Wasaga Beach PC hopeful defies Ford’s nomination of Saunderson


As part of the appeal process, the provincial nominating committee has until June 15 to respond for or against the appeal.

One of the people campaigning to be the next Progressive Conservative candidate in Simcoe-Gray has filed a formal appeal against Premier Doug Ford’s appointment of Brian Saunderson to the post.

Premier Ford announced last Friday that the current Mayor of Collingwood, Brian Saunderson, would be the PC candidate running for MLA in the 2022 provincial election.

However, Saunderson was one of four people vying for the place. There had to be a party vote to choose the local candidate. Ford’s nomination suppressed the vote.

Stella Ambler, a Wasaga Beach resident since 2020 and one of the PC nomination contestants in Simcoe-Gray, has filed an appeal with the PC party nominating committee.

Ambler, a former MP for Mississauga, sent a letter to her supporters noting that she had filed the appeal on Tuesday, June 8. The nominating committee is expected to make a decision by June 15 to determine whether the appeal can go to a hearing.

“I am not giving up, and I know from the hundreds of emails, texts and phone calls I have received from local members that you are also disappointed, upset and ready to speak up,” Ambler wrote to his supporters.

After Ford announced Saunderson as the Simcoe-Gray candidate and canceled the local vote, Simcoe-Gray Constituency Association Nominee Selection Committee chair John Greswell resigned following the decision.

The nomination contest for Simcoe-Gray opened in the fall of 2020. Current Simcoe-Gray MPP Jim Wilson has announced he will no longer be running. He has been a local MLA since 1990 and, with the exception of the last two years, has been a member of the Progressive Conservative caucus. Since 2018, he has sat as an independent Member of Parliament.

The next provincial election is scheduled for June 2022. If nothing changes, that will be Brian Saunderson’s name on the PC party ballot in Simcoe-Gray.


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