passionate about is the slow, but methodical dismantling of our public health care and public education system. Another term of the Ford government will lead to further privatization that will be exceedingly difficult to reverse.

Why is your party the right choice for Hastings-Lennox and Addington?

We are a party that is driven by values and vision. We believe in a just society where we all deserve an opportunity to succeed. Where we care about each other. Where the public sector is seen as a force for good, not a burden on society. Where we look after our most vulnerable. We are also the party that strives to be fiscally responsible and deliver value to the taxpayer.

Our vision is clear. In contrast to the Conservatives that have not provided a platform at all. The Liberal Plan is comprehensive, detailed and costed.

The NDP on the other hand, who just released the fourth version of their platform in three weeks, plan changes that project $965 more in costs for the average middle-class family. Their platform costing is completely silent on improved support for before and after school childcare, fails to lower transit fares, and sets aside only $64 per person – barely enough for a single 30-minute appointment – for their so-called “universal mental health plan.”

Under an Ontario Liberal government, typical families will save $1,000 each month on gas, childcare, transit, and to-go meals.

What would you say are the top three issues facing Hastings-Lennox and Addington right now?

Municipal Infrastructure. We need to invest in water and sewer upgrades to enable our small towns and villages to create affordable housing and employment opportunities. We need investments in our emergency services and recreation facilities. We do not need more wasteful spending on expressways in the GTA!

Health Care, Education and Long-Term Care. The pandemic impact in these sectors cannot be underestimated. We need to support our nurses, teachers, and other workers, immediately repeal Bill 124 which froze wages for nurses, nurse practitioners, and health-care professionals, and invest significantly in training and facilities.

Investments to support local businesses and agriculture. We remain vulnerable to international pressures that can impact our major employers. We need to be proactive in supporting this sector of our economy. We need to support our small business and entrepreneurs as well. Livestock processing in our region is also a challenge that also needs to be addressed.

If elected, what would be your biggest priority?

Developing a four-year plan for Hastings Lennox and Addington through a deep-dive consultation with each of our distinctive communities. Once local priorities are identified, a step-by-step action plan can be developed to deliver real progress and a brighter future. Specific priorities I would like to pursue include supporting access to primary care, investments in our schools and hospitals, a shared recreation complex including a world-class arena and pool, and an additional 401 intersection in Belleville

Why are you the right candidate for this riding?

I believe our riding deserves more than a passive representative. I believe we need a strong advocate who has the knowledge, skills, and ability to actually get things done. I have a successful track record of numerous accomplishments including $100M+ facility investments. I have broad experience as an executive leader, teacher, and management consultant. I know how to listen and develop consensus. As a volunteer firefighter, I have demonstrated the courage and determination to do what needs to be done.

Eric DePoe- NDP


Let’s start with a brief bio-where are you from, what is your educational background and professional background prior to getting into politics?

I was born in Toronto, where I worked at several jobs before joining Canada Post. In 1998 I bought the Waterfall Tea Room in Yarker and ran it as the chef until 2015.

In both the 2014 and 2018 municipal elections I ran for a seat on Stone Mills Council.

I’ve spent most of my life representing workers. In my 28 years as a union officer at Canada Post I represented workers who had been unjustly accused, who were victims of favouritism, or who were injured on the job through no fault of their own.

I’ve been working since 2008 as a licensed paralegal, currently practising in Napanee. I have represented hundreds of workers with their claims at the WSIB.

I have always stood for fairness and justice for everyone, not just for those who can afford it.

What made you decide to enter the race to be MPP of Hastings-Lennox and Addington?

I am running in Hastings –Lennox and Addington because I can’t sit by and let Tories and Liberals continue to make Ontario a worse place for all of us who live here. Ontarians deserve a government that has their back, with bold ideas to transform the way we build, the way we get around, the way we work, and the way we live.

Why is your party the right choice for Hastings-Lennox and Addington?

In the last provincial election the NDP received 14,441 votes, compared with the Liberals, who only received 5,180 votes. The NDP is the obvious choice in our riding to beat the Doug Ford government.

What would you say are the top three issues facing Hastings-Lennox and Addington right now?

1.The environment.

If we don’t stop climate change now, the climate catastrophes already happening will overwhelm us in short order. Four years ago we had 10 years to reduce our emissions sufficiently to keep our global warming to an average of 1.5 degrees. Doug Ford has wasted those years doing nothing. We only have six years left.

Here in Napanee we’re battling a proposed asphalt plant that threatens air quality, groundwater and the pristine Napanee River. I spoke against the plant at a Council meeeting. Council made the right decision, and this decision has now to be fought for and upheld at the Ontario Land Tribunal. I will support that fight, as will an NDP government.

I am also on the citizen’s committee that stopped the Richmond Dump expansion which threatened our ground water. This fight is not over, however, as there is still a threat to groundwater and Waste Management has deep pockets and still owns the property.

  1. Economic Security


Housing is out of reach for most people. In Napanee and in most communities in our riding people who used to be able to afford to buy or rent a house have been priced out of the market.

We must build much more housing that people can afford, and take measures to tax speculators out of the market. The housing we build will be within reach of the average wage earner and environmentally sound, not heated or cooled by fossil fuels, and extremely energy efficient. Our policies have to include and support the underhoused and unhoused members of our communities.

We need to raise the minimum wage. Not only would this make life more affordable for our poorest workers, it would be a great stimulus for the economy. Minimum wage earners spend their paycheques immediately, on living their lives, in the local economy, making life better for all.

Gas prices have risen to the point where they are disastrous to the average person. Drivers are being gouged at the pumps. An NDP government would regulate gas prices to prevent the excess profits and price fixing which has driven these prices sky-high.

For those unable to work, ODSP and OW must be raised so that people can actually live on them. An NDP government will raise ODSP immediately and double it within one year.


  1. Cuts to Education and Health Care


The Ford Government has continually cut health care and education, as did the Liberals before them. Nurses and other healthcare workers are being driven out of healthcare by overwork and burnout. COVID has made the situation worse, as all of the resiliency had already been cut out of the system.

In our schools teachers and education workers are also overworked and burning out. We need these people to help our children succeed. Support systems for both students and teachers have been cut back and whittled away so they are no longer consistent.

Our schools, a valuable public asset, are crumbling through neglect and lack of repair.

Both healthcare and education must have their funding restored in order for them to effectively give Ontarians and their children the services we need. Bill 124 must be repealed.

 If elected, what would be your biggest priority?

Making life more affordable is my biggest priority.

Why are you the right candidate for this riding?

I care about people; I’m a good listener; I have strong advocacy skills; I’ve fought for rights for workers all my adult life. As Chair of the Yarker Community Association, as a Yarker Farmers Market Board Member, as a volunteer at the Morningstar Mission and at the Napanee Community Health Centre I have actively built the communities where I work and live. I was prominent in the fight to keep the Yarker Family School open.

I will continue to fight for and build our communities as your MPP.

Joyce Reid-New Blue Party


Let’s start with a brief bio-where are you from, what is your educational background and professional background prior to getting into politics?

My name is Joyce Reid. I am the New Blue Candidate for Hastings-Lennox and Addington. I have lived in this riding since 1976 having grown up in Toronto. I am a registered nurse whose career has spanned 49 plus years including emergency, trauma, ICU, CCU, orthopaedics, corrections (both federal and provincial), long-term care and management. My registration with the College of Nurses of Ontario remains current. I live with my husband, Elton and our new pup Reba on a 105-acre farm in Eldorado, Ontario. I have volunteered at church suppers, coached baseball and acted as a trainer for minor hockey. I am also a wedding officiant and a funeral chaplain.

What made you decide to enter the race to be MPP of Hastings-Lennox and Addington?

I had become disillusioned with out current governments. Our once prosperous province was quickly moving in a downward shift. I observed our youth and young adults feel their goals and aspirations were unobtainable. Our freedoms were being taken away one link on a chain at a time. Small businesses were being severely eroded, and many did not survive the lockdowns of the last two years. I could no longer sit back and watch.

Why is your party the right choice for Hastings-Lennox and Addington?

The New Blue Party is a true conservative party. It is a finely tuned, well organized political party that believes in the grassroots of our province. They are committed to removing the mandates that have crippled so many in this province as well as improving the economy, our educational system and our healthcare. They believe in honesty, fair play and transparency. They were the first party to have 124 candidates in all 124 ridings. The New Blue party, as proven by Belinda Karahalios is not afraid to stand up for the people at Queens Park. This party has the capability to move this province and the people in the right direction and the right way forward with strength, stability, liberty and a good, solid government.

What would you say are the top three issues facing Hastings-Lennox and Addington right now?

The economy is a major issue in Hastings-Lennox and Addington. With the rise in cost of just about everything, many families are struggling to survive. Many have been put on leave or lost their jobs because of the mandates over the last two years. Those who did find other employment often took a wage cut adding to the financial woes. Many do not believe they will ever own a home. The New Blue is prepared to take 3 per cent off the HST, axe the provincial carbon tax, reduce hydro rates by eliminating wind turbines and keep Ontario open for business.

Healthcare is another major issue. We have had too many years of fake promises about fixing our healthcare system. Delayed or cancelled procedures, laying off or terminating skilled workers, hallway healthcare, inconsistencies with long-term care (profit versus not-for-profit) all need to be addressed. Early treatment for COVID-19 needs to be introduced to prevent further illness. The establishment media should be defunded to promote free press and objective journalism allowing the people of this province to make informed decisions.

Education needs to be reformed by reducing administrative costs, stopping the “woke” activism and removing the critical race theory. Admission to higher education should be based on merit and not a medical intervention. Our young people deserve a good education and the ability to attend higher education, apprenticeships or enter the skilled trades without roadblocks. Our kids need to be kids again enjoying their younger school years and learning along the way.

If elected, what would be your biggest priority?

It is difficult for me to choose from the top three. All are extremely important issues that need immediate attention.

Healthcare is my passion. I would want to be part of the process to make real changes that are beneficial to the people of this province. I have spent my entire career advocating for patients/clients. People deserve far better than they are receiving in our current situation. Wait times are far too long, from accessing mental health, to specialist referrals and procedures or being able to have a family physician or nurse practitioner.

Why are you the right candidate for this riding?

I believe I am the right candidate for this riding because I am passionate about what direction our province is taking. I understand the rural community and can also understand those who have migrated away from the large urban centres. I know what it is like to struggle with a young family having been a single mother with no other income but my own. I have witnessed small businesses flourish then fall during these past two years and those still able to maintain a livelihood worry constantly about further lockdowns. I believe in promoting our communities to make them prosperous and a good place to live, raise a family and retire. I believe in listening to the constituents of Hastings-Lennox and Addington and bringing their concerns to Queens Park. I believe in honesty and integrity and carry this with me in whatever path I take. My father always told me to look them straight in the eye, give a firm handshake and speak the truth.

Derek Sloan-Ontario Party

Let’s start with a brief bio-where are you from, what is your educational background and professional background prior to getting into politics?

I am a father, husband, lawyer, and freedom fighter. I have a bachelor’s degree in business, and I attended Queen’s University where I obtained my law degree. In December 2021, I became the leader of the Ontario Party. I became involved in politics because I feared for the future we will be leaving for our children, especially once politicians like Doug Ford are finished with it. Our province has become a place where freedom of speech is spoken of but not permitted, and where too often, virtue signalling and empty cliché now shape our policies. As well, our province is shackled by massive debt and deficits, which has made life totally unaffordable, not only for our children, but our grandchildren as well. Special interests control our political policies – and entire communities of people are being left to fail as a result.

What made you decide to enter the race to be MPP of Hastings-Lennox and Addington?

I live in Stirling with my wife and three young children, and I knew from being the MP for Hastings-Lennox & Addington that the PC party has and continues to drop the ball on many issues locally and leaves the public uninformed on issues that are very important. Any MPPs who raised concerns were thrown out of the PC party by Doug Ford, and we are all worse off for not allowing elected officials to speak up on serious issues. When I became the leader of the Ontario Party, it was only natural that I would run here in my home riding. Strong leadership is needed locally for families and small businesses to stand up against the status quo and speak out on the real issues impacting families and communities. Rather than ignore those issues locally and across the province, I will stand up and speak out, and fight for everyone who continues to be left behind by out-of-control politicians at Queen’s Park.

Why is your party the right choice for Hastings-Lennox and Addington?

The Ontario Party has the potential to revolutionize politics at Queen’s Park. We have candidates who are steelworkers and doctors, construction managers and small business owners, real estate agents and lawyers, police officers and financial planners, firefighters and pastors, I.T. workers and paralegals, students and retirees. They are not career politicians. In fact, almost all of them never pictured themselves running for political office. However, like the rest of us, they have all had enough of the overreach of the entitled, elite political class. We know that Doug Ford and the PC Party cannot be trusted; but voters really do not want to go back to the failed policies of the Wynne Liberals or the NDP either. The Ontario Party represents an opportunity for voters to get involved this election by casting their votes for political candidates who will work FOR them, instead of against them. You can find out more about the Ontario party and our platform, here: https://www.ontarioparty.ca/our_platform_en

What would you say are the top three issues facing Hastings-Lennox and Addington right now?

The continued struggle of our small businesses, which creates a socio-economic trickle effect that harms so many other aspects of our community, caused by government policies that were supposed to help but instead harmed businesses. Continued rising housing costs, combined with the cost of inflation. These factors are crippling our job creation efforts, the ability of families to not just survive but thrive, and are making any positive long-term planning almost impossible. The attack on our freedoms, families, and faith that continues unabated and endorsed by all three of the main parties, whereas only the Ontario Party will stand up and stop these attacks. Anyone who challenges the status quo is attacked and cancelled. I am going to put an end to this by standing up to these bullies and stopping their rampage against Ontario families. Together, these three issues have Ontario citizens asking themselves what happened to this great province? It does not seem like a great place to invest, raise a family, or start a small business anymore. That is a real tragedy, and families in this province are feeling more stressed than at any other time previously in our history.

If elected, what would be your biggest priority?

By standing up for freedom, family, and faith, and using that as a guiding compass on the issues we will confront, it will ensure that we have someone leading our community and taking challenges head-on, as opposed to the other candidates who all just want to maintain the status quo, which as stated is not good for our families and communities. On every single issue, I would make sure we are fighting for our community and the freedoms of our citizens. The rest will fall into place like a puzzle if we just truly focus on this initiative and vote out politicians who talk about freedom like it is a bad word these days.

Why are you the right candidate for this riding?

Again, I have a proven record of standing up for freedom, family, and faith – and right now these values are under attack like they have never been before. If it seems bad now, just give the PC’s another mandate or the Liberals or NDP – it will get even worse. We need a fresh approach to how politics is done, and that means a vote for me, Derek Sloan here in Hastings-Lennox & Addington, and the Ontario Party. For more information on Derek and the Ontario Party, please visit: www.ontarioparty.ca.

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