Sudbury’s provincial Liberal candidate, David Farrow, officially launched his campaign for MPP and opened the doors to his office in downtown Sudbury on April 23.
Farrow, a retired Rainbow District School Board principal, is running in the June election against the Sudbury riding incumbent, NDP MPP Jamie West, Green party representative, David Robinson, and Conservative candidate, Marc Despatie.
Farrow told Sudbury.com the choice of downtown location was a specific and important one as he feels the issues of the downtown are not being spoken about enough.
“It is really a huge issue that we are not talking enough about,” he said, and expressed a need to hear more from those in the community who are working with vulnerable populations in Sudbury. “We have a lots of expertise in our community here, we need to tap into those people that are working on a daily basis downtown here and see what the needs are,” he said. “We don't have to go outside of this community to find them, I know the solutions are here.”
Farrow said if he is “lucky enough” to be the representative for Sudbury, “in the first 100 days of me being MPP, I'm going to call together community leaders — and not just the politicians, not just the talking heads — we're going to call against the people that are actually working with the vulnerable population, and we'll find solutions to help move this forward.”
At the campaign office launch, Farrow was introduced by Sudbury's Liberal MP for Sudbury Viviane Lapointe, and former Sudbury Liberal MPP, Rick Bartolucci.
Lapointe said she had known Farrow for more than 25 years, and that they met discussing the community over a mutuals friends kitchen table. Lapointe said Farrow was an impassioned advocate for his community. “We are excited to have him now take that same passion to his role as MPP for Sudbury,” she said. “You will grow and build a stronger Sudbury; I look forward to working with you as you do that.”
Bartolucci, noting his great love of country music, quoted Reba McIntyre when he said, “in order to be successful in life, life, and I'd suggest politics as well, you have to have a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone. And David has all three in spades.”
Farrow’s campaign focus is “A stronger Sudbury.” He told Sudbury.com that means focusing on how important Sudbury is to the economy of Ontario. “Ontario needs more Sudbury,” he said. “Sudbury has a very strong economy. The fact that we have such a vibrant mining industry and mining services industry is something that we should be marketing and talking about all the time.”
He also spoke to his belief that Health Sciences North is too small. “A stronger Sudbury, to me, means a better health care system,” said Farrow. “HSN is too small. The fact that people have to travel so far, and spend their own money to get specialist appointments, we need to do work in that area to make things better.
He added that a stronger Sudbury also means “better leadership, and a stronger voice.”
When asked what he might do differently to combat these issues, issues that could be seen as unwanted, though ongoing in Sudbury, he said, “we have to separate the rhetoric of political campaigns from the actual needs.”
Farrow said that his background in community service, as well as in the healthcare field as chair of the Maison McCulloch Hospice, were a strong asset. As well, he intends to build a coalition, something he said he has experience in and the contacts to achieve. “It's all about building coalitions and building together a group of people to get a job done,” he said. “And I think the work ethic is the other thing, I have a strong work ethic, and I'm noted for that. We need to roll up our sleeves and get down to business and get things done for our community.”
In addition to the hospice, Farrow has worked with the Sudbury Food Bank, the Canadian Breast Cancer Society and Larch Street Kids. In 2010, his work was recognized with a Celebration 2010 Community Sport volunteer award, and he founded and ran the Rainbow Catholic Co-Ed Basketball tournament for 14 years.
Farrow is married to geologist Catharine Farrow, and his son, Wilson, was recently drafted by the Sudbury Wolves.