Monday, October 15, 2012

On behalf of my family - Thank you, Dalton McGuinty

Wow. Like many Liberals today in Ontario, I was shocked by the news of Premier Dalton McGuinty announcing his resignation today. I've been incredibly lucky to get a chance to intern for the McGuinty Liberals at Queen's Park for two summers, and McGuinty's commitment to education, healthcare, and building a green economy motivated me to volunteer in the 2007/2011 elections, by-elections in St. Paul's, Toronto Centre, Ottawa West-Nepean and Kitchener-Waterloo. For Ontario Young Liberals like myself, McGuinty has a particularly important place in our hearts, pretty much serving as the only OLP Leader for our political awareness, and for his championing of many issues important to youth, like the 30% tuition rebate, extending the grace period for OSAP loans if you work for a non-profit (an OYL policy originally) and perhaps more than any contemporary leader in Canada, understanding that Ontario's economy is changing and putting the building blocks in place for a green knowledge economy.

Ultimately though, when I think about the McGuinty legacy though, I am brought back to something I posted last year the day before the election, my personal story of how the actions and policies of the McGuinty government have helped my family stay a family:

"My story of why I am a Liberal: I remember during the 90's my parents getting the Harris taxpayer rebate, and my mom telling me what she was going to do with it. "We're going to donate this to the church for charity, because as rough as things are for us sometimes, some family out there relying on social services for help just had those services 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. At the same time, I'm able to start going to university because the government believes in supporting students, and a mother is able to see her son succeed. That's moving forward. Together."

From my family and families like ours across Ontario, Thank you, Mr. Premier.

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