PC candidated picked for Toronto Centre

The provincial election might be months away, but the riding of Toronto Centre can now get to know its Conservative candidate.

Provincial Conservative party leader Tim Hudak recently gave the nod to Martin Abell, who has been with the Toronto Centre Progressive Conservative Party since the byelection to replace former MPP George Smitherman took place last February.

A lifelong Rosedale resident, Abell says there’s potential in Toronto Centre that isn’t being realized under the current government.

And as a community-minded individual, he is willing to take the next step for his potential constituents.

“(Toronto Centre) is a big part of the city and it’s got a lot to offer,” he said. “It’s the playing field for talented people to get involved in small business ideas and give large business the opportunity to get the government out of their way because we need the growth.”

Come Oct. 6, Abell will be looking for the support of the community.

And in doing so, he has a clear, simple message.

“The driving message … is one of fiscal responsibility,” the father of four said. “And as a family man, I feel the pain as so many others do. We’re all responsible taxpayers and we need to see responsible spending.”

This is something Abell says has been hidden in a sea of red herring for a while now. The provincial Liberal Party dominates Toronto, with longtime MPPs serving in most of the key ridings.

“My message is that we want to offer the programs that we need,” Abell said. “The current government has brought forward a lot of issues to distract us from the core offerings that need to be focused on and delivered more effectively.”

While it’s still very early on, Abell’s campaign will be keeping in line with party leader Tim Hudak’s message.

“My campaign and the message of Tim Hudak is that we can’t afford the spending spree,” he said. “We need to tighten up our operations and run our key programs effectively and responsibly.”

Though he may be new to campaigning, he does have some election experience. This past fall he worked as a volunteer for Rocco Rossi’s mayoral campaign.

Previously working in property management and putting in lots of volunteer work with community organizations, Abell says he’s not a career politician, but he sees that as a positive attribute.

“I’m not a policy guy,” he said. “I’ve taken my free time and given back, but now I see that there’s cause to do more.”

And now he feels he’s ready to represent Toronto Centre on the provincial stage.

“I was born in the riding, I spent most of my life in the riding, I’m very proud to be from here,” Abell said. “I think we can do better and that’s why I’m taking this bold step.”