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Ottawa attack, Municipal Election Day, LPCO weekend

That title pretty well sums up my post today. In order of title:

I’ve waited for a few days before deciding to comment on the Ottawa attack where a shooter killed an unarmed Canadian solider and then stormed Parliament, wounding a security officer before he himself was killed by the Seargant-At-Arms, Kevin Vickers (whose 2 minute standing ovation in Parliament still gets my throat in a lump – someone needs to sponsor the “Kevin Vickers gets free drinks in bars for the rest of his life” act). Obviously, this was a heinous act, and I think Parliament needs to strengthen its security, but while the government and RCMP are labeling this a terrorist act, and the RCMP says it has a video of the attacker sounding lucid and condemning Canada’s foreign policy and so on.. there are still questions about this shooters mental health (as there is about the assailant who ran down another Canadian soldier 2 days before). as well as whether these were just “lone wolf attacks” by disturbed individuals rather then coordinated ISIS attacks. The point is, I hope the current government doesn’t go into overreach over trying to get CSIS new security or monitoring powers. I do not want to see a Canadian version of the Patriot Act up here.

Next – the municipal elections. I will briefly say that there are races in Toronto, London and Hamilton I am keeping my eyes on, and I’ve already wished those folks I know on Facebook who are running in those elections good luck, and thanking them for their public service (and I hope the turnout rate at least goes up this time).

Lastly, this weekend, I attended a Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario) Southwest Ontario Regional Day event. The theme for the meeting was “Building capacity in your riding association to win the next election”. There was a lot of discussion and presentations going on and well presented by LPCO staff and representatives, including the LPCO President Tyler Banham on some of his reform proposals for LPCO (which he has discussed elsewhere, including in his interview with me while he was running for the president’s position a few months back)

Of special interest to me were the presentations by two of our Liberal candidates in the Southwest: Katie Omstead, the Liberal candidate for Chatham-Kent-Leamington, had for her topic “Engaging Rural Voters”. It basically was a run-down of the strategies she used to attract supporters in her riding to help her win her nomination, and hopefully that will aid her in her general election campaign in 2015. She felt other Liberal candidates in rural ridings could also use these tactics to her advantage. The second was by my friend Danielle Takacs, who if you’ve read me enough you know I am supporting, and who is running in Brantford-Brant. Her discussion was on the importance of community outreach/community involvement for candidates, which hit on a lot of the same points she had when she presented to the Women in Politics Brantford Conference a few weeks back (though slightly different audience here, so slightly modified for this event).
I am rather biased obviously when I say I think she had a great speech, but others felt that way too, as the delegates/attendees gave her several rounds of applause for both her presentation and her responses in the follow-up Q&A, and a few people congratulating her and wishing her well after she was done. It’s always polite to applaud at the end of a presentation of one of these at this type of event, but when you get spontaneous applause/congratulations, you know a person has done well, and she got both.

(The other thing I learned at this meeting from attending? Brantford-Brant campaign meetings will need to have chai tea for hot drinks and dark chocolate chip/macadamia cookies for snacks in abundance. 😉 )

I’ll add it was nice to talk to/meet a few people who read me online, and its nice to hear good things about the blog and what I write here too.

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