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


Kate Holloway and Dan Fox for Toronto City Council; more endorsers for Danielle Takacs

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.


Interview with Tyler Banham – running to be LPCO President

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


Endorsed candidates – news for a #Brant one, and a new LPCO one!

I was very pleased to receive an email from Jeff Jedras – a Liberal blogger compatriot and friend of mine who has long blogged at A BC’er in Toronto, and who has announced he will be seeking the position of vice-president, communications of the Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario):

I have watched with concern and frustration at the growing disengagement of Canadians with federal politics — a trend encouraged and exploited by the Harper government. I believe we can and must reverse this trend, and it begins with giving Liberal activists across Ontario — you and me — the tools we need to bring our fellow citizens back into the political process.

I have said the following elsewhere, but I’ll repeat it here for the Liberal readers of this blog – I’ve known Jeff for a long time from the social media and blogging world, and if anyone knows communications, it’s Jeff. He would be a perfect and much needed fit for this position. He has my official endorsement, and I’ve added a home-made badge to the sidebar (which I hope he won’t mind). Clicking on the badge will go directly to his campaign website, but it is located here, if you want to do it the old fashioned way.

Speaking of badges and endorsements, you’ll notice a badge for Danielle Takacs over there as well, regarding my support for her to be the nominee for Brant for the LPC, and I wanted to note 2 important things that have happened via her newspage at her website in the past week and a bit: She has her first 2 endorsements up (and there will be more) that I wanted to focus on – first, there is this great endorsement from Ted McMeekin, the MPP for Brant’s neighbour Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale and the current Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
The 2nd endorsement she has posted is from local Brant business owner Rick Esselment, who became a LPC member to be able to support Danielle. While this may not seem as important to some, I can assure you this endorsement is just as important as any Ontario Cabinet Minister or well known Federal Liberal – maybe more important, because it’s from a local Brant Liberal, and all politics is local, as they say. It is folks like these who will help Danielle become the LPC nominee for Brant.

I’ve also said this elsewhere already, but I’ll also repeat it again: I encourage all folks/friends/acquaintances of Danielle in Brant to visit Danielle’s website; talk to her and consider signing up as LPC members with the intention of voting for her at a future LPC nomination meeting to be the LPC candidate in Brant for the 2015 general election.


Federal Byelection thoughts/roundup

It was nice to see the media punditry declare that Justin Trudeau had passed another “test” of his leadership by winning 2 seats (gaining the former NDP held Olivia Chow seat of Trinity Spadina) and having a nice increase in the Alberta seats (where sadly my colleague Kyle Harrietha just came up a bit short, but he ran a great campaign). I don’t know how many more of these tests JT has to pass however before they decide he’s for real or a threat to Harper.

Speaking of Harper, he should be ashamed of himself for deliberately putting these byelections a day before Canada Day when most folks were probably taking the Monday off and going away on vacation. He managed the dubious record of not 1 but 2 byelections with less then 20% turnout rate (ironically, both in Alberta) for the first time in byelection voting history. I’ve little doubt he was hoping lower turnout would occur in the Toronto ridings and that the Liberals would lose 1 or both – and not mattering to which party. To be sure, the electors aren’t off the hook either – but Harper didn’t help matters.

Oh, and one other thing; this election made clear one other thing: Forum Research really needs to stop putting out byelection polls – because no one is going to take them or their firm seriously. I’ve yet to see them claim the Liberals didnt get their vote out in the Fort Mcmurray-Athabasca riding, as they claimed when their Brandon-Souris poll was horribly off – but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some sort of lame excuse… an apology would be more appropriate.


Happy Byelection Day!

Yes, its Byelection Day in Canada, thanks to our PM Stephen Harper, who apparently wants to try to set new records for low turnout in byelections.

Nevertheless, there are fouer races to watch, with the 2 of most interest being in Trinity-Spadina and Fort-Mcmurray-Athabasca. Adam Vaughan, former TO city councillor is hoping to wrest away the former seat of Olivia Chow from the NDP. You might wonder why I’m interested in Ft Mcmurray, since its supposedly safe for the Tories; well, a) I know Kyle Harrietha – he was an early Liberal blogger and still promninenbt on social media, and I hope nothign but the best for him, and b) a Forum poll came out late last night that claimed the Liberals had an 8 point lead. Yes, its Forum, and yes, their prior byelection polls were way off the mark (Brandon-Souris), but I’m hoping in this case, they’re right.

In that instance, perhaps the low turnout that Harper seemed to be counting on will come back to bite him.


Some Liberal bits and bites – provincial and federal

- Re-elected Premier Kathleen Wynne will be swearing in her new provincial Cabinet today. One of the chief shuffles I’m pleased to see is Dr. Eric Hoskins moving into the Health Ministry portfolio. I’ve been a long time supporter of his from his running as a federal LPC candidate in Haldimand Norfolk and before that heading up War Child Canada (now headed by his wife, Dr.Samantha Nutt). I’m also pleased to see Mitzie Hunter, who brought forth the private-members bill last session to allow ranked ballots to be used in Toronto’s civic elections, has been given a promotion to associate finance minister responsible for the new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan. I wish her well (and I hope the OLP won’t forget their promise to introduce a bill that will allow ALL municipalities to use ranked-ballot if they so desire)

– It’s time once again to think about federal politics and Liberal Party of Canada candidates. I was just mentioning in my last post about where we could potentially get more women candidates and MP’s for the Liberal Party, and one of those was my good friend Danielle Takacs running for the LPC nomination in Brant. Well, I am happy to bring to your attention 2 items involving Danielle. First, she is one of those featured in the June 2014 National Women’s Liberal Commission Newsletter. It talks about her background and her campaign.
Secondly, she has announced at her site she has officially resumed her campaign, after pausing it out of respect for the provincial election process. Check out her thoughts on that and what her “next steps” for her campaign are.

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