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County councillor nominated as NDP candidate for provincial election

Councillor and local high school teacher Diane Ballantyne previously ran as the NDP candidate in 2018
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Diane Ballantyne is Wellington-Halton Hills NDP candidate for the 2022 provincial election.

WELLINGTON COUNTY – A county councillor has been nominated as the provincial NDP candidate for the Wellington-Halton Hills riding. 

Diane Ballantyne was officially nominated during a Thursday evening meeting to run in the 2022 provincial election. 

“I am excited about this new opportunity to serve the people of Wellington-Halton Hills, and fight to make sure families have a chance to build their best lives in our community,” Ballantyne said in a press release. 

“This pandemic has been a challenge for many — workplaces have closed, children have been forced to learn from home and the cost of living is rising fast.”

Ballantyne said in a phone interview beyond what she called a “disarray in governing” throughout the pandemic, the provincial government has made massive funding cuts to municipalities and slashed the number of health units down from 35 to 10.

“Those are two examples of the way that this provincial government has been treating our residents,” Ballantyne said. “Those are really important decision making choices that demonstrate that this government isn’t really looking after Ontarians.”

Ballantyne was elected as a councillor for the County of Wellington in the 2018 municipal election and has served in that role since. She said this has really expanded her understanding of the impact provincial government policies have had on local residents.

The release noted Ballantyne has been a high school teacher for over two decades and has held leadership roles with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation and sat on the Ontario College of Teachers Council. 

Ballantyne said she has been advocating for this community for decades, highlighting local initiatives such as the Renegade Rainbows, Hate Has No Home Here or helping coordinate the Black Lives Matter march. 

Ballantyne previously ran as the NDP candidate in the 2018 provincial election, placing second with 24 per cent of the vote. Progressive-Conservative MPP Ted Arnott, who has been an MPP in the region for 30 years, secured more than 50 per cent of votes in that election.

The riding has changed a lot since the last provincial election and it is not the same riding as it was four years ago. 

“A report just came out this morning about the number of people that are leaving the GTHA and moving into smaller communities like Centre Wellington,” Ballantyne said. 

“We know that this community has grown and it is not automatically a de facto conservative riding any longer.”

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