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Interview w/Jennifer Stebbing – Flamborough-Glanbrook

Jennifer Stebbing is currently a Liberal nomination candidate in the riding of Flamborough-Glanbrook (and so far the only nomination candidate for the Liberals in that riding). She was kind enough to take some time out of her schedule to answer these five questions (and answer rather extensively – one of the more detailed replies I’ve gotten since I started doing these a month or so ago). My thanks to her for participating.

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For those who haven’t visited your website yet, can you tell our readers why you’ve decided to run for the nomination?

I have been fascinated by Canada’s role internationally since participating in foreign student exchanges in high school, and I have known since sitting in my first year poli-sci class (1999) that I want to be Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Since then I joined the OYL, worked on every federal and provincial campaign I could, joined local riding associations where I lived, attended LPC functions, served as a director for my local liberal EDAs and most recently served as Golden Horseshoe Area 2 Policy Director for the Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario).

I have been a lawyer for the past 6 years practicing in estate and power of attorney litigation. I became a lawyer because I believe that as an MP I should know the law to make the law.

I decided to run for the nomination now because I support Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada in the direction they are going and want to take this country in. The middle class has been ignored and left to fend for themselves by the current government and I want to put an end to that. The direction the Harper government has taken Canada in foreign affairs is disappointing to say the least. I want to see Canada at the table in helping to solve disputes around the world instead of making them worse and taking sides.

If a Justin Trudeau government is elected (regardless of majority or minority), are there any issues that you’d like to champion in that government if you were elected as an MP?

I want to work to restore Canada’s reputation in Foreign Affairs. I want to see a government that purses responsible Environmental policy based on science and evidence. And I am a strong believer in fiscal responsibility, meaning that public money is spent with a high level of accountability and as part of a plan that includes balanced budgets.

There is a saying that “all politics is local”.  At present, do you feel there are any local issues in Flamborough-Glanbrook that may come into play during the election campaign, or is it going to be based on national issues only?

All politics is local because the actions of our federal government both affects and reflects on each of us. I think the major federal issues that concern the residents of Flamborough-Glanbrook are infrastructure, health care and jobs – and these fall in line with the major national issues being pursued by the liberal party.

There are some who say once an MP is elected, the constituency’s wishes or concerns sometimes get ignored. Is there anything specific you would do to keep in touch with the riding,  and related to that, how do you feel you can best represent the riding in Ottawa?

I believe strongly that MP’s should represent their constituents. I will be the kind of MP that will continue to stay in touch with the constituents and fight for their issues in parliament. I want to do that in a number of ways.

– Have the monthly EDA meetings when I am in the riding so I can attend.
– Hold quarterly coffee chats or pub nights which I will attend to meet with and speak to people.
– Create, at least annually, a meeting of all MPs, MPPs and municipal politicians in Hamilton to discuss the needs of Flamborough-Glanbrook and Hamilton and how each level of government can best meet those needs.
– Respond to all correspondence from constituents.
– Be open to ideas to better stay in touch with constituents.

You’re currently the lone nomination candidate for the LPC in Flamborough-Glanbrook.  I’m presuming you’re running and still signing up memberships under the assumption there may be eventually other nomination candidates.  First, what would you say to folks in the riding who’ve never been members of a political party before as to why they should pay 10$ to get a membership and support you?  The second part of that question is: If you did get any competitors, what would you say to those Liberal delegates who are undecided or perhaps to other supporters of other candidates (in a run-off ballot) about why they should support you to be the official candidate? 

Correct, I am currently the only one and I am signing up members every day! I tell people that the most important reason to sign up and be a member is the opportunity to decide who will become the next candidate. I also point out that nominations are won or lost on very small margins. Therefore their vote counts much more than in a general election.

Why pick me?

I have the experience: over 15 years in the party, 6 years of practice as a lawyer, and leadership role in policy development.

I have the commitment: I intend to knock on every door in the riding before the writ drops, and to speak to as many people as possible. I want to know what my constituents have to say and what I can do for them.

I can take on David Sweet (the Conservative candidate) and win.

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