I was born and raised in Fort Erie, a small town in Ontario. My younger sister, Tricia, and I were lucky to have the love, support and guidance of our parents, Pat and Anne Marie, both of whom were teachers.
After graduating from university, I was a Customs Officer at the Peace Bridge. Then I traveled across the country as part of a management team helping a major international retailer grow its operations throughout Canada.
In the early 1990′s, I became motivated to enter politics. Like most of Ontario, my town was having a tough time. My friends were leaving Fort Erie and heading to other places to find opportunities that were not available at home.
I wanted to stand up for families like mine, and restore the jobs and the sense of community that were under such serious pressure where I lived, and across Ontario.
I was first elected as the MPP for Niagara South in 1995. I served as a Cabinet Minister for five years. I was elected the 23rd Leader of the Ontario PC Party in June 2009.
But the most important dates in my life are October 5, 2002, when I married my wife Debbie, and October 3, 2007, when the light of my life – my daughter Miller – was born.
I want to be Premier to stand up for families – to restore Ontario as the economic engine that drives this great country, to ensure Miller has every opportunity to succeed like I’ve had and more, and to deliver the change and relief Ontario desperately needs.