MPP Toby Barrett says the internal Ontario P.C. party turmoil since the first of the year has been good for the party locally. Haldimand-Norfolk’s provincial riding association membership now stands at 700 compared with 200 at the beginning of the year.

Barrett supported Doug Ford for the new leader as did 40% of the 500 local voters. Secondary ballot support when Tanya Granic Allen was cut boosted local support to 59 per cent of the vote.

Dealing with the province’s debt problem will be tough for whoever wins the upcoming election. But Barrett noted Ford is an entrepreneur who owns his own business.

“He understands the importance of management. He knows you can’t run a successful company if you don’t control the books.”

Granic Allen, considered something of an outlier, garnered 120 votes in  Haldimand-Norfolk, just six votes shy of Christine Elliott.

Granic Allen is a formidable debater, Barrett observes. He said she is comfortable with questions from the floor and doesn’t rely on notes when she speaks. “I hope she runs in the (June 7) election. I sent her a note to that effect.”