GUELPH — Mark Paralovos was chosen to run as the candidate for the People’s Party of Canada during a nomination meeting on Saturday at the Victoria Road Recreation Centre, besting one other competitor.
Paralovos will be the first-ever candidate for Maxine Bernier’s conservative breakaway party in the city. He is also the third candidate confirmed ahead of the 2019 federal election in the Guelph riding.
The former PPC riding association head will go up against Liberal MP Lloyd Longfield, Green Party candidate Steve Dyck and to-be-chosen candidates from the Conservatives and New Democrats.
Paralovos was running against Matthew Dobbin. It marked a competitive nomination for a relatively small party in Guelph, a city that has had mostly Liberal politicians for over a decade at the federal level.
“I wanted to run because, from Justin Trudeau to local politicians, it is difficult to get a straight answer from anybody,” Paravolos said in an earlier interview with The Guelph Post, explaining that he watches politics at the federal level during his spare time. He revealed that he voted for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2015 expecting change and transparency.
“My political journey was an enthusiastic Justin Trudeau supporter to very disillusioned with Trudeau and the Liberal Party from top to bottom”, including local Member of Parliament Lloyd Longfield, Paravolos said, emphasizing that he likes Longfield “personally” but said that there has been a lack of honesty from his office.
The Guelph entrepreneur said that he cares about the impact of federal policies on the city of Guelph, giving the example of visiting the city’s MP ahead of the legalization of cannabis and expressing his concerns over changes to driving laws accompanying the legislation.
“The reason that I’m involved is because, my goodness, I want to have policy questions and discussions with constituents and with government and I want an answer,” Paralovos detailed, emphasizing that one could even say “an expletive answer”.
Paralovos, 37, was born in Guelph and has lived most of his life in the city, where he is raising a family with his wife. He runs a local technology firm with several staff underneath him and previously worked for 15 years with children’s mental health — experience he says will allow him to work well with other people in government.
Paralovos was also the first head of the People’s Party riding association in Guelph and this has been the face of the fledging party in this riding since it was founded late last year. The nominee is no stranger to Guelph politics, running in 2014 in an unsuccessful bid for city council in Ward 2.
Reporting by Eli Ridder.