I had the great privilege and honour to be in Brantford last evening for the nomination of my good friend Danielle Takacs; she is now the Liberal candidate for the riding of Brantford-Brant. My fellow blogger Jeff Jedras has also done a blogpost on Danielle which he listed all of her extensive accomplishments she has already done and still a part of, so I won’t go into that list – you may read them at your leisure over at his site. Rather, I’ll mention that it was an amazing night, with an overflow crowd of 100 – I’ll admit, we didn’t know what to expect for crowd size, but we had standing-room only there, and despite extra chairs brought in, they were still standing.
I can tell you that people left after the meeting very impressed with Danielle’s speech; a lot came wanting to get a measure of their new candidate, and I didn’t hear anyone say they were disappointed. I saw a few new Liberal membership application forms filled out, I saw a lot of donations being given in baskets, and I saw a lot of contact forms filled out asking to help volunteer at some point. The night definitely surpassed all expectations, even for Danielle, I think it’s fair to say.
By the way, the campaign for Danielle is starting today; she’s canvassing her neighbourhood in Brantford. There will be no lack of work from her, and as a friend I just want to say; Congrats Danielle, you deserve all the accolades you’re receiving. It gives me great pleasure to change my badge over at the right sidebar side from a nomination badge to the candidate picture the Liberal Party released above. (I’ll also mention that Danielle has a new campaign Facebook page – that just got put up as of this writing of this blog.. so its new.. but content will be added forthwith)
I’ve posted some photos of the event below; there were a lot of special guests on this night to support Danielle, including Jeff Jedras, fellow blogger and former OLP candidate, Nancy Leblanc, Cambridge MPP Kathryn McGarry, Hamilton-Centre LPC candidate Anne Tennier, Etobicoke-Centre nomination candidate George Takach, and Provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs Ted McMeekin (not pictured in these photos)
The story in the Star yesterday – the Liberals are preparing for Harper to call an early Spring election, much earlier then he needs to:
Trudeau told reporters the Liberals are preparing for the possibility that Prime Minister Stephen Harper may call an election much earlier than October 2015, the legislated date for the next federal vote.“Mr. Harper has not once followed his own fixed-election-date law in the setting of elections, so I think it’s only prudent to try and make sure that we’re going to be ready,” Trudeau told reporters.
I agree with that sentiment, and that is why it is good – from my point of view – that the Liberals are calling nomination/acclimation meetings for candidates now. Indeed, in talking to some folks I trust at LPC, they are behind their target in Ontario at this time for getting candidates picked in Ontario ridings. If anything, they need to be calling more of these meetings and get their candidates in place.
As Justin Trudeau says, you can’t assume Harper is going to wait until October 2015 before he calls this next election. You’d be foolish if you assumed that. We need to get candidates nominated now or soon, so they have ample time to prepare.
Following up on yesterday’s interview with David Graham, today we have an interview conducted with Karen McCrimmon, Liberal Party nomination hopeful in the riding of Kanata-Carleton. My thanks to Karen for taking time out of her busy schedule to do this interview with me.
1. What made you decide you wanted to run to be the official candidate for the Liberals in your riding of Kanata-Carleton?
I first ran for the Liberals in the 2011 Federal election in the riding of Carleton-Mississippi Mills. I had been very disheartened with the direction that Canada was taking under the Harper government. I soon realized that the best way that I could serve my community and my country was to help replace the Harper government with a progressive Liberal one. I knew I had the skills and drive to represent my riding and so I ran for and won the nomination in 2010. The FLA at this time was not in good shape: very few volunteers, little money in the bank, and little activity but we worked hard to prepare for an impending election and we did well. Although we were unable to unseat the incumbent Gordon O’Connor, our riding was one of the few to have improved the Liberal vote share and decrease the Conservative vote share. After the 2011 election, we continued to work hard in Kanata-Carleton, increasing membership, volunteers and money in the bank to be ready for 2015.
2. If a Justin Trudeau is elected (regardless of majority or minority), what do you feel would be key pressing issues a Justin Trudeau government should immediately act on within the first session of Parliament?
Continue reading Interview with Karen McCrimmon, LPC nomination contestant Kanata-Carleton
I had the chance over the weekend to chat with David Graham, nomination contestant for Laurentides-Labelle. I’ve talked about David before – at this blogpost back in January – but this post today is an interview with David – the same as I’ve been doing with other LPC or LPCO candidates this summer, where I ask them five questions. David will be my first interview with someone running outside the province of Ontario.
1) For those who haven’t visited your website yet, can you tell our readers why you’ve decided to run for the nomination?
Because we can do better. We have had a generation of disengaged, ineffectual representation. The time for MPs whose ambition is to be MP rather than to build their community has come to an end. Years of work in politics have shown me a lot of what needs to be done and how to do it. It is not that I want to be a Member of Parliament, it is that I believe being a Member of Parliament is the best way to help my community, my province, and my country prepare all of us for a future which will not take care of itself.
2) If a Justin Trudeau government is elected (regardless of majority or minority), what issues would you champion in that new government?
Continue reading Interview with David Graham, LPC nomination contestant Laurentides-Labelle
Yes, I’m still here.. or the blog is. I’m waiting on a couple of interview submissions to some LPC nominees/candidates that have gotten delayed… and I’m waiting on writing another blogpost for a nomination race – hopefully the end of this week.
To be honest, I can’t wait until Parliament resumes.. as there will be much more juicy material to write on. Municipal elections also come up in October- and while I don’t write on them often, I’ve reason to this time.. I’ve already mentioned I’ve endorsed a couple of candidates for Toronto city council (Dan Fox in Ward 24 and Kate Holloway in Ward 20) and I’m watching with interest at London’s mayor and city council race. One of my fellow Liberal bloggers (now former, I think) is Jesse Helmer, who’s running for a council seat there (Ward 4 I believe)
I’ll mention that with regards to the LPCO positions, Tyler Banham has been acclaimed as the new President of the organization (and I’ve already told him it was obvious his interview with me is what put him over the top and convinced everyone he was the guy – congrats ) but Jeff Jedras has some competition for the VP Comms position, and a little competition never hurt anyone.. so we’ll see how that goes. I’m not sure yet if Brandon Sage (running for Vp Organization) has any yet.
As you have read, I’ve been doing a series of interviews – some of them are with folks running for Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario) positions that will be decided in September at the LPCO convention. Today, I present an interview I did with Brandon Sage, who has decided to run for the VP of Organization. Thanks to Brandon for participating!
Could you tell the readers (and me!) what exactly the person who is the VP of Organization for the LPCO responsible for doing?
Preparing for elections. For me, that means preparing the party to win elections – and the best way to do that is to focus what achieves results. It’s important for the VP ORG to support local campaigns during the writ period – but more-so to support electoral district associations prior to the writ as their job starts the day after an election ends and their work builds the capacity to win in the next election. The VP ORG’s most significant role is to help them achieve that.
You mentioned this briefly at your website, but for those who haven’t visited yet, and for those of us who like more detail, what made you decide you wanted to (or needed to) run for the LPCO VP ORG position?
Continue reading Brandon Sage – running for LPCO VP of Organization
Yes, the blog has turned into a bit of an interview/campaign theme in the last bit, but that’s what happens when Parliament and the Ontario Legislature aren’t in session, and because I don’t wish to touch the Middle East Gaza morass with a 40 foot pole.
So, a couple of things in to mention:
- I will be having interviews upcoming with Kanata-Carleton Liberal nomination candidate Karen McCrimmon, as well as Brandon Sage, who is running to be the LPCO VP of Organization (upcoming meaning as soon as they get their replies to me).
- Staying on the LPCO front, I understand Jeff Jedras is again the lone person running for the VP Communications job (his only competitor dropped out apparently in the past week). THere are still a couple of weeks left for people to file, so he may still get competition, but even as a supporter, I hope people recognize he has the skills for this job. The # of endorsements he has on his page, which has been growing, seems to indicate that.
- Meanwhile, in Brant, my friend Danielle has had a pretty good past week: she had Sheila Gervais, a former National Director of the Liberal Party of Canada endorse her, and she has had 2 of her former blogger compatriots endorse her: Jim Calder of The Progressive Right here, and Kyle Hutton of Blunt Objects here. Danielle is well regarded amongst her former Liberal netroots colleagues, and I am fairly confident you’ll see some more come out and support her/endorse her fairly soon.
In addition, Danielle has put up a Donation Page at her site. If you are in Brant, or if you are a friend of hers, please consider donating to help her out. Any amount is appreciated, even if it’s just 10$ (the equivalent cost of taking out a Liberal membership).
Today, I’m publishing an interview I’ve done with Michael Levitt, who is the LPC candidate for York-Centre. This was the riding held by such Liberal stalwarts as Art Eggleton and Ken Dryden. Mr. Dryden was one of those who got swept away in the Liberal collapse in the 905 region of Ontario back in the ’11 election. It is currently held by Mark Adler for the Conservatives, and Mr. Levitt is going to be trying hard to return it to the LPC. Here are a series of questions I asked Mr. Levitt (who I had the pleasure of meeting in February at the Montreal Convention) and his responses. I thank him for taking the time to do this with me.
1) I’ve seen on your website you’ve been involved in a lot of volunteer causes and campaigns. What made you decide you wanted to run to be the official candidate for the Liberals in your riding of York-Centre?
Continue reading Blog Interview with Michael Levitt – LPC candidate for York-Centre
A couple of items for you today. I don’t live in Toronto, so you might be wondering why I would endorse folks who are running for Toronto City Council. Quite simply, I’ve known Dan and Kate personally for a long time from their provincial and federal connections, and I count them as friends, so why wouldn’t I?
Dan Fox is who I’ll talk about first; I’ve previously mentioned him, but I’ll mention him again: he is running in Ward 24 against a city councillor who I understand voted for Rob Ford supported agenda items a fair bit. That makes me doubly want to see Dan get elected here. You’ll note from Warren’s nod of support he has a fundraiser coming up next Sunday July 20. I hope it will be well attended.
Kate Holloway is my next person I want to endorse: She has announced at Facebook she will be running in Ward 20. I’ve known Kate for eight years politically. She was an Ontario Liberal Party candidate in 2007 in Trinity-Spadina, and she’s been involved with the Federal Green Party prior to that, so she has a lot of progressive credentials going for her. She currently serves as Executive Director of Element Village, a Toronto-focused energy non-profit dedicated to developing, funding and promoting sustainable community projects. Her web site will be up shortly, as will her Facebook page, but until then, you can follow her on Twitter at @katemholloway – she has a linkedin profile there in her Twitter bios you can also read up on.
Next on the agenda, my friend Danielle Takacs, who as I’ve mentioned prior and as you can see at the sidebar, I’m supporting for the Federal Liberal nomination in Brant, has been rolling out more endorsers the past few days. She got a (video) endorsement from Keith Torrie, the former Young Liberals of Canada National Director. She also picked up a couple of endorsements from the former President and Vice-President of the local Brant Young Liberals – Derek Vollebregt and Alyna Poremba. TOday, she rolled out her newest endorser – Greg Crone. Mr. Crone is the Haldimand-Norfolk Liberal EDA President, and also the VP Communications on the Ontario Liberal Party (OLP) Executive Council, and he gives his video endorsement here.
There are more to come ; it should be coming apparent (hopefully to Brant Liberals in particular) that Danielle has a lot of experience working with a lot of different people both federally and locally. She would be well experienced if she were elected MP to deal with folks at the federal and local level. First off though, she has to win the nomination, and I hope Brant Liberals will take these endorsements as a measure of how capable Danielle will be, and how she will make a great candidate.
I’ve had the chance to have an interview with Tyler, the current Executive VP of the LPCO, who recently announced he will be running for the LPCO President position. That will be voted on by delegates Sept 12-14 in Markham (the same convention will also elect LPCO VP of Communications – which Jeff Jedras is running for and who I endorsed last week)
I was curious about this position, what it entails, and why someone would want to run for it, so I asked Tyler for an interview, which he agreed to. I submitted 5 questions to him, and his replies are below (Note: I am neutral in this race so far; I just saw an opportunity for an interview and asked, and Tyler was gracious enough to do this with me, and I thank him for doing so)
You may have already stated this when you announced your candidacy, but what made you decide you wanted to (or needed to) run for the LPCO President position?
Continue reading Interview with Tyler Banham – running to be LPCO President