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.

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?

Continue reading Interview w/Jennifer Stebbing – Flamborough-Glanbrook


Interviews galore coming

Hello folks:

Sorry for the delay on new blogposts after the trip to Brantford last week, but I didn’t feel like regurgitating news you can find elsewhere, such as more polls from multiple pollsters showing good Liberal leads, or the fact Conservatives are bemoaning the fact this is the case and still viewing Justin Trudeau as incarnate evil (read the Paul Wells story at Macleans to see what I mean by that comment). I find the downtime between House of Commons sittings to be hard to write stuff.

In the meantime, I’ll just briefly mention part of the delay is I’ve sent out a ton of interview questions to prospective Liberal candidates or nomination candidates, but they’ve taken their time getting their answers back to me – a drawback to doing written interviews by email over voice recordings, but I prefer well-thought out answers to the usual soundbite you get from springing a question on them – friendly interviewer notwithstanding.

Anyhow.. I’ll hope to get some back over the next week, as I have several of them lined up


Congrats to Danielle Takacs, new LPC candidate for Brantford-Brant


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)

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If LPC anticipates early election call, let’s get candidates nominated sooner, not later

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.


Interview with Karen McCrimmon, LPC nomination contestant Kanata-Carleton

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


Interview with David Graham, LPC nomination contestant Laurentides-Labelle

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


The Blog Days of Summer

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.


Brandon Sage – running for LPCO VP of Organization

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


Upcoming interviews/campaign news from #LPCO, #Brant, etc

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).


Blog Interview with Michael Levitt – LPC candidate for York-Centre

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

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