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August, 2014:

Alta Vista will be left in good hands at the Council table…

… if my friend and colleague, Jean Cloutier, is elected on October 27.

Jean has been the President of the Canterbury Community Association for quite some time – this is the same group that I have been involved with for the past 4 years. I have seen first-hand the sweat and commitment that Jean has put into this organisation that serves hundreds of community members through its athletic and arts programs, its after-school childcare centre and the various events that the CCA hosts or co-hosts throughout the year.

The Board is comprised of a group of volunteers who are driven and committed as well – spurred on in a large part by the example that Jean has set over the years.

The CCA Board had our monthly meeting last night, at which Jean and his equally amazing and inspiring wife, Sandra, left the meeting at the onset after telling the Board that they are both taking a leave of absence from Board activities (which I did as well at the end of the meeting as I’m directly involved in the campaign). It was a funny feeling for, I suspect, all around the table, knowing that this was likely the last meeting he would be attending as President.

I was chatting with a couple of the other Board members in the parking lot afterward and, while there was much happiness about the decision that Jean and Sandra have made, there was also a great deal of sadness. We will all miss your leadership of this very important community organisation, Jean. But we also know that if you are elected, we will gain a smart, engaged and prudent Councillor.

Alta Vista voters – choose this guy. Councillor Peter Hume has been a great representative for our community for 23 years and he leaves some huge shoes to fill. I have an enormous amount of respect for him and am sorry to see him take his leave from local politics. But if there is one person who I’d choose to replace him, it would be Jean Cloutier. He’s the guy to vote for to ensure that our community continues to receive that fine level of representation.cloutierbanner

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There are some quality candidates…

… vying for Liberal Party nominations.

My political junkiness kicks into high gear usually about 12-18 months ahead of a projected election date. I love elections. And I love the processes and machinations leading up to them.

Although it has been an unbelievable (literally and figuratively… which you’ll understand if you know me personally) summer, I have been following some of the LPC nominations that are shaping up. There are some interesting and quality candidates stepping up to the plate in many parts of the country, but two of them really caught my eye. One of them is in Kanata-Carleton, where Karen McCrimmon is standing for the nomination and the other is in southwestern Ontario in Brantford-Brant, where Danielle Takac is throwing her hat into the ring.

Kanata-Carleton is one of the ridings that has been re-jigged for the next election and it is almost in my backyard! One of the many CPC trained seals, Gordon O’Connor, is the current MP of the riding of Carleton-Mississippi Mills. I am unsure as to whether he has announced if he will run again, but he’ll have a helluva fight on his hands if Karen McCrimmon gets the nomination!

Ms. McCrimmon is a decorated ex-military officer who is engaged in and connected with the real issues that her riding and the country are facing. According to her website, “she is pushing the issue of youth unemployment, and improved benefits for Canadian war veterans.” The way the Harperites have pushed both vets and the youth to the back-burner has long been a sore point with me and this stance will serve her well in a riding that is home to many military and ex-military personnel.

One of the comments she recently made on her Facebook page says a lot about how the Harper government has conducted itself and how the Liberals will not follow suit:

This government is all about keeping up ‘appearances’ or ‘perceptions’. Now is the time for us to inject a little reality into the discussion because it will take a better part of a year to break through their carefully crafted propaganda…

She, of course, is dead on! And Ms. McCrimmon and the other Liberals that will be elected as the government next year will focus on real issues and not bumper-sticker politics.

This riding can be a LPC win in the next election – especially if someone as qualified and energetic as Ms. McCrimmon is nominated! Go get ’em!!

The next nomination that I’d like to highlight is flying her flag in a riding far from my backyard, but one that again I think winnable for the Liberals if the right person is in place.

Brantford-Brant is in southwestern Ontario and is currently held by yet another CPC minion, Phil McColeman, whose main claim to fame seems to be that he organises a local hockey tourney every year. Yeah, good for him.

Danielle Takacs is a woman who can colour this riding Liberal red. Looking into her background I was struck by the degree of engagement and committment that she has shown at the local level and in the Liberal party. The “experience” tab on her webpage is extensive and broad. She has obviously built a lot of bridges through her work and these will serve her well to win the nomination and the riding after that.

AND, she used to pen a very well-written blog that I used to follow! Look out folks, we bloggers are a-takin’ over the joint!

Some of the issues that she notes as being important to her include:

  • Upholding and Honouring Veteran’s rights
  • Addressing the Youth Unemployment Crisis
  • Promoting Canada as a friend to international development, and regain its once highly regarded international reputation.

Like Ms. Takacs and Ms. McCrimmon, these are important issues for me as as well, and I suspect for most Canadians.

I wish both of these fine leaders the best of luck in their nominations and beyond!

 

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