Pinsonneault to run for LKM seat

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Pinsonneault

By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

When it comes to representing the constituents of Lambton-Kent-Middlesex at Queen’s Park, Steve Pinsonneault knows he has big shoes to fill.

But he’s willing to try.

The long-time East Kent councillor is hoping to fill the seat left vacant by former MPP Monte McNaughton who stepped away from politics earlier this year. Pinsonneault is seeking the Progressive Conservative nomination with the nomination vote set to take place Jan. 27.

Pinsonneault, a resident of Thamesville, said running for office at the provincial level is something he’s always wanted to do. However, he stressed the riding belonged to the popular McNaughton “as long as he wanted,” noting the former MPP did a “great job” handling Ontario’s trade and labour portfolios.

Now that McNaughton has moved on to the private sector, Pinsonneault said the time is right for him to run, as his three children are grown.

“I love helping my community, and becoming an MPP is helping in a bigger way,” Pinsonneault explained.

A 17-year veteran of municipal politics, Pinsonneault has faced five elections. His experience serving Chatham-Kent is broad. He was a member of the Chatham-Kent Public Library board for 16 years; the Public Utilities Commission for nine years and the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority for eight years.

He’s also been a volunteer firefighter for 32 years, is a long-standing Legion member and has worked with all the service clubs in his area.

Pinsonneault believes his experience representing a large geographical area such as Chatham-Kent has prepared him for the role of serving the largely rural Lambton-Kent-Middlesex riding, which stretches from Wallaceburg to Strathroy.

“Being in council as long as I have, I understand the infrastructure needs,” Pinsonneault said, noting he hopes to bring more infrastructure dollars to L-K-M.

Timely access to health care and affordable housing are also at the top of the list, he said.

“I understand the struggles and I think it’s a good fit,” he added. “Every community is facing the same issues. The housing affordability issue definitely needs to be addressed.”

Pinsonneault operates two businesses in Thamesville, including Steve’s Sign Shop and an automotive repair business. If elected, Pinsonneault said he has “good guys” to run the businesses in his stead.

Membership in the Ontario Progressive Conservative party is necessary in order to vote for Pinsonneault for the nomination.

A by-election to replace McNaughton is expected to be held by June 2024.

Pinsonneault will continue to represent East Kent as a municipal councillor while running as there are no rules dictating he must step down or take a leave of absence while running for election.

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