Paul Smith Announces Candidacy for Conservative Party of Canada Nomination in Northumberland-Peterborough South

Campaign event to feature former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney

COBOURG, ON, Sept. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - Paul Smith announced today that he will pursue the Conservative Party of Canada nomination in Northumberland-Peterborough South.  Smith brings 30 years of experience with the party – including almost a decade serving on Parliament Hill – along with an impressive business background and a core commitment to Conservative values, to the people of Northumberland-Peterborough South.

Mr. Smith seeks the nomination to build on current Member of Parliament, Rick Norlock's, exemplary record of public service on issues critical to the riding: developing the riding's economy by working with Northumberland-Peterborough South's leaders to attract new jobs and support new home-grown industry; building healthy, resilient communities by working in partnership with local volunteers, charities and businesses; and stewarding government investment in the riding in a prudent manner.

Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney will headline a nomination campaign event for Mr. Smith on Thursday, September 25th from 7 – 9p.m. at the Columbus Community Centre in Cobourg (232 Spencer Street East).  For complete details, visit www.votepaulsmith.ca.

A lifetime track record of public service

Mr. Smith began his career on Parliament Hill, after finishing two undergraduate degrees at the University of Ottawa (Commerce-Accounting and Political Science).  Starting in the office of his then Member of Parliament, Léo Duguay, Smith took on increasingly senior roles in the offices of the Secretary of State for External (now Foreign) Affairs, the Right Honourable Joe Clark; the Minister for International Cooperation, the Honourable Madame Monique Landry; culminating in the Prime Minister's Office as Executive Assistant to the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney.

Mr. Smith was asked, in 2006, to serve Canada as a director of VIA Rail Canada Inc. and was named Chairman of the Board in 2010.  His tenure was marked by the adoption of best-in-class governance practices and the stewardship of the Government of Canada's historic investment in VIA, including infrastructure improvements to VIA's station in Cobourg.  Although asked to renew his mandate as Chair, Mr. Smith decided to step down from his post in order to pursue the nomination in Northumberland-Peterborough South.

"There is no better training ground than spending almost 18 hours a day, for years, at the side of the Prime Minister of Canada.  It gave me a window onto our country that few experience and I learned exactly how our government works and how it serves Canadians best," said Mr. Smith.  "This experience, coupled with my eight years of service at VIA, would enable me to hit the ground running in Ottawa, serving the people of Northumberland-Peterborough South from day one."

Business successes and job creation

After leaving Parliament Hill, Mr. Smith continued his education and completed a Master of Arts in Public Administration (Carleton University) and a Master of Business Administration (INSEAD, a top-10 ranked global MBA school).

Mr. Smith began his business career with Bell Canada and rose through the ranks to become Chief Financial Officer of Bell Conferia, the company's conference call subsidiary.  After almost ten years at Bell, Mr. Smith decided to pursue his own business path and formed a new entrepreneurial venture that became Equity Financial Holdings Inc. (TSX: EQI), a mortgage lender and Canada's second-largest transfer agent.

Mr. Smith spent a decade building EQI and, during that time, built a team of nearly 150 employees in offices across Canada, with market capitalization of more than $100 million.

"Building is in my blood.  Whether politics, business or community – it's about creating opportunities for others to succeed," stated Mr. Smith.  "I am proud of the great jobs we created at Equity, and the value we delivered to our shareholders."

Commitment to community

Raised in Ste-Anne-des-Chênes, Manitoba, Mr. Smith and his five siblings watched their father serve their town as Mayor and manage the challenges of life in rural Manitoba.

Community, public service and creating opportunity are the values at the core of the Smith family.  Mr. Smith has served as a volunteer with WaterAid Canada, completing a Kilimanjaro climb that raised almost $50,000 to provide clean drinking water to the world's poorest people.  Mr. Smith also serves with the NATO Council of Canada and Canada Company, a charitable, non-partisan organization that serves to build the bridge between business and community leaders and the Canadian Military. 

Mr. Smith's wife, Gillian, can trace her family's history in the riding to well before Confederation.  She shares Mr. Smith's commitment to community and – in addition to running a charity that helps new Canadian citizens integrate – serves as chair and director of numerous charitable causes.  Their life is complete with their 18-year old son, Arnaud, and twin toddler daughters, Aurélie and Clémentine.  The family is currently building a new home in Cobourg.

To learn more about Paul and his campaign, please visit www.votepaulsmith.ca

SOURCE Paul G. Smith

For further information: Emma Horner, 289-771-1444, info@votepaulsmith.ca, www.votepaulsmith.ca