Michelle Ferreri is running as the Peterborough-Kawartha riding candidate for the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC). She replaces previous Conservative Party candidate Michael Skinner, who is now her campaign manager. Ferreri may be familiar in the area from her previous work on CHEX Television (now Global News Peterborough), and from her current work online as a blogger, social media personality and entrepreneur.
Peterborough Currents spoke with Ferreri ahead of the September 20 election to discuss how she came into her political career, what her platform is focused on, and why she chose the Conservative Party. Listen or read the interview transcript below.
Peterborough Currents: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us why you’re running?
Michelle Ferreri: Hi, I’m Michelle Ferreri. I am the candidate for Conservative Party of Canada for the Peterborough-Kawartha riding. And I am running in hopes to better serve my community.
I grew up here. I was raised here. I started my own business six years ago. I’ve worked in broadcasting for over 22 years in communications and public speaking and listening to people and networking to solve a lot of problems and advocating for the community on a bigger level.
And mental health has always been something that I’ve worked really heavily in. It’s something that I’m pretty passionate about. From eating disorders, anxiety, OCD, schizophrenia, there’s a lot of different mental health disorders. But also, there’s just a lot of people who are also just struggling on a day-to-day basis, especially with the pandemic, it really magnified it. So, for me, the choice to run really came down to being able to do something bigger. And for me, it’s implementing a mental health facility here in the riding of Peterborough-Kawartha.
PC: Tell us about your biggest priorities for Peterborough and the most important parts of your platform.
MF: I think what’s really great about our platform, which makes my job very easy to be honest with you, is there is a platform. So, on the first day of the campaign, Erin O’Toole, our leader, came out with a 155-page comprehensive plan on what we’re going to do. And I think that’s really critical when you look at recovery. We have a five-pillar plan, which I really like. And you can go and you can look at it at any time.
But the biggest thing at the door is that people are struggling to pay for their housing, people are struggling to pay for their food, people are struggling to pay for their rent. And if we don’t get this economy under control–
I mean, I’m a mom, obviously, that’s a big component of my life … and I have this conversation all the time with my kids. They say, Well, where do you get more money? Can you not just print it? I’m like, No, when you print more money, you increase inflation and the value of everything just skyrockets. And then you can’t afford your food and groceries and hydro and housing. So, I think you know, that’s critical right now.
Our number one priority, so that we can then deal with everything else, is to try– and we will stabilize the economy.
And I love that it’s a 10-year plan. I think that’s really valuable. A lot of politicians come in, and have four-year stints. As a business owner, it’s very hard to do a lot in four years, you have to have long term vision. So, it’s to get the economy back on track and to get people jobs, and to be able to get a house.
PC: When and how did you get involved with the Conservative Party of Canada? And is there anything in particular that’s exciting you about the party and Erin O’Toole right now?
MF: I have been working behind the scenes for a while in communications with different candidates and different levels of the party. I’ve been working as a broadcaster for years, and it’s important to maintain non-partisanship. When elections came up I always interviewed all of the candidates and asked some pretty hard pressing questions and that really helped solidify that I am a Conservative.
But I’m also a person who says, You’ve got to be part of a solution. And if you’re not part of the solution, you’re often part of the problem. So, I tip my hat to anybody who gets involved,
Back to your point about Erin, I think Erin’s great because he has a plan. That’s what I love about Erin, he has a results-driven plan. I think that’s really exciting to have somebody at the helm, who really focuses on bringing people together. I think we need to do that more than ever right now.
This interview was edited for clarity and length. Michelle Ferreri was interviewed alongside the other five candidates running in Peterborough–Kawartha, listen to all the interviews here.