It’s a simple fact of life that every political career comes to an end at some point.
I was honoured four years ago that the people of Brantford-Brant put their confidence in me. I think if I manage to win re-election it’ll be even more humbling because it’ll show that voters have a certain level of confidence in what I’ve been able to do for the community.
I enjoy public service, but my first calling was optometry and I’m doing everything I can to keep up my practice.
The College of Optometrists of Ontario requires doctors to do 70 hours of continuing education every three years. So, I do some online training before the workday starts. Next month I’m doing an in-person training session, as well.
You’re also required to have 250 hours of direct patient contact a year, so I usually work Friday morning. We have some great associates in the office the rest of the week.
It’s great seeing people face-to-face and interacting with them on a personal level. Obviously, politics comes up but it’s never as intense as it is at my MPP office, out on the street or on social media.
It’s a great place to talk about things with real people on a one-to-one basis. I get my head out of politics and just help people to see better.
A few weeks ago, a friend said to me: “Boy, they’re really going after you.”
I replied that what they don’t realize is that I can’t lose. I’m happy to serve. I’ll do it again. I’ll work hard to win. But I love seeing my patients. If the voters are done with me, I’ll get to go back to doing optometry every day of the week. That’s a good thing too.
Being a volunteer firefighter is lot like that too. I tried to take a leave of absence but the guys in the hall said ‘No.’
When you’re in a job like mine, you learn to value the places where, even if someone disagrees with you, they don’t judge you.
I know there are 20 people there that, if I got into trouble on a fire call, they would do whatever it took to get me out of a tight spot.
It means a lot to know that people have your back regardless of whether you agree or disagree on political issues.
It’s great to know people who are there for each other.