In just a few short weeks, Canadians will be heading back to the polls for the federal election, and York-Simcoe incumbent MP Scot Davidson says he is ready to take action.
"I am excited," he said about campaigning again for the third time in three years. "I am out there working hard every day."
In February 2019 he was elected in the by-election after the seat became vacant when long-time Conservative MP Peter Van Loan retired. Just a short seven months later Davidson was re-elected in the 2019 federal election. In December 2019, he was elected Chair of the Conservative Caucus, acting as the liaison between Ontario Conservative MPs and the Conservative Opposition Leadership Team in the House of Commons.
But "my job's not done yet," he told BradfordToday while he was out door-knocking in Baldwin earlier this week.
Asked if he is feeling confident going into the election as the incumbent, he says he isn't taking anything for granted.
"The York-Simcoe seat isn't my seat, it belongs to everyone in York-Simcoe, and the Conservative Party has a plan and we are going to execute and there is going to be action," he said. "It's an honour to represent the constituents of York-Simcoe, the voters put their trust in me."
He says there are a lot of issues in the York-Simcoe riding that is important to everyone, including health care, transportation, and the environment.
One of the main concerns he is hearing from residents is about affordability and being able to keep up with rising prices in everything from groceries to housing.
Another hot election topic is the vaccine passport, which will take effect in Ontario on Sept. 22.
The Conservatives believe getting the COVID-19 vaccine should be a choice.
Davidson said he is fully vaccinated and encourages all Canadians to get the shot, but the idea of a vaccine passport is a difficult subject.
"We have to be compassionate with people right now," he said about those who may not be comfortable with getting the shot. "Canadians have a lot of questions, and it doesn't mean you divide them and put them in a corner and call them anti-vaxxers when they just have questions, they have concerns."
He questioned why there has not been more of an emphasis on rapid testing from the Trudeau government.
If elected, Conservatives will implement a national rapid screening program to allow businesses and public institutions to remain open. They would also deploy rapid testing at all border entry points and airports.
Davidson is a Sutton native, with a degree in Economics from York University. He has extensive experience as a small-business owner. In his 20s, he opened his own restaurant and went on to own multiple businesses across York-Simcoe. His business ventures have included a coffee shop, bar, and the Fish Crisp company that was bought out by McCormick Canada spice and seasoning. He also owned a marina and ice fishing operation.
He has served on the Georgina Medical Health Board, the Georgina Waterways Advisory Committee, the Lake Simcoe Fisheries Stakeholder Committee, and the Jackson’s Point BIA.
He has been an advocate at the House of Commons for Lake Simcoe, reinstating the Clean Up Lake Simcoe Fund as part of the party's platform.
"There isn't an MP in Ottawa that doesn't know about Lake Simcoe," he said. "I made sure that was in our party policy."
Throughout his time in office, Davidson has consistently supported small businesses and entrepreneurs.
"They are the people at the end of the day that make up our community," he said.
To help small business owners, the Conservatives will introduce various loans and grants such as the Rebuild Main Street Tax Credit, The Rebuild Main Street Business Loan, and the Canada Investment Accelerator, to help businesses get back on their feet post-pandemic.
"We want to get people back earning paycheque, and we have a plan to secure jobs and secure our economy," he said.
Locally, he mentioned 9Rounds gym in Bradford, who had been closed for eight months of the pandemic and was ineligible for government funding because they were a new business.
"Some of those sectors have been totally devastated and they need more help," he said.
Other highlights of his platform include boosting the agricultural and farming industries, getting high-speed internet access to all residents by 2025, increasing health care funding and investing in improvements to long-term care homes.
Davidson resides in Georgina with his wife Suzanne and son Graydon. Graydon just graduated from university and is a volunteer firefighter on the Georgina Island fire department and works at Virginia Beach Marina.
Suzanne is a member of Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, which he says makes him keenly aware of their contributions, opportunities, and issues.
"Inclusivity is very important to me," he said. "Everyone for me in this riding is my family, and I will always fight for my family."
With such a short writ period during a fourth wave of the pandemic, Davidson says it's been challenging to get out and see everyone in the riding. He is out seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to late evening knocking on people's doors.
"And that is what I will do until he polls close on the 20th," he said.
Election day is Sept. 20.