Andrew Falby wears his party’s principles like a pair of old, comfortable shoes.
The Libertarian Party of Ontario favours smaller government, lower taxes and more social and economic freedom, all objectives the five-time provincial candidate has long espoused.
“People are really angry,” Falby said. “They’ve lost trust in all levels of government and all parties, which are all saying the same things and yelling and screaming at each other. That’s the nature of the game but people are fed up. They’ve lost interest in politics.”
The Toronto-born property manager with Echo Properties has lived and worked in Sarnia-Lambton for more than 30 years. He’s done construction and worked on Great Lakes tankers, but most of the time he’s been self-employed.
Falby moved to Sarnia after seeing the Chemical Valley on the back of the old $10 bill because it looked like a prosperous place to set up shop.
He calls government monopolies inefficient, bureaucratic and top-heavy. He would open up health care, schools and power generation to competition.
“If people want to frequent the LCBO, that’s fine. But we would open up sales of alcohol to other establishments.”
Government monopolies are like the old rotary dial telephone, he said.
“They worked fine for a long time. But smart phones and tablets and Wi-Fi and everything else has happened because telecommunications were opened up to competition.”
Falby is deeply concerned about Ontario’s shaky financial house. Our debt is approaching $300 billion, a figure so vast that people have trouble grasping what it means, he said.
The debt, which is money Ontarians have to one day pay back, has grown from $40 billion to $300 billion under successive NDP, Conservative and Liberal governments, he notes.
“What does a billion dollars mean to the average guy? For our kids, our grandkids, it’s a multigenerational debt. And if we don’t curtail it … it will implode.”
This provincial election is Falby’s fifth kick at the can and he’s never come remotely close to winning. But he’s running again because political campaigns are a marketplace for ideas, and the mainstream parties have nothing new to offer, he said.
“We’ve never had a seat or anyone in power. But I’m hopeful that if I or someone else was elected at some point, those principle would stand, and (the candidate) would vote with their conscience,” he said.
“I’m hoping that there’s enough people out there who are independent in thought and brave enough to look at the big picture and try something different.”
Party: Libertarian Party of Ontario
Occupation: Property manager
Previous elections: Ran provincially in 1995 (Independent) 1999, 2003 (Freedom Party) 2011 (Libertarian) Lost all.
Marital status: Single
Most important issue: The economy
– George Mathewson