An online petition has evolved into a political calling for Callander’s Trevor Holliday. The Ontario Northland motor coach driver dipped his toes into provincial politics in January when he launched a petition calling for Northern Ontario independence.
And now, eight months later, Holliday is leading the newly minted Northern Ontario Party, which plans to field a slate of candidates in the next election. “Politics was not even on my mind. It was foreign to me,” says Holliday, who previously had little interest in government. But he’s been propelled by the response to his petition, which has garnered more than 4,000 supporters and a fair bit of media attention.
He started the petition, calling for the North to become its own province, after hearing first-hand accounts as a motor coach driver from passengers about their health care and transportation woes. And, as a father, Holliday says he doesn’t want his children to be forced to leave Northern Ontario because there are better job opportunities elsewhere.
Officially registered with Elections Ontario as of July 28, he says the Northern Ontario Party is a rebranded version of the former Northern Ontario Heritage Party.
Holliday says North Bay’s Ed Deibel, who founded the original movement in 1977, will serve as president of the new Northern Ontario Party.
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