Rae to vie for Pettapiece’s seat at Queen’s Park

Mitchell man seeks to replace
Perth-Wellington conservative MPP

  • Community   Wednesday, November 24, 2021   Matt Harris, Regional Editor

By Matt Harris, Regional Editor
As one man prepares to step aside, another man rises to take his place.
It didn’t take long for possible successors to Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece to put their hands up and be counted, and Matthew Rae is the first to do so. The Mitchell resident announced his intention to run for the Conservative MPP’s seat at Queen’s Park once Pettapiece finishes his term.
A statement released on November 17 said that Pettapiece will not run again whenever the next provincial election is called. Having served since 2011, Pettapiece decided that another four-year term would be too much to take on at this stage of his life.
“For over ten years, it has been an honour and privilege to represent the people of Perth-Wellington as their Member of Provincial Parliament. In this job, trust is earned by helping people – one constituent at a time, one day at a time. I am grateful for their trust,” he said. “This month, I turned 73. Running again would mean committing, potentially, to another four-year term. For a full-time MPP, the hours are often long. In retiring, I choose instead to spend those hours as a full-time husband, father and grandfather.”
Rae steps up as the first potential candidate to declare their intent to fill Pettapiece’s shoes. In the decade since MPP Pettapiece was first elected, Rae has been heavily involved in the provincial Conservative party: working for MP John Nater as well as MPP Pettapiece. He has also worked for the University of Waterloo, and currently works for SHAD Canada, an education non-profit that runs experiential STEM programming for Grade 10 and 11 students across the country.
“Working for both the local MP and MPP has provided me with an opportunity to learn about the unique needs of every community in Perth-Wellington,” he said. “I’m also passionate about education and open to supporting new ideas on how we can bring our education system into the twenty-first century.”
Rae’s website also states that he served as the Perth-Wellington Progressive Conservative Riding Association president since 2017 as well as Pettapiece’s campaign manager in 2018. He studied political science and international development (bachelor of arts, honours) at the University of Guelph, then he obtained his Masters of Advanced International Studies from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, where his primary focus was on international relations and economics.
But it’s his roots on the family dairy farm near Harriston that grounds him in Perth-Wellington. His website states that he’s running to help agriculture and rural communities thrive, and to help make a better future for this and future generations.
“One of the most pressing issues in Perth-Wellington, and across Ontario, is affordability,” he said. “I know as a young person it’s very difficult to purchase a home. I was lucky a few years ago to be able to purchase a home. Right now, I wouldn’t be able to afford my home if it was on the market.”
Rae said that Pettapiece has not given him an endorsement nor has he sought that from him at this time. He is, however, preparing to hit the ground running should he win the nomination.
“I will be ready on Day One to fight for you and your family,” he said. “I’m running on a commitment to be accessible and approachable. I can be reached at matthew@electmatthewrae.ca.”
As far as the sitting MPP is concerned, his job hasn’t wrapped up just yet.
“While in government, we saw GO service expand to Stratford and St. Marys following years of advocacy; we brought high-speed internet to countless rural households and businesses; we opened new long-term care beds throughout the riding; we successfully pushed the government to introduce Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Business Support Grant; and we finally saw the opening of the Louise Marshall Hospital extension in Mount Forest,” he said. “There is still much more to do. I will continue working hard for my constituents until the end of my term in June 2022. I also look forward to continuing to support the government as we further recover from the pandemic and work to build a better future for everyone.”