- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

When the invitation arrived in the mail, she thought she'd attend. After all, she is a former elected official herself and it was from a brockinvitenewly-elected Owen Sound councillor, promising “an afternoon discussion on the future of our community”.

She told me she was very taken aback to find herself at a speech announcing that Councillor Brock Hamley was seeking the nomination to be the Conservative candidate for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound. She left as volunteers were walking around the room, signing up new members for the Conservative Party of Canada from among the fifty or so in attendance.

The election this October will be one day shy of the first anniversary of the municipal election in which Hamley snagged the seventh seat on Owen Sound Council. Part of his winning strategy was knocking on every door in the city and following up with letters – to the same residents who received the invitations for today's event.

The “discussion” was also promoted in a public Facebook event, and on the Brock Hamley, Owen Sound City Councillor page.

Six men and one woman have now announced their intention to run for the nomination to replace Larry Miller on the local ballot. At Miller's retirement announcement he said “the more the merrier” when asked about the nomination. All seven will be working to sign up new members: the riding president said the current membership of approximately 400 could swell into the thousands.

The date of the nomination meeting has not yet been announced.

Others seeking the nomination are:

    • Col. Alex Ruff, Tara native, retired from the Canadian military with deployments overseas.
    • Rick Byers, from Kimberley, retired from a career in finance and government, President of the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Conservative and Progressive Conservative Associations and Bill Walker's campaign manager.
    • Chad Richards, Chesley native and long-time legislative assistant to MP Larry Miller.
    • Ken Brown, retired from the petroleum and construction industries and owner of two small businesses in Georgian Bluffs, and also on the boards of the local Conservative and PC Associations.
    • Paul Vickers, himself a first-time member of council for the Municipality of Meaford, dairy farmer and a director of the local Conservative Riding Association (EDA) for the past three years.
    • Ann Gillies, chaplain-coordinator at Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and resident of Southgate; also a director of the local Conservative EDA.

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