Monday, December 19, 2011

What does it take to be president? Alexandra Mendes knows

To me, an important part of the job of President of the Party is to know what the job is and isn't. It's an organizational role, one that requires communications and the ability to build bridges to get the job done. What it is not is a spokesperson position. The President must never become a bigger story than the party and the caucus. Alexandra Mendes understands the role and responsibilities of being LPC President, and brings a proven track record of experience and results. Here's what Alexandra has to say about the job of President:

"The race for president of the Liberal Party is generating a great deal of excitement and as a Liberal I am delighted to see the renewed interest and commitment to this party by its members. However, we must not get forget that when the dust settles on the race and a winner is declared, the real work will start. Debates among candidates will be forgotten and the nitty-gritty of the job will get done in many different places; often not on a stage and often out of the public eye. Simply put, the president is not the leader of the party. The president’s job is to help the members, the Caucus and the leader do their work.

One of the first tasks to be tackled is to sit down with the financial books of the Liberal Party. Managing the finances of our Party will be a crucial job for the president and the National Executive in the months to come.

What am I bringing to this aspect of the position? I became executive director of membership driven organization when it went into receivership and helped bring it to financial stability. From this I learned to balance books and be financially responsible with limited funds. This is often a diplomatic act of ensuring that the necessary funds are available for activities that sustain and grow an organization while cutting down on waste and unnecessary spending. Also, since the future of party financing demands that we finance our party from donations alone, we need to manage the money we now have and to engage Canadians to donate and support our party. This will require that we think outside the box to strengthen our finances. The membership has identified creative ways to increase funds and heighten the Liberal profile and as president I would work hard to facilitate these initiatives.

I believe that under the new financial reality, members must drive the financial bus; without the per-vote subsidies we need to change the way our Party does business. To provide a lasting financially responsible framework, I believe that we must have a mandatory quarterly review that assesses both input and output of funds and mandates that we justify our spending either on the basis of successful member outreach or successful fundraising. If an expenditure item does neither, then it should be eliminated in the interest of frugal fiscal management.

The other fundamental aspect of the job is to meet with Liberals, to hear their concerns and suggestions. For the president of the Liberal Party, these meetings require another set of talents: listening and knowing when and how to act. After my many experiences as a MP, a riding association president and an executive director of an NGO I have learned that there is a fundamental difference between listening to people and simply allowing people to talk. For me, listening is an active, purposeful activity where I try to understand and piece together what people are thinking and feeling; what they are asking for; how they offer to help; and even what they are critiquing us on.

For me, listening must always be followed by any appropriate action. There is no point listening passively and then moving on; it leaves people frustrated and also allows many helpful suggestions and golden opportunities to slip away. For example, a young man representing approached me during the May 2011 campaign. He wanted to know why Liberal MP’s hadn’t signed on the online petition against user-based internet fees. I was surprised that we hadn’t, I made two phone calls to the appropriate critics and in less than 48 hours, Liberal MP’s had become the darlings of The young man who had come to me originally was so impressed at the results that he became a member of the Party, joined my campaign team and became our “go-to” person in all IT related matters.

The president must also be responsive to riding associations. As an active member of the Brossard – La Prairie riding association for over 10 years, as a riding association president that supported the election of the Hon. Jacques Saada twice and as an MP who won in the same riding, I have intimate knowledge of the challenges faced by riding associations. I believe that the president must work with riding associations one by one and with the Council of Presidents in a constructive way. A president’s job is not to dictate what should be done but rather to help associations to do their job because they know their communities best. A “one plan fits all” approach will not succeed; we must take into account the unique nature of each riding.

Again, the act of listening cannot be left to chance. We must do something that is required from every president and if elected I would institute a set of rules governing response times. Any written submission from a riding association must be responded to within 30 days and if the decision is required and still pending at 90 days, then there must be a further communication every 30 days until a decision is made.

Another crucial job for the president is to facilitate Liberal messaging. The president is not the spokesperson for the party; that is clearly and indubitably the leader’s job. The president and the National Executive do have however a crucial role to play as facilitators for messaging. As a MP that got swept up by the Orange Wave, I also know that we need to focus on the air war as well as the ground war. In my riding we set up the winning conditions for the 2011 election as we had numerous times before. However, the combination of the attack war against Michael Ignatieff and the Liberals, and the NDP’s successful messaging campaign in Quebec, all of our diligent work was thoroughly overridden.

If I am elected president, I will commit to helping with the air war. First and foremost, this will require that funding be available to define our leader before our opponents define him/her. Second, we will have to change the way we do the business of messaging. We need to communicate more effectively to reach the hearts as well as the minds of Canadians. We need to communicate effectively and in a timely manner with members about the positions the party has taken on issues.

We need to fundraise by showing why our Party deserves the support of Canadians by earning each dollar. We can do this by having clear, simple, straightforward conversations about what Liberals want to support and why. These messages need to not only go out to members; we need to use our free opportunities in the media to effectively, rationally and emotionally connect with Canadians.

This is my understanding of what it means to be president of the Liberal Party of Canada. How do you see it? I really would love to read your thoughts…"

Friday, December 16, 2011

Experience to get the job done - Alexandra Mendes' proven track record

In this time of Liberal rebuilding, the Party President must work for,
and be accountable to the membership. It is not enough to simply chair
meetings or to be a talking head on TV, a President must have the
passion and experience for organizational management required to take
on the heavy tasks of rebuilding our party.

Alexandra Mendes has that passion and experience.

Within the party, Alexandra has demonstrated her management experience
in the myriad of roles she has played - working her way up through the
party, going all the way from a local riding volunteer, to a riding
association President, to an MP assistant to proudly serving the
people of Brossard-La Prarie. Alexandra also has valuable experience
at management outside of politics, having served as Executive Director
of Maison Internationale de la Rive-Sud, an immigrant settlement
agency on the south shore of Montreal. When Alexandra took over the
agency, it was in trouble, having gone into financial receivership,
and not able to play its part in helping New Canadians thrive in our
great country. But with skill, dedication, and passion, Alexandra
helped right the ship and brought the agency back into financial
stability. Alexandra has a proven track record, not rhetoric, of
bringing hard work and dedication to organizational management, and
the Liberal Party of Canada needs someone both with a firm commitment
to improving management operations, and passion for the Liberal Party
and Liberal values.

Alexandra Mendes is the best candidate for the job of Liberal Party of
Canada President. Elect a President with passion, dedication, and a
proven track record to help our party renew.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fantastic cross Canada support for Alexandra Mendes!

Check out what great Liberals from across Canada are saying about Alexandra Mendes!

Support for Alexandra Mendes is growing in every province. Liberals are choosing Alexandra because of her proven ability to take a member-driven organization and turn it around to make it financially successful. Liberals are choosing Alexandra because her experience as a riding association president and as a Member of Parliament give her valuable insights into how the party works and what is needed to support a riding and win a riding. Liberals are choosing Alexandra because she is more interested in listening to the membership than talking at them. Liberals are choosing Alexandra because she will change the culture of the party by ensuring that the ownership of the party is in the hands of the members and that we put an end to infighting by standing united as a party. These are excerpts of what just a few of them have to say about Alexandra, click on their names to read the full endorsement:

Les appuis envers Alexandra Mendès arrivent de toutes les provinces. Les libéraux choisissent Alexandra en raison de sa capacité éprouvée à prendre une organisation dirigée par ses membres et de la rendre financièrement stable. Les libéraux choisissent Alexandra parce que son expérience en tant que présidente d'une association de circonscription et en tant que députée lui ont permis d'acquérir des connaissances essentielles sur les opérations du Parti et ce que cela prend pour soutenir et gagner une circonscription. Les libéraux choisissent Alexandra parce qu'elle accorde beaucoup plus d'importance à écouter les membres qu'à leur imposer ses opinions. Les libéraux choisissent Alexandra parce qu'ils sentent qu'elle saura changer la culture du Parti en s'assurant que les membres demeurent les principaux « actionnaires » de notre formation et qu'elle fera tout son possible pour mettre fin aux querelles intestines qui nous déchirent depuis des années. Voici des extraits de ce que quelques-uns d'entre eux ont à dire sur Alexandra, cliquez sur leur nom pour lire leur témoignage complet:

I am extremely pleased to support Alexandra Mendes as President of the Liberal Party. Alexandra has a clear grasp of the issues facing our Party and brings experience as a committed volunteer, a political activist, an engaged political professional and as a parliamentarian to this job. She will ensure every voice is heard as we rebuild the Liberal presence across the country. Alexandra understands the role of President in ensuring that good governance, effective and efficient administrative structures and solid financial support are developed well before the next election. She is running for the right position at the right time and has my full support.
Rob Oliphant, Ontario

This is why we should burst with optimism and pride at the thought of Alexandra Mendes as President of the Liberal Party of Canada: ...

... Mendes insists on inclusion in our Party and in our country. She is a communicator and a consensus builder. Her commitment to a progressive and prosperous society, to justice and human rights, to women's issues, citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism are an invaluable asset to a Party needing to grow....
Jade Boldt, Alberta

... I like you, want the very best for our Party. We need a President who is a facilitator, someone who listens and then acts, someone with proven competency in restoring organizations in precarious health (financial and organizational), someone with high ethical standards and proven integrity and finally someone who 'gets' Canada's diversity on linguistic, ethnic, racial and religious origins. Well, the only candidate in my mind who meets all those criteria is Alexandra Mendes. ...
Marlene Jennings, Québec

... Tout comme vous, je veux le meilleur pour notre parti. Nous avons besoin d'un facilitateur, d'une personne à l'écoute qui sait aussi passer aux actes, quelqu'un qui a fait preuve de ses compétences, telles la réussite de la restructuration d'organismes en difficulté (financières et structurelles), une personne qui a fait preuve de ses valeurs sur le plan de l'éthique ainsi que de son intégrité. Et non moins essentiel, nous avons besoin d'une personne qui comprend la diversité, qui comprend le Canada dans toutes ses dimensions, tant au niveau linguistique qu'au niveau ethnique, racial et religieux. Or, à mon avis le (la) seul(e) candidat(e) qui atteint tous ces critères est Alexandra Mendes. ...
Marlene Jennings, Québec

Meeting an unusual politician - intelligent, well informed, candid, courageous, friendly, charming... you have renewed our dreams and hopes for better Liberal times ahead. Thank you!!!
Ivanka Ruseska, Alberta

... Alexandra is committed to working with riding associations and rebuilding them, re-focusing the priorities of PTA's on local, riding level engagement. Re-empowering our riding associations is critical to rebuild the party, particularly in Quebec and The West. As a supporter of organizations like Equal Voice, I am pleased that the cause of gender equality within the party organization, and in candidate recruitment is an important issue for Alexandra, and one she will work towards as President.

Alexandra has a critical understanding of what the role of President is and isn't. We need an organizer, a manager, a facilitator, not someone who will be writing talking points and doing interviews, taking attention away from our leader and caucus.

With her approach to engagement and reform, Alexandra is the best choice for President ...
William Norman, Ontario

Alexandra believes, as I do, that the liberal party members ultimately are responsible for the decision-making process and their ideas and recommendations should be respected and valued, as well as implemented by their duly elected officers. Decisions have to come from the bottom-up not top-down and this has to be the modus operati of everything we do as a political party in order to grow and again earn the right to be a contender for the governance of our great country. She believes in a democratic, transparent and accountable executive which answers at every occasion to the party members who are the heart and soul of the our party, and by serving their interests she assures their continued support of and continued involvement in our party. ...

For these reasons and many more, I am confident that Alexandra is the President who, along with all of us, will rebuild a strong, dynamic and interactive party that will earn the right to once again govern our great country. ...
Eleni Bakopanos, Quebec

...Alexandra believes strongly in the importance of listening and she puts that belief into practice in her communications with members. And, because Alexandra has a knack for putting people at ease when she talks with them, conversations with her are genial, open and productive.

Alexandra's communications skills are also an asset in building teams and facilitating teamwork. Her commitment to teamwork will be a tremendous asset in rebuilding the Party across Canada. ...
Joel Klebanoff, Ontario

Oui j'appuie Alexandra parce que je connais son humanité, je connais son authenticité et sa passion envers ce en quoi elle croit, j'ai expérimenté son intégrité, j'ai connu sa fidélité et sa loyauté à travers 2 décennies d'amitié vraie, je l'ai côtoyé à l'appui et à la défense des plus faibles, je l'ai vue à l'œuvre dans des situations faciles et surtout dans celles plus difficiles, je l'ai vue diriger avec une main de fer dans un gant de velours. ...
Ninette Abi-Khalil, Québec

You can see more endorsements for Alexandra Mendes from great Liberals like Sen. Grant Mitchell, Sen. Joan Fraser, and MP John McCallum on the endorsements page:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Last day to sign an intent to stand as a delegate form for Biennial!

Want to help rebuild the party? Today is the last day to sign an intent to stand as a delegate form! Just click the above link, and fill out the simple form! Together we can make history!

And if you're undecided about who to support for exec board positions like President, take a look at some info on my choice for best candidate, Alexandra Mendes!

Please sign the form and check out some info on a great candidate!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Alexandra Mendes talks about winning together

A great post from Alexandra Mendes about the need for a united party and how to move forward together. In our rebuilding process, one of the most important things we need to do is stand together as Liberals. Alexandra talks about running a positive campaign based on her experience in bring people together both inside and outside politics, and her vision for how the role of President should act as a positive force for unity in the party. It's a great piece, and I encourage you to check it out.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Why I am supporting Alexandra Mendès for Liberal Party president

The Liberal Party faces a difficult, but not impossible task in rebuilding and reconnecting with Canadians. Electing a new President and exec board is and important step in this process. We as a party have a few options in deciding how we want to move forward. We could try putting out big names from our past who have a controversial history. We could try to win people over with flashy platitudes and talking points.

Or, we could support someone for President of the party who has experience in different levels of the party and Canadian life. Someone who is deeply in touch and experienced in reaching out to our multicultural population. Someone who has a wealth of experience in both the private sector and public life. Someone who has a clear and firm understanding of what the role of President means, values teamwork, has management experience, and has worked in the grassroots.

As a candidate, Alexandra Mendes has all of this and more.

Listening in on a number of debates and townhalls, I have always been impressed by the caliber and quality of the answers Alexandra has provided to the difficult challenges of how to best rebuild our party. Alexandra is committed to working with riding associations and rebuilding them, re-focusing the priorities of PTA's on local, riding level engagement. Re-empowering our riding associations is critical to rebuild the party, particularly in Quebec and The West. As a supporter of organizations like Equal Voice, I am pleased that the cause of gender equality within the party organization, and in candidate recruitment is an important issue for Alexandra, and one she will work towards as President.

Alexandra has a critical understanding of what the role of President is and isn't. We need an organizer, a manager, a facilitator, not someone who will be writing talking points and doing interviews, taking attention away from our leader and caucus.

With her approach to engagement and reform, Alexandra is the best choice for President, and I would encourage my fellow Liberals to read more about her campaign and get engaged:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Support sending Young Liberals to the COP-17 UN Climate Change Conference!

I was lucky enough to be a part of the COP-15 YLC delegation, and I'm really pleased the party is doing a lot more to help promote fundraising for youth delegates. Please donate and help support the Young Liberals of Canada.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Young Liberals serve!

All this food was raised by Ottawa-area Young Liberals as part of the Trick or Eat campaign for the Ottawa Food Bank. Young Liberals from Carleton, U of O, Ottawa Centre, Ottawa-Vanier and beyond came out to help us, and a particular thanks goes out to Yasir Naqvi, MPP for Ottawa Centre for joining us.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New McGuinty cabinet is a strong, experienced team for Ontario

If you haven't seen it, here is the new Ontario cabinet:

Duncan - Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance
Bentley - Minister of Energy
Broten - Minister of Education
Matthews - Minister of Health
Meilleur - Community Safety/Corrections/Francophone Affairs
Gerretsen - Attorney General
Milloy - Community/Social Services/Government House Leader
Bradley - Environment
Takhar - Government Services
Best - Consumer Services
Gravelle - Natural Resources
Chan - Tourism
Duguid - Economic Development
Bartolucci - Northern Development & Mines
McMeekin - Agriculture
Wynne - Municipal Affairs/Aboriginal Affairs
Hoskins - Children & Youth
Murray - Training, Colleges & Universities
Sousa - Citizenship & Immigration
Jeffrey - Labour & Seniors
Chiarelli - Transportation/Infrastructure
Hoskins - Children & Youth Services

A leaner, experienced cabinet to help Ontario move forward together and confront challenges like health care negotiations, growing the economy, and investing in communities. On a personal note, I'm particularly happy to see my hometown MPP Charles Sousa back in as Citizenship and Immigration Minister, as well as Bob Chiarelli take on a big role at Transportation and Infrastructure.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My story of why I am voting Liberal

This is my personal story of broadly, why I am a Liberal, and more specifically to highlight the change and progress we've made in Ontario under Dalton McGuinty.

I remember during the 90's my parents getting the Harris taxpayer rebate. We were, and are a lower-middle class family, and things weren't always the easiest for us. But I remember very strongly what my parents said about getting the rebate, and what they were going to do with it. "We're going to donate this to the church for charity, because as rough as things can be for us sometimes, some other family out there that is relying on services for help just had that help cut to pay for this."

Fast-forward to 2006. My mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, but thanks to the investments in things like breast cancer screening under the McGuinty government, they catch it early. If we lived in a place without a strong public health system, the financial burden to our family would have been enormous, particularly with myself starting university the same year. But thanks to the McGuinty Liberal government supporting a strong public health system and investing in education, I was able to go to post-secondary while my mom got better. Now, conservatives would call this "socialism", they would call it "social engineering". Me? I think it is a mother being able to watch her son succeed in life. That's Liberal family values to me. That's moving forward. Together.

Please go out and vote today, to keep Ontario on the right track.

What people are saying about the Ontario Liberal plan

Here's a collection of quotes about the Ontario Liberal plan to move forward together:

"He is trying to build a healthier, greener, more prosperous and better educated province...McGuinty's experience in government will be needed in the coming years."
-Ottawa Citizen, October 4, 2011

"Mr. McGuinty sees himself as the education premier, with some justification. He has made good, incremental changes to education, improving standards, with results that will enhance competitiveness and productivity for Ontario."
-Globe and Mail, October 3, 2011

"McGuinty and the Liberals are the best choice for the next four years. Their record is a strong one and they are the only party with policies that try to come to grips with the global issues we face."
-Toronto Star, September 30, 2011

"As a country, as a province, as a community, we have a long way to go to realize our economic potential, but we're on the right track. As we've already said, a Liberal government is best for our region. Add to that a majority."
-Windsor Star, October 5, 2011

"Under the Liberals, more hospitals have been built...more doctors and nurses have been hired, emergency wait times are shorter and more surgeries...are being performed. Ontario has become a leading jurisdiction worldwide for the early detection and treatment of cancer, school marks are improving, there has been more investment in electrical power generation...The Liberals have delivered...and they're best positioned to deliver in the future."
-Sudbury Star, October 5, 2010

"...Dalton McGuinty's Liberals offer the best bet for Ontario's future... Moreover, we believe they are the most capable of preparing us for the economic hurricane blowing our way...we believe the Liberals bring the brightest hope."
-Waterloo Record, September 30, 2011

"We believe that the Liberals are in the best position to help us retain the values that make Ontario one of the best places on earth to live."
-Barrie Advance, September 30, 2011

"All in all, the Liberals have done a credible job managing the province through a tumultuous period...the Liberals are the best option to govern Ontario for the next four years."
-Hamilton Spectator, October 5, 2011

Ontarians face a choice tomorrow, and only the Ontario Liberal Party will bring a strong team, an experienced leader, and a serious plan to grow the economy, create jobs, and protect our schools and public healthcare.

6 reasons to vote Liberal

Stole this shamelessly from a friend, but I really like it. Forward. Together. >

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hudak PC candidate: "Let's not lose our identity. I'm tired of taking a back seat where the once majority is seemingly now a minority."

Edit: I forgot to mention in the first post that this is Chatham-Kent-Essex PC candidate Rick Nicholls

In a letter in the editor of the Chatham Daily News on Febuary 27, 2008, this is what now Hudak PC candidate for Chatham-Kent-Essex had to say about multiculturalism and a diverse Ontario:

"To people of other ethnicities and who don't believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour...Let's not lose our identity. I'm tired of taking a back seat where the once majority is seemingly now a minority."

"I would like to remind my non-Christian-believing friends need to respect and remember that this is Canadian land and that you and/or your ancestors decided to live and conduct your form of worship here. You have your freedom of worship. Just don't try to mix it all in with our founding principles and say it is because of diversity"

"I don't agree with Mr. Hassan El Khodr, president of the Chatham-Kent Muslim Association, who said, "Since we all believe in God, we can keep it along those lines . . . I think the majority would accept as a fact that we are all believers. The way we believe . . . that's your own business."

Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddists, Hindus, etc., may all believe in God, but it is not the same god. And the God that this country of Canada was first founded on is the same God that the Lord's Prayer refers to."

"Don't try to impose your religious beliefs by watering down not only my personal religious beliefs, but the religious beliefs that Canada was founded on."

With the Hudak campaign first trying the xenophobia angle ( and now giving homophobia a shot (, it is clear that the PC's are grasping at straws to divide Ontarians to try and hide that they have no real plan on the economy

Monday, October 3, 2011

"The best choice for Ontario's challenges"

That's what The Globe & Mail says Dalton McGuinty's Ontario Liberal team is in this election. With the global economy still unsteady, and big challenges looming ahead like the federal-provincial healthcare negotiations, Ontario families deserve leadership they can trust.

As for Hudak?
"[Hudak's]campaign was surprisingly lacklustre...and [Hudak] will move too aggressively and is too dogmatic about smaller government when some public investment is needed...[Dalton McGuinty] took on the pharmacists, in the process saving the province millions on the cost of drugs. Mr. Hudak was on the wrong side of that argument. Mr. McGuinty joined with the federal Conservatives to introduce the HST, a measure that has enhanced the competitiveness of Ontario businesses. Mr. Hudak was on the wrong side of that argument too."

And Horwath?
"The New Democrats, under leader Andrea Horwath, are dangerously flawed, and if given an opportunity to influence policy, either in government or in a minority parliament, would wreak havoc on Ontario’s economy"

Voting Ontario Liberal on Oct 6th is the only way to have a strong, stable government that will create and protect jobs in an uncertain global economy while strengthening services families rely on.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Andrea Horwath gets $200,000 of your tax dollars for nothing?

According to this report, the corporate fundraising arm of the ONDP has received $200,000 of your tax dollars for upgrades for making party HQ more accessible for Ontarians with disabilities, yet the party has seemingly sat on the money. This story, and Horwath's fuzzy math surrounding her billion dollar math mistake on education draw serious doubt on her party's commitment to progressive causes like advancing post-sec education and making Ontario more accessible.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Either Andrea Horwath and the ONDP can't do math, or they are misleading Ontario students

Greg Sorbara writes an open letter to the CFS over Andrea Horwath's fuzzy math in the ONDP platform in regards to post-secondary education funding

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Leadership on Healthcare

From a PC government that closed dozens of hospitals (with Tim Hudak personally playing a role as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health) and didn't even bother tracking wait times, to a Liberal government that has gotten results like the shortest wait times in Canada, opening 18 hospitals, hiring over 11,500 nurses and delivering almost 3,000 new doctors meaning 1.3 million people have a family doctor, Ontario's public healthcare system is on the right track.

Ontario Liberals will moving Ontario's healthcare system forward by creating home health care, to help every Ontarian, particularly seniors, have better access to healthcare services. Liberals are supporting families who work together to get through tough times with the new Family Caregiver Leave, allowing paid leave to hard-working Ontario families who need to support ill family members. We'll fight the battle against cancer with the creation of the Personalized Cancer Risk Profile system, help more Ontario families win the battle against cancer.

Liberals are also dedicated to improving child and mental health, so all Ontarians feel like belong.

A serious issue like healthcare needs a serious plan, and leadership to see thing through. Dalton McGuinty has that plan and that leadership.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Thanks for the jobs"

That's what one man who worked for the solar company next to the Ontario Liberal tent told me today at the International Plowing Fest. From providing the way forward to tomorrow's economy with the Green Energy Act to protecting and growing Ontario's agricultural economy, Ontario Liberals are standing up for farmers and the economy.

Over the last eight years, Ontario Liberals have made rural Ontario and its farmers a priority because Ontario's farmers put healthy, locally grown food on Ontario tables.

Agri-food provides 700,000 jobs and also contributes $33 billion to the provincial economy every year. To support farmers, Ontario Liberals created a risk-management program for grain and oilseed farmers four years ago. Now, we're making it permanent and expanding it to other sectors. Liberals worked with Ontario farmers to create a program that meets their needs, providing predictability, bankability and stability.

Both the PCs and NDP voted against risk management.
The Hudak PCs have flip-flopped on risk management, refusing to stand up to the federal Harper Conservatives who oppose it. And the Horwath NDP barely mentions agriculture or farms in their platform. Only the Ontario Liberals have a plan to keep building a strong and prosperous rural Ontario - one that will continue to support farm families for generations to come.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ontario Liberals protecting the environment and moving Ontario forward

Ontario Liberals are taking the next steps to safeguard our environment for Ontario families. Liberals are protecting precious water resources for future generations with a Great Lakes Protection Act that will be the next chapter in clean water for Ontario.

The Liberal $52 million program will ensure that Ontario keeps its edge as a world leader in clean-water protection.

Ontario Liberals are clean up pollution hot spots identified by Great Lakes scientists and bringing these bays and harbours back from environmental decline so people can enjoy them again.

Ontario Liberals are working to prevent runoff such as phosphorous from getting into the Great Lakes by building the links between communities, farmers, industry and others so that everyone understands what they can do.

Ontario Liberals are reconnect Ontarians with the Great Lakes in their communities by promoting recreational opportunities, improving beaches and supporting community programs.

Dalton McGuinty is leading the way with environmentally progressive governments in North America, stronger drinking-water standards, endangered-species legislation and pollution laws — and we'll continue moving forward.

Under the last PC government, Ontario was one of the worst places in North America for environmental safety. The Hudak PCs would take us backwards — their $14 billion hole would mean deep cuts to environmental protection.

The Horwath NDP has turned its back on the environment — their priority would be to subsidize gas-guzzlers and they have consistently failed to support our progressive environmental initiatives like the Endangered Species Act, the Far North Act and the cosmetic pesticides ban.

Only Ontario Liberals will provide the strong, steady environmental protection that will ensure our children and grandchildren fully enjoy the beauty of our province.

Here's a video of Premier McGuinty talking to David Suzuki about the Ontario Liberal commitment to the environment:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dalton McGuinty leadership on education praised in The Economist

Great article in The Economist about education reform and progress around the world, and Ontario is right at the top:

“Ontario really is impressive,” enthuses Sir Michael Barber, former head of global education practice at McKinsey (now at Pearson). The Canadian province has a high proportion of immigrants, many without English as a first language, yet it now has one of the world’s best-performing schools systems, after bringing in what one of its architects calls “reform without rancour”.

When Dalton McGuinty was elected Ontario’s premier in 2003, he embraced “whole-system reform”. Instead of directing reforms from the centre, the government encouraged schools to set their own targets and sent experienced teams to help them get there. Schools with large numbers of immigrant children could apply for special help, and could choose whether to extend the school day to do this, or work longer with the slower pupils.

With continued investment in education for families, from full day kindergarten to tuition cuts, Ontario's education system is on the right track.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Leadership on the economy

Premier Dalton McGuinty has said the tax rate on new investment by small businesses will be reduced by 55%. Ontario's economic strength depends on the strength of our businesses, large and small. That's why Ontario Liberals are working with small businesses to free up some of their resources so they can invest back into themselves and grow even stronger.

When the changes are fully implemented, the tax rate on new investment for small businesses will be reduced by 55% — good news for employers such as farms, retailers and smaller manufacturers. When small businesses succeed, we all succeed. They bring a lot to Ontario communities — good jobs, and great products.

The Ontario Liberal platform, "Forward. Together." includes the next steps to help small businesses. Ontario Liberals will:

-Triple the number of successful start-ups in the next five years by providing incentives for risk capital

-Enhance and increase support for young entrepreneurs, and for small and medium businesses to access new trade markets

-Create a new Southwestern Ontario Economic Development Fund and make the Eastern Ontario Development Fund and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund permanent.

Ontario Liberals have already cut the business tax rate from 5.5 per cent to 4.5 — which will fall to 4.0 per cent under the Ontario Liberal Plan.

The Hudak PCs $14 billion hole would also mean deep cuts to education, depriving us of the highly skilled workers who attract new business to Ontario. The Horwath NDP would introduce a crushing $9 billion in job-killing taxes. Both would take Ontario off track at the worst time.

Ontario Liberals are working to make Ontario the place to be when it comes to building your business. Only Ontario Liberals have a plan to keep Ontario moving forward, together.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Premier meets with first responders on 10th anniversary of 9/11

“Whether it’s responding to a call or volunteering in our communities, they make a real difference in our lives. Our police, our paramedics, our firefighters have all been there for us. Ontario will continue to be there for them.”

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Leadership for Ontario

"You want the politics of anger, resentment and division? That makes you feel good? Then Mr. Hudak is your guy. If you want to do things so that we can grow stronger together, build something better together - then that's what we're putting on the table."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A more local look at successors to Jack Layton

Plenty of speculation so far about potential successors to Jack Layton as federal NDP leader, but I haven't seen much about potential NDP candidates to follow Jack in Toronto-Danforth, so I'll take a look at some potential NDP candidates for a by-election that will be coming in the next 180 days.

-Mike Layton
Jack's son, following in his father's footsteps by sitting on city council. Would he follow Jack's steps further and make the jump to MP? It would be interesting, but I doubt it. Layton has been in office for under a year, and has built his powerbase up in Oliva Chow's Trinity-Spadina riding, not the East York area Toronto-Danforth.

-Paula Fletcher
City council member for the southern half of Toronto-Danforth and formerly a public school board trustee, Fletcher is solidly a member of the left wing of council, although she barely snuck into re-election in Ward 30 in 2010 over Liz West. Fletcher has name recognition (although not always positive) and plenty of government experience, but the other "formerly" in her resume might be problematic - Fletcher was the leader of the Communist Party of Manitoba back in the day. Considering the communications and image issues the party is dealing with with Nycole Turmel's associations with Quebec sovereignty, the optics of an ex-Communist campaigning to be an MP for an ex-soverigntist wouldn't be the greatest for the party (assuming the by-election is held during Turmel's interm leadership, as the NDP fed council has yet to hammer out the exact time table.)

-Mary Fragedakis
The NDP alligned councilor for the north end of Toronto-Danforth, only recently elected in 2010. I think she's pretty unlikely to run, but I'll include her on this list just for the sake of it.

-Peter Tabuns
Former city councilor & executive director of Greenpeace, Tabuns is currently the MPP for Toronto-Danforth and was a close friend of Jack Layton. Tabuns was the early frontrunner for the ONDP leadership when Howard Hampton stepped down, losing to Andrea Horwath, who has since taken the party significantly away from environmental issues, leaving the former executive director of Greenpeace in a somewhat awkward spot, being forced to advocate for Horwath policies like subsidizing gas guzzling SUV's and voting against the Clean Water Act. (see for more details) Tabuns running would probably depend on the NDP results in the provincial election, but with a mix of civic experience and environmental background, Tabuns would be a good get for the NDP if they could convince him to run federally.

-Marilyn Churley
Former MPP for Toronto-Danforth and a twice failed federal NDP candidate in Beaches-Easy York, Churley would bring experience serving in a provincial NDP government, as well as the attractiveness of recruiting a high-profile female candidate to fill Layton seat (Layton was good at promoting women in politics, something I will always give him a lot of credit and respect for). Churley was also a notable supporter of Layton's NDP leadership bid, which might give her some added credibility. She's currently serving as a justice of the peace, so she would need to give up that respected position for a shot at running.

-Brian Topp
I'm not the first person to point out that Topp would need a riding if he wanted to be NDP leader. Topp was born and raised in Quebec and has worked in Saskatchewan, but has been based out of Toronto for a few years, so he could use that to fight off allegations of being a parachute candidate. With the timeline for both the NDP leadership and the by-election still up in the air, one interesting possibility would be Topp both running for leader and running in the by-election to have a seat. I remember back during the 2006 Liberal leadership contest a brief flurry of speculation came up about either Gerard Kennedy, Bob Rae, or Martha Hall Findlay contesting the London North Centre by-election, as they were the Ontario based candidates without a seat at the time. Nothing ended up coming from that, and aside from that I'm not sure if a seat less candidate for major party leadership has ever run in a by-election. Be an interesting test of party unity if he did decide to run for both at the same time.

If anyone else has any theories about potential candidates, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hudak's municipal downloading scheme would stick Ontario families with a $500 million bill

The OYL had a very successful "Remember the 90's" campaign launch party last night, and Tim Hudak at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario meeting this week showed that he was ready to take Ontario families back to the 90's by cancelling the Dalton McGuinty plan to upload services back to the provincial level after Harris-Hudak downloading during the 90's.

Hudak won't honour the deal Dalton McGuinty signed with Ontario municipalities, and would stick families with a $500 million dollar bill to be payed for with property tax hikes. This would hit Ontario families in urban, suburban, and rural areas.

This is what they are saying in Barrie: "Ontario's mayors and other municipal leaders are right to be concerned...Local leaders need to listen very carefully to what Hudak is saying, because it could come back to bite them at budget time in the coming years"

This is what they are saying in Toronto: "Hudak's bad deal for cities"

This is what the mayor of Sault Ste. Marie said: "The [Conservative] downloaded services have never been revenue neutral."

This is what outgoing AMO president (and Conservative supporter) Peter Hume said: The first and most obvious is uploading of $1.5 billion in annual social service and court security costs by 2018. This is fundamental. Municipalities need to know that the 2008 agreement to upload these costs will be honoured, year after year, as scheduled.

This is what Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion (who knows a thing or two about running municipal government) said: Mayor Hazel McCallion was hoping [Hudak] would promise to keep taking social service costs off the municipal property tax.
When Hudak failed to make that commitment — saying he can't make such promises in the midst of economic uncertainty — she was disappointed...A disappointed McCallion said Hudak's position was all too obvious. "He was very clear. He is going to stop it, " she said.

This is what Ottawa mayor Jim Watson said: "If Mr. Hudak wins the election and reneges on that promise it will not only set back relations to the days when we had to deal with downloading but it will also mean a serious financial challenge for all 440 municipalities in Ontario"

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Liberals built this!

Had a great time this weekend taking part in the province wide Ontario Young Liberal blitz showing the great investments that the Ontario Liberal Party has made in families and communities across the province. Be it new schools, investing in our local health care systems, enhancing our libraries and communities centres, or improving transportation systems to get families and our economy moving, Liberals are on the right track in ensuring a strong Ontario.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

ONDP candidate mocks child abuse allegations in Catholic Church and posts dirty jokes on Twitter - Classy guy

Is this why Andrea Horwath is going to such extreme efforts to hide her "team"? Less than 3 weeks before the start of the writ, and the ONDP website still has zero mention of any ONDP candidate or MPP not named Andrea Horwath.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ontario Liberal announcements put Ontario families first

In the past couple of days, the Ontario Liberals have come up with some solid policy announcements that show how Liberals are committed to delivering results, not reckless rhetoric for Ontario families.

At Summer Fling last weekend, I was proud to stand behind Dalton McGuinty as he showed his commitment to families and youth by adopting a policy that started out as a Young Liberal idea - extending the grace period for paying back OSAP loans should a student choose to enter into the not-for-profit sector. This will help young Ontarians and their families be more financially secure as they transition into full-time work.

Liberals are also supporting families with the new Family Caregiver Leave

This would help protect Ontario families jobs when they have chosen to help take care of a loved one at home.

Families are at the heart of the Ontario Way, be they caring for one another, helping to create jobs, or providing strong social stability, and the Ontario Liberals are offering real ways to support them in all the things that they do.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Proud to be a clean, green Ontarian

Great blog posted by the great Hillary Buchan-Terrell on her experiences as an Ontario Young Liberal in Copenhagen and how Ontario Liberal plans and ideas are creating green jobs and keeping Ontario on the right track.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dirty NDP

On the same day that we learn of massive cuts to Environment Canada coming from the federal Conservatives, it's important to remember that the ONDP is going off track on the environment in the same way.

Check out for more info, and keep Ontario's green job growth and environmental progress on the right track.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What does Jack Layton's former chief of staff think about ONDP environment policy?

He think it is ''anti-environmental nonsense", "a serious disappointment", and "entirely the wrong direction"

Meanwhile, what do Rick Smith & Environmental Defence (of which he serves as executive director) say about Ontario's Green Energy Act?

They think it's "a great move", a "good initiative", "global best practice standard", that has made Ontario a "leader" in job creation.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Say No to Andrea Horwath's dirty schemes

The Ontario Liberals are the only party that will stand up for creating new green jobs and a cleaner environment.

Phony Tony!

Follow all the adventures of Phony Tony Genco here!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I’m offering an endorsement of what Mr. McGuinty has done, absolutely. This is a great plan. Any party would be foolish to talk about abandoning it"

That's what David Suzuki had to say about the Ontario Liberal plan to keep Ontario's economy on track by creating green jobs and helping our environment.

“I don’t get it, because it’s a job creator — I would have thought that the Conservatives would be banging away at the need to create jobs,” the host of CBC’s The Nature of Things said during a stroll with McGuinty in Stanley Park on Wednesday.

“Ontario right now is a leader in North America. Why would anybody come in and throw that out the window? It doesn't make any sense.”

The big thing to me is the Green Energy Act,” said Suzuki.

“It has created jobs. For me it says we’ve got a future that’s bright with job creation and we can drop our dependence on fossil fuels.”

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ontario NDP vs. the environment

Hard hitting piece from the David Suzuki foundation on the NDP playing political games with the environment:

"the NDP allowed politics to rule over good policy...the NDP platform mentions a home retrofit program that targets energy efficiency. The cost of that program? Who knows?...What about new investment in building transit infrastructure that builds on Ontario's existing transit plan? Not in there."

With Ontario's economy turning the corning and creating jobs while helping the environment, it is disappointing that the NDP would scheme with Tim Hudak to kill Ontario jobs.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Follow the Eastern Region Policy Parliament online!

I'm liveblogging right now from the Eastern Region Policy Parliament, we've got dozens of great Young Liberals, great special guests and great policies.

If you can't make it, you can still follow along online:

Like the Eastern Region Young Liberals on Facebook:

And follow us on Twitter:
The hashtag is #ERPP

Hope to see lots of online activity!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tim Hudak and his own caucus vs. your wallet

When Hudak MPP Garfield Dunlop isn't too busy being contracdicted by his own party over handing tax payers the bill for eco fees (see:, he's handing taxpayers the bill for his set of wheels:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tim Hudak vs. your wallet (and his own caucus)

Tim Hudak showed his recklessness with his flip-flops on the HST (Going from being in favour of it, to wanting to scrap it, to saying he would reduce it, to now keeping it), health care premiums (scrap them, keep them, scrap them, keep them but say how bad they are - can another promise to take billions out of health care be far behind?) and now Eco Fees.

Despite the PC government introducing waste management fees in 2002, Tim Hudak attacked the Liberals for committing to a safer toxic waste disposal process and a cleaner environment. Now he's saying the PC Party would hit your wallet for waste disposal, as his caucus flip-flops on what to do with the issue.

Garfield was not specific about how a new Tory program would pay to keep such products out of landfills if neither the consumer nor the producer were paying through so-called eco fees — but was adamant they would not be charged.

“On things like electronics we would be removing the eco fees,” Dunlop said.

“There would be no eco fees on any of the electronics portion.”

After Dunlop spoke, party officials clarified the cost of recycling such products would fall to taxpayers — and that PC MPP Ted Arnott was wrong last week when he said the party would maintain the producer-pay principle.

Introduce them, say you'll scrap them, then say you'll work with stakeholder, and finally say you'll hit the taxpayer wallet - on every big issue, Tim Hudak's reckless rookie scheming and flip-floping has exposed his weak leadership.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tim Hudak vs. your wallet

Tim Hudak is feeling hungry. Can you spare him some of your hard earned tax dollars so he can grab a beer and some chicken nuggets?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tim Hudak vs. Full Day Kindergarten

Today, Ontario is announcing the last stage of the rollout of full day kindergarten. In a highly competitive, globalized, knowledge-based economy it is absolutely essential that Ontario invest in the younger generation to ensure that we build a powerful workforce that can compete and win against the best anywhere on this planet, and investments in families like FDK go a long way to securing Ontario jobs and strengthening our economy.

And up until last weekend, reckless rookie Tim Hudak wanted to scrap this program. But, in his slick, angry, and dark scheming unveiled over the weekend, Tim Hudak - just as he has on human rights, the HST, and creating Ontario jobs – has flip flopped.

What once was a “frill”, he now says he’ll keep. After saying he would “freeze” the program and create two-tier schools, he now says it would be “a mistake to disrupt its implementation”.

Despite his flip-flop, with a $10 billion dollar hole in the middle of his platform, important investments in Ontario families and the future of our economy like FDK would be at risk from Hudak’s reckless rookie schemes. The last PC government promised “funding for education will be guaranteed”, and Ontario families saw schools being closed, students locked out, and less investment in children.
Ontario must continue to keep moving forward with a solid plan for investment, not reckless rookie scheming and flip-flops.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tim Hudak vs. video games (and jobs)

In honour of Anime North, which is sharing a convention centre with the PC's this weekend, I thought I'd highlight an example of Ontario investment in creating jobs in the high tech sector, such as Ubisoft investing in an Ontario and creating almost 1000 jobs.

McGuinty called digital media "a new kind of manufacturing" that is worthy of support to build a more diversified, knowledge-based economy.

"This is an anchor investment ... it will catapult us a great distance forward," the Premier said.

He noted the investment will help keep graduates of local community college computer animation and similar programs from leaving the area, which is already the third-largest digital media hub in North America.

"Rather than the brain drain ... the opening of Ubisoft Toronto is all about a brain gain," said Yannis Mallet, chief executive of the company's Montreal and Toronto operations.

Tim Hudak is against video games, and Ontario jobs in growing sectors of the economy.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tim Hudak vs. the safety of Ontario families

While Liberals focus on creating jobs and growing the economy (The headline of the Windsor Star today read "Green energy wave powers job upswing) Tim Hudak's reckless rookie scheming hit a new low by declaring that he was in favour of 6,000 convicted criminals "raking leaves" and "picking up gum wrappers" 40 hours a week, every week, in the parks and playgrounds where our children and grandchildren play.

Ontario families deserve to know they have safe communities, and Hudak's radical rookie recklessness would put safety and security of our families at risk.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tim Hudak vs. Canadian teams

Not quite as serious as my previous postings.

Tim Hudak vs. health care

Tim Hudak on health care, yesterday:

"I know how important our health services truly are…healthcare will be our top funding priority"

That's interesting, but let's take a look at what Mike Harris had to say about health care spending in 1995 before he got elected:

"We will not cut health care spending. It’s far too important." (1995 PC platform, pg 7)

That PC promise to not cut important health care spending ended up with unchecked wait times, 28 hospitals shut down, and 6000 nurses fired, and Hudak personally lead the way as Parliamentary Assisstant to the Minister of Health. Tim Hudak's reckless rookie scheming can't hide his real record of slashing public health services that Ontario families deserve.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tim Hudak vs. his own record

Tim Hudak once said he'd fight the HST "tooth and nail" after being accused of flip-floping on the long record of PC support for a harmonized tax system, and now he has done a double-flip flop, by saying he wouldn't fight the HST at all, but would instead take $6 billion out of health care and education.

Even the Toronto Sun is taking on Hudoo economics, with Christina Blizzard saying today that Hudak's scheming numbers are "too wobbly to take to the bank."

At a time when Ontario's economy is turning the corner, Ontario families deserve stability and a plan to grow the economy and create jobs. Hudak's scheming and flip-floping on important issues like green jobs and tax reform would create instability and hurt investment, while at the same time turning the clock back on important improvements in health care and education.

Ontario families deserve better.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tim Hudak vs. Randall Denley

Tim Hudak has pushed aside an active nomination to appoint Randall Denley as PC candidate in Ottawa West-Nepean.

Tim Hudak is also hoping to push aside Denley's criticism of Hudak and his reckless rookie scheming, but as you can see below, Hudak is less successful:

In particular, it will be interesting to see how Hudak and Denley will be speaking from the same gospel on the economy and job creation:

"Hudak refuses to acknowledge it, but harmonizing sales taxes is good for business."
Dec 7, 2009

First Frank Klees demonstrates his lack of faith in Hudak's reckless scheming by investing his own money in FIT project, now Hudak's newest recruit is offside on the HST and job creation. Will Denley stand up for plans like the HST that are growing the Ontario economy and creating jobs for families, or will he allow Tim Hudak to recklessly play politics?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tim Hudak vs. Ontario jobs, Eastern Ontario edition

From Windsor to Ottawa, Ontario families & Ontario businesses are standing up to defend jobs created for families by private investment helped by the Ontario Liberal plan for jobs and growth against Tim Hudak's reckless rookie scheming:

A group of Ottawa businesses specializing in renewable energy technology is calling on Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak to reconsider his opposition to the McGuinty government’s green energy law.

Twenty area firms signed onto the letter dated Monday saying that the green energy economy is invigorating the manufacturing industry and creating well-paying jobs for skilled workers. They say Hudak’s pledge to scrap the Liberals’ green energy law would be “rash, imprudent, and cost thousands of jobs.”...

In the letter, released to the Citizen, the co-signers say the FIT program has proved to be both good job-creation policy and helps the province generate the electricity it will need in future. “The Green Energy and Green Economy Act generates economic activity, reduces pollution, and ensures that Ontarians will have power for the future,” the letter says. “It enables us to avoid the risk of blackouts.”

“Mr. Hudak, business seeks a stable economic climate for investment. Your Party’s decision has introduced uncertainty into Ontario’s economic future.”

Ontario families deserve economic security and jobs, and Ontario businesses deserve a stable economic climate in which they can grow the economy and create jobs and opportunity. Tim Hudak's is recklessly scheming to take jobs away from Ontario families and hurt the economy.