Trillium candidate Herrington favours honest, common-sense solutions

Hastings-Lennox and Addington Trillium Party candidate Lonnie Herrington says voters have told them they’d like to see him work to address high hydro rates, inefficient health care, and support for small business if elected. Photo by Adam Bramburger.

Adam Bramburger
Beaver Staff

Hastings-Lennox and Addington provincial candidate Lonnie Herrington has been busy in recent weeks introducing the people of the riding to the Trillium Party.

A Thurlow resident who now owns a contracting business after serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, Herrington was knocking on doors in the Napanee area last week in advance of a meet-and-greet in Amherstview Saturday with party leader Bob Yaciuk and MPP Jack MacLaren.

He said his party believes in respecting taxpayers and direct representation.

“To be a Trillium candidate, you have to possess a certain amount of common sense,” Herrington told the Beaver. “We sign a pledge with the party. The Trillium Party believes even though we’re running as candidates under the banner of Trillium, we’re all essentially independent candidates. Our pledge is we represent the people over the party… We’re looking to work out the best simple, attainable, and sustainable solutions.”

While Trillium has established policies on many of the major issues at Queen’s Park, Herrington said those policies are shaped by people candidates meet at the door. That, he hopes, will be the difference needed to get more people to vote in Ontario and more people to vote for candidates like himself.

Thus far, Herrington believes about 80 per cent of the people he’s talked with have been receptive to him.

“We’re growing and getting memberships and donations every day. We have a good set of policies that are expandable,” he said. “We treat people with honesty, dignity, and respect. That’s the winning platform right there.”

Herrington said he was a support of the Progressive Conservative party and that’s a common trait he shares with several others in his party who found they had a distrust in that party. He felt that instead of grassroots conservatism, party policy was all too often dictated by the executives.

“I could not run for the PC party, I did not have trust or faith in them,” he said.

Herrington said he doesn’t slag the Progressive Conservatives while campaigning and he also doesn’t knock the governing Liberals. Put simply, he doesn’t feel he has to do that.

“People look at their paycheques, their tax bills, and the infrastructure around their towns. They look at their hydro bill, which is only getting worse,” he said.

On the campaign trail, Herrington said hydro and health are two of the largest issues he hears about. Trillium policy suggests the party would scrap the Green Energy Act and cancel wind and solar procurement. It would also not proceed with a carbon tax.

“We’re dealing with the climate change narrative. We’re taxing people even more to clean up something that’s not being created by us. It’s asinine,” he said. “We need to look after the environment and leave something behind that’s not as good, but better. As we progress we should be getting better.”

Herrington suggested carbon is less of a concern than the waste Ontario residents are putting into landfills. He said one proposal could see the province making use of its retired coal plants as incinerators to provide cheap energy and reduce waste management costs. The incinerators could also help fuel greenhouse operations to support Ontario’s agricultural economy.

On health care, Herrington said Trillium favours eliminating Local Health Integration Networks and redirecting money to the front lines.It would also look to revamp billing practices and create a pharmacare plan that would take advantage of the province’s buying power to drive down costs.

Supporting small business is another topic that resonates. Trillium would look to reduce regulation by 30 per cent or more. It would allow small businesses with five employees or more to take advantage of the corporate tax rate.

Tax credits are also in store. All employees would see a five-per-cent cut. Other initiatives include a $13,000 credit for small business owners working after hours and a farmers’ tax credit for registered operators in the amount of $60,000. Growing up on a farm himself, Herrington said he sees the value of supporting agricultural producers and driving the rural economy.

Another move to save people out-of-picket would be a provincial auto insurance plan similar to several western provinces.

“When you renew your licence, you pay for your insurance,” he said. “It’s a provincially mandated law and the province should have the solution.”

While Herrington is hopeful those ideas will get the attention of voters, he’s most confident in his ability to be himself in his party.

“With this party, I am allowed to be who I am. This is me. I’m not going to change when I get to Toronto, you’re going to be my boss and I’m going to be your spokesperson,” he said. “I’m honest. I hope when I’m speaking to you, you have that feeling. I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not going to mislead you. If you ask a question, I’ll answer. You might not always like my answer, but I’ll answer. You will be respected.”

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