Sudbury

Mark King running in Nipissing-Timiskaming for People's Party after Conservative nomination rejected

Mark King was going to be the Conservative candidate for Nipissing-Timiskaming, until the party rejected his nomination. Now, he's affiliated with the People's Party of Canada and ready to win against his former colleagues.

King is currently a city councillor in North Bay

Mark King suspects that his strong poll numbers contributed to Maxime Bernier's acceptance into the federal leaders debates. (Mark King)

Mark King was going to be the Conservative candidate for Nipissing-Timiskaming, until the party rejected his nomination. Now, he's affiliated with the People's Party of Canada and ready to win against his former colleagues.

"I know without question that I've made the right decision," King says of his move to the People's Party. During his vetting process with the Conservatives, it became evident to him that "there certainly were some major problems within their organization."

He didn't make the switch completely blindly. Before seeking nomination for the Conservatives, King says that he had a few meetings with People's Party executives in North Bay. 

The issues

As a five-year veteran of North Bay city council, King says that he saw many of today's issues developing slowly in the community. 

One such issue is the lack of affordable housing. 

"Our taxation base from a property standpoint is one of the highest in the province," he said, "I hear it everyday from retired people that have indicated they can no longer afford their homes."

He said that the higher tax rates levied by municipalities are a direct result of a shortfall between services the municipalities must provide and a lack of support from the federal government. 

"The municipalities are sitting there trying to fix things and the provincial government has started to step up, but there's nothing from the feds."

King said that perhaps the biggest issue faced in northern Ontario is that of opioid addiction. 

"So one of the things I'd like to see," he said, "is some sort of a national policy that addresses the issue of drug addiction."

"The federal government really has a responsibility to make sure that the borders are tight and that this stuff is not coming in from Asia."

Lining up with the People's Party

Critics have accused the People's Party of Canada as being racist, saying they see Bernier's proposed cap on immigration numbers and a billboard sporting his picture that reads 'say NO to mass immigration' as proof. 

King rejects this categorization and says that people have taken the party's policies and tried to cast them in a bad light.

"There's no question that we need a certain segment of immigration inside the country, we know that. But the question is how much?" he said. 

King's worry is that Canada cannot afford to provide the proper services to a large influx in immigrant population, using emergency room wait lines as an example that our system is already strained. 

He is also worried that we are looking internationally for a labour force when there are many options in Canada. He said that northern Ontario's fastest growing demographic is in our Indigenous community, and that population should factor more heavily into an employer's search for workers. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.