Josh Bennett 2019 Liberal candidate for Leeds--Grenville--Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes
BROCKVILLE - Josh Bennett has been nominated as the Liberal candidate in Leeds--Grenville--Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes for this year's federal election.
"I am honoured to have earned the trust of local Liberals in Leeds--Grenville--Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes. I'm ready to represent the needs of our vibrant community in Ottawa, to create more jobs and to increase access to high-speed Internet across our riding," said Bennett. "I've always been involved in our community and in local politics. With such a pivotal election facing us, with issues that are so important to Leeds--Grenville--Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, I wanted to throw my hat into the ring to represent our community in Ottawa. I look forward to working hard to earn the support of families across Leeds--Grenville--Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, one conversation at a time."
Bennett and his family have deep roots in the South Grenville community. After growing up in Augusta Township, Bennett has remained an active community leader by volunteering his time in a number of roles, including as President of the Rotary Club of Brockville and as Chair of the Brockville Santa Claus Parade. A graduate of both Queen's University and the Royal Military College of Canada, he currently works as the Director of Consumer Research at a leading Canadian market research company, where he works with major businesses and organizations to understand and respond to public opinion.
"A continued contributor to the local community, Josh has firsthand experience with the challenges facing middle class families in Leeds--Grenville--Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes every day and looks forward to representing the needs of the community in Ottawa.
Justin Trudeau and the Liberal team have been working on a strong plan for Canadians: to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class, protect a healthy environment for our children and grandchildren, and offer real help to Canadian families. Justin Trudeau's positive plan is working to strengthen our middle class and make life better for Canadian families, and there's much more to do," states media release prepared by the Bennett camp.
"The Liberal Party of Canada is committed to building the most open and inclusive movement in Canadian politics. Throughout 2019, local Liberals have been working hard across the country to engage with Canadians, and volunteers across Canada have started thousands of new conversations on the doorstep - focused on their ideas for building a better future," the release concludes.
Asked what he sees as the greatest opportunity in the riding over the next term of office, Bennett points to the local economy.
"I think the greatest opportunity facing Leeds--Grenville--Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes is growth of our local industry and economy. Twenty years ago, when I was fresh out of university, I personally faced the challenge of struggling to find work in our riding, and I had to leave our community to find a job. With so many big employers leaving the riding, I think there's a great opportunity to attract new employers and new industries to diversify and strengthen our local economy so that young people, and young families, can choose to stay and live in our community," he says.
Discussing the struggles of the previous Liberal candidates in a predominantly Conservative riding, Bennett speaks to the changes in the political atmosphere in recent years.
"I very much admire the work and campaigns of previous Liberal candidates in our riding. But this is a very different election than in 2015, and because of that, my campaign will have a different focus. For example, since 2015, we've seen a new Conservative government in Ontario under Doug Ford that a lot of people are concerned about. I think we've seen the Conservative Party become more polarized and more partisan. So in this campaign, I want to focus on reaching out to all voters, regardless of political stripe, and move away from partisanship and towards good ideas," he explained.
Engaging youth is another priority for Team Bennett.
"It's very important to me that young people are engaged in the democratic process, and that will be reflected in my campaign." Bennett outlines. "We have a Youth Coordinator who will be focused specifically on engaging the younger generation throughout our entire riding. And more than that, I want to focus on policies that make it possible for young people to stay and thrive in Leeds--Grenville--Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes. Things like ensuring Internet access throughout the riding, especially in the rural areas that are struggling with connectivity. Things like taking real action on climate change, that's a huge priority for me, and something that's extremely important to the next generation. The best way to engage young people in politics is to talk about the issues that matter to them, to listen to them, and let them know that they have a voice and that their opinions matter, and that's exactly what I plan to do," he concludes.