Interview with Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry Progressive Conservative candidate Nolan Quinn

·4 min read

Nolan Quinn

Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario

INGLESIDE – St. Andrews West resident and businessman Nolan Quinn said his volunteer experience in the community and willingness to help was what motivated him to run. He won the Progressive Conservative nomination, succeeding retiring MPP Jim McDonell.

“I just felt like this is a natural expansion of that,” he told The Leader. Quinn owns a Dairy Queen franchise in Cornwall and is past chair of the United Way of SDG. He said that when he was approached to run for the party’s nomination by SDSG MP Eric Duncan, the time was right for him having finished serving on a board for Dairy Queen franchisees.

“I felt like it was the world telling me something. The store is running itself. I’m in the managers’ way,” he joked.

Quinn said he is not running to be a career MPP. “The restaurant business is my career, community is my passion.”

Being in business, he said that understanding numbers and relationship building are the two most important attributes he would bring to the role of MPP if elected.

“For me to be successful in this, I want to be passionate and aggressive for our area,” he explained. “But there’s the reality that you need to build those relationships to be heard around the table at Queen’s Park.”

He acknowledged that the region does not get “its fair share of the stick” with funding announcements focused in the Ottawa area.

For Quinn, infrastructure is a priority highlighting the recent transportation plan released by the province that included widening Highway 401 through to the Quebec boundary. With the expansion of logistics companies in the riding, including the new Long Sault logistics facility, Quinn said the increased capacity on the highway is important. Expanding water infrastructure in areas like Ingleside, North Dundas, and Glen Water were highlighted saying a lack of new infrastructure is holding those communities back for future residential development.

Although Highway 138 was not mentioned in the government’s transportation plan, Quinn said he was going to work to address safety issues on the busy highway.

Getting people back into the workforce is another priority for him, especially in the trades. Expanding programs at the Cornwall campus of St. Lawrence College he said would help do that, and also help with the housing crisis. Quinn attributed some of the supply issues for housing to the shortage in the building trades.

Health care is another issue Quinn said was important for the riding and the province, with the COVID-19 pandemic exposing capacity .

“The pandemic was a test of our health care system,” he said. “Employees have done very well. You can tell they are passionate about their jobs. But as a whole, 1,000 people in our emergency system shouldn’t shut down our surgery system.”

Rural education is a concern for Quinn locally saying that French Immersion programming plays a big role in that.

“To me the overall strength and success of a school is French Immersion,” he said. “If a school isn’t given that it will dwindle in numbers and the cards are on the table of what will happen.”

Quinn said, if elected, his relationship building and mentorship skills are an asset, as is his connecting with neighbouring Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark.

“[Clark] has said to me he will help me whereever needed, and I am going to lean on that as much as possible,” Quinn said.

“To me, people like helping others and also showing where their strengths and understanding is. It’s good for me and it’s good for Steve because he will be able to mentor the next generation in that regard. I am going to go under his wing and allow him to develop me.”

Quinn’s pitch to voters is he is willing to work on either side of politics to get things done in the riding. That includes drawing on the best ideas, whereever they come from.

“Ego shouldn’t stand in the way of a good idea,” he said. “A good idea is a good idea.”

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader

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