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Blog interview with Howard Rabb – LPC nomination contestant, Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas

Another in my series of blog interviews I’ve done with LPC candidates, nomination candidates – today I am pleased to have done an interview with Howard Rabb, one of the Liberal nomination contestants in the riding of Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas. That nomination meeting is coming up in a couple of days (Nov 25 I believe) so I thank Howard for taking the time away from preparing for that to answer these questions!

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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 unhappy with the direction our country has been heading in for the past few years.  I made the decision that I would stand up and try and do something about it rather than simply complaining.  I believe that government can be a positive force in people’s lives and I want to be a part of that change.

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?

There are so many things that we’ll need to work on.  I’m a huge believer that we need to establish a fixed federal infrastructure budget that rises at the rate of GDP growth so that the federal government can pay its fair share when it comes to municipal and provincial infrastructure projects.  I also believe we need to legalize and regulate the sale of marijuana and end the harmful and wasteful prohibition that we have in place now.  I spoke to a member today that has a prescription for medical marijuana and needs a particular strain that is low in THC to treat an illness.  The member told me that the waiting list to receive the medicine she needs will last for several months before they can start to receive it.  This of course is AFTER they have already received their prescription from a doctor and sent it into the dispensary in Toronto.

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

Our largest employer in the riding is Hamilton Health Sciences and they are one of the larger recipients of research dollars in this country.  The members of our riding believe strongly in the benefits of the research and development that gets done at HHS and McMaster University and I would like to see them supported further in their work.  The good paying jobs provided by these programs and the advances we make here help people not just in our riding, but across Canada and around the world.

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?

Once an MP is elected, they are the representative for the entire riding, not just those people that came out to vote for them.  One of the things that I plan on doing is holding regular meetings with stakeholders in the community, the area MPPs as well as the other Hamilton MPs so that we always stay focused on representing the needs in our riding.  I want to make sure that my office responds quickly to emails and phone calls and that constituents feel that they can contact our office when they need to without feeling intimidated.

You’re currently one of several nomination candidates for the LPC  in  Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas.  On nomination day next week, what would you say to those Liberal delegates who are undecided or perhaps to other supporters of other candidates (where a run-off ballot comes into play) about why they should support you to be the official candidate?

As for why they should support my campaign over any other, I would say look at all of the campaigns that are active and ask several questions.  Which campaign has been the most active for the longest period of time.  I have been contacting members since September in an effort to build relationships.   Look at the websites of the contestants.  I have written more opinion pieces on policy than any of the others, and I have done this in order to allow the members to get to know me a little better.  Look at the social media campaign, this is the same kind of campaign I’ll be running as the official candidate if I am selected.  Lastly, the members should ask themselves what kind of candidate they want to see.  The great thing about the six of us is that we are all very different.  We all come from different backgrounds and bring different skillsets and experiences.  We have each played a different role in our community and have run campaigns in a different way.
I’m really lucky to be running along side such a great group of people, and I can honestly say without any fear of contradiction that I have grown to like and respect each person who has stepped forward in this process.  I have become friends with most of the contestants and believe that our members have been very fortunate to have so many great people step up and put their names forward for consideration.
I want to add that I am deeply grateful to the riding association especially our president Greg Van Geffen for working with all of us in a neutral in fair way.  Greg and the rest of the executive have treated each of us with respect and made sure that all of us were treated equally.  I know the reality of nominations in other ridings does not always go the same way.  All of us contestants owe the riding association a huge thank you for the support and fairness they showed all of us.

1 comment to Blog interview with Howard Rabb – LPC nomination contestant, Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas

  • Margaret Harris

    Well done Howard!!
    I REALLY LIKE YOUR RESPONSES on this Blog Interview!!
    Valuing your Being One of Us and willing to take up the Leadership Role
    Best Wishes
    Marg Harris

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