An independent candidate running in the provincial riding of Windsor-Tecumseh wants to bring concerns ranging from the proposed mega-hospital location to the environment to the political forefront ahead of the June 2 election.
Windsorite Giovanni Abati spent a career in watershed planning and waste management in Ontario and Nova Scotia before moving back to the Windsor area to care for his aging parents.
Abati said he decided to run for office as an independent because there are key issues he feels have been missing from the election discussion.
“My whole life has been the environment,” Abati said. “No one’s commenting on the environmental things that are happening.”
Abati is a staunch opponent of the selected location for the new hospital on County Road 42, and he said it’s one example where his concerns about the environment and the hospital come together. He believes the location was a poor choice, being both in a floodplain and being less accessible for many local residents.
Abati said he’d also like to see Windsor Regional Hospital’s Met campus — slated for closure with the new mega-hospital plan — turned into a seniors’ care hub. He wants to attract new industry to Windsor, including hemp fabrics and plastics. Also among his campaign ideas: a commuter rail between Tilbury and West Windsor, and a native species research centre and nursery.
Locally, Abati said he also wants to see Windsor’s South Cameron wetlands protected and enhanced, and he cited a need to bolster the work and funding of the province’s conservation authorities. He also opposes vaccine mandates.
Abati said he’s run for office in the past, both municipally and federally, including as a Green Party candidate. As an independent, he said he recognizes there’s a slim chance he’ll be the riding’s next MPP. But he hopes that in running, he can bring some new issues before the voters during this election.
“It’s very encouraging and supportive,” Abati said of the reaction from voters so far.
“People support me for taking a stand, but for them actually to vote for me … they’re gonna have to be pretty staunch anti-hospital location, or know me, or like my other stances.”