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Progressive Conservatives open their campaign office and put their candidate on display. Strong start.

By Pepper Parr

May 2nd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

I had a rough idea of what Natalie Pierre would look like.

The picture the Progressive Conservative (PC) party provided was all I had to go on and very little information. When I walked into the campaign office at the intersection of Fairview and Appleby line I walked right past the woman.

I met her husband before I met her.

It took a bit too actually be able to sit down with the candidate and ask some questions. They offered to set up an interview at a later date – those offers seldom come to fruition.

Natalie Pierre on the right with one of the volunteers.

Natalie was born and raised in Hamilton, went to high school there and then on to McMaster where she earned a degree in Commerce.

She and her husband live in downtown Burlington.

Natalie worked at Sheridan College in the Human Resources sector for a number of years before that she was an auditor for the federal tax collector.

I tend to use first interviews to get a sense of the candidate. Do they have a direct eye contact look, are the stiff and anxious. Are they friendly?  Do they do more spinning than actually answering questions.

She came across to me as pretty solid

All the thoughts I had of Natalie Pierre faded away as we talked about her growing up and her experience in the work world.

I did learn that her appointment as the PC candidate for Burlington came from the head of the party who was permitted to make 10 appointments: Natalie was the third party appointment.

The Burlington Conservatives have had nomination problem for as long as I can remember.  The direct appointment looks as if it was a solid choice.  This woman is cut from a different kind of cloth than the incumbent.

She is smart and has this habit of reaching out and touching – she doesn’t actually reach out – but you are aware that she has touched you – ever so slightly and lightly. She communicates that way.

We didn’t talk about her views on PC policy and where she stood on climate change and the building of more highways. She is new to the game and if she didn’t support the party and its policies she would not have accepted the appointment as a candidate.

She will learn, if she is elected, how things work in the legislature and that if you have concerns they come out at caucus meetings.

PC campaign office at Fairview and Appleby Line

While the mental health of young people is a very big concern for Natalie Pierre this is not a one woman candidate.  Long term care, the funding of our hospitals and the huge surge in mental health needs are a natural focus.

At first I didn’t recognize Natalie while she going over a map of the riding with other woman. I saw someone with the capacity to absorb data and analyze what she was looking at.

Natalie Pierre with a front desk volunteer getting ready to do some door knocking.

The initial interview didn’t last all that long – she was getting ready to get out and do some door knocking.

We will watch how she does in the debates during the election that starts on Wednesday

The Progressive Conservatives in Burlington just might have gotten lucky and come up with a candidate that is not going to embarrass them and could well become a candidate that people will genuinely like and come to respect and admire.

Too early to say much more but Natalie Pierre is someone to watch.

It does not appear that the campaign team is going to wrap her in a bubble and keep her away from people and those pesky issued based questions

One last impression – I think she is a Habs fan

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