In the nomination meeting held Wednesday night, a successor was chosen to lead the Welland New Democratic Party.
Jeff Burch, the chief executive officer of the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre, was officially chosen to become the replacement to the retiring NDP MPP Cindy Forster. Burch beat out two other candidates: Welland city councillor Pat Chiocchio and a Welland transit advisory committee member, Melissa McGlashan.
Burch will now become the official NDP candidate for the provincial riding of Niagara Centre. The member of provincial parliament, or MPP, for Niagara Centre represents Welland, Thorold and Port Colborne.
Forster, represented the riding before announcing her retirement from politics several months ago. Burch is now poised to compete in the upcoming 2018 provincial election, which will see the Ontario NDP square off with the Liberal and Progressive Conservative parties.
During his nomination speech, Burch spoke about the importance of health-care accessibility and affordability. He also referenced both Forster and Malcolm Allen, who represented Niagara Centre at the federal level for the NDP.
Along with serving as CEO of the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre, Burch has also previously been city councillor for Merritton from 2006-2014.