KENORA – Candidate’s Ledger – Over the last couple of days I’ve spoken to a number of NDP members and they’ve asked me one simple question: “why do you want to run?”
I’m a committed New Democrat. I’ve taken part in 13 election campaigns in the last 8 years, as well as numerous public information sessions, door knocking and various activities across the riding.
About a year ago I was in a plane with Howard Hampton when he asked, “Have you ever considered running?” Howard and I talked at length about his idea and he explained in detail why he thought I should give it serious consideration. I did. I decided that I would run when Howard decided it was time for him to step aside.
I believe the voters want more than a spokesperson for a party or a platform; they want someone who has been active on the issues and has worked hard already to make Kenora-Rainy River a better place. I have been a vocal advocate for more than eight years. I have worked hard to raise awareness of the issues across the riding. Take for instance the Harmonized Sales Tax. I was in every community in the region…at hockey tournaments, trades shows and other events…listening to our constituents, making them aware of the issues and what we could do to help.
The same happened with our energy retailer awareness campaigns and sessions. Howard supported and helped advertise the events. Most of the work, even the resulting casework, was done by me, on my own time. I gave up my evenings and weekends. I dedicated myself to getting results for people and I’ve been successful.
That’s the dedication and hard work the people of this riding deserve at Queen’s Park.
The people living in Kenora-Rainy River don’t want a fairweather friend who just pops up around election time to do a few photo ops and shake a few hands. They don’t want someone who spouts the party line, simply because it’s in briefing notes that they’ve been given by their party. They want someone who honestly believes in what they’re advocating, someone who has heard their concerns and suggestions and is willing to take them to Queen’s Park.
Anyone can speak from talking notes on the high costs of home heating and hydro. Few can say they’ve spent hours out in the cold during frigid winter months protesting those hydro rates. Even fewer can say they spent weeks going door to door in the dead of winter bringing that same message to people. Fewer can say they have spoken to hundreds of people, if not thousands, who are struggling to pay their bills. I’ve encountered them at protests. I’ve met them at their doorsteps. I’ve helped them while working in Howard Hampton’s office. To be honest, I know how hard these rising costs are hitting people – I’m not just reading it in briefing notes.
I haven’t been waiting in the wings for Howard to resign. For the last eight years I’ve been working at Howard Hampton’s side, meeting our constituents, listening to their concerns and their needs, and doing my best to make a positive difference in their lives.
Howard Hampton is my mentor. He has taught me well. I am humbled by his faith in me. And I will not let him, or you, or most importantly, our constituents down.
NDP Candidate for the Kenora Riding