Turnbull thinks it’s his turn in Whitby

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (middle) joined by Whitby Liberal candidate Ryan Turnbull (right) and campaign guests. Photo credit: Tara Sottile

Whitby Liberal candidate Ryan Turnbull’s campaign got a last minute visit from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Friday.

Turnbull and Trudeau met with families at the Baby Shack on Brock Street. The PM made an announcement about a tax break for families, including increasing the Child Canada Benefit by 15 per cent for kids under one.

Turnbull, 42, is new to politics, running against Conservative Todd McCarthy and New Democrat Brian Dias, Green party’s Dr. Paul Slavchenko and Mirko Pejic of the People’s Party of Canada.

Whitby will get a new MP after Monday’s federal election as Celina Caesar-Chavannes, who was elected as a Liberal in 2015, is currently an Independent MP after deciding to leave the party earlier this year,

“The national housing strategy is one of the main reasons I’m running in this election” Turnbull says. “Housing is a crisis right across the country.”

He makes it clear one of his main goals is to make new housing being built more affordable for everyone.

“There’s a real gap that we have to close,” he adds.

Turnbull is also focused on the local economy, saying it can be a lot stronger than it is right now.

“We have some of the greatest and biggest employers here,” he adds. “I think we need to make Whitby more attractive to other employers.

“My heart and soul is in small business and I believe in having a really strong and vibrant local economy,” says Turnbull, adding he has spent the last 10 years leading a social innovation firm that consults on issues like affordable housing and poverty reduction.

“For me it’s about building a supportive ecosystem in Whitby for those entrepreneurs to be successful,” Turnbull says.

He believes entrepreneurs need a space to collaborate with others and share ideas.

Turnbull agrees with the Liberal plan to help students in post-secondary school education. The Liberals are planning to give full-time and part-time students up to $1,200 more per year, through increased Canada Student Grants.

They will also change the rules so graduates won’t have to start repaying their loans until they make at least $35,000.

The Liberals will give students two years after graduation to get started in their career before they start paying off their loans.

Turnbull says there’s an easy solution for people who still haven’t decided how to vote.

“Do your research, look at your candidates, look at the platforms,” he says.

Turnbull was approached to run after a speech he gave at Durham College. He looks up to politicians and didn’t think he would get into politics, at least not this early on in his life.

“I felt a little shocked, I wasn’t sure what I thought about the idea,” says Turnbull.