Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nomination news from PEI and Quebec

The federal Liberal nomination in Charlottetown has a declared contender, with lawyer Sean Casey jumping in. Casey has deep roots in the party and in Charlottetown, serving as past president of the Liberal Party of Prince Edward Island and the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce.

Staying out east, former PC MLA and cabinet minister David Morse says he will run for the Conservative nomination in Kings-Hants. Morse had been the MLA for Kings South, but was defeated in the NDP wave which swept Nova Scotia in 2009. Interestingly, Morse confirmed what many have accused the Tories of, favouring government held ridings as part of government spending:

"It is increasingly obvious that Kings-Hants has paid a price as we have been left out of discretionary federal projects," Morse said in the release."

Interesting to see how those comments go over.

And a bit of a grab for the BQ in Montreal, with former NDP candidate in Hochelaga Jean-Claude Rocheleau running for the BQ in the east-end riding of La Pointe-de-l'Île, being vacated by Francine Lalonde. The riding is a BQ stronghold, with Lalonde generally winning by 40-50% of the vote over her nearest competition.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hudak loved lobbyists in government

In light of opposition attacks on the Ontario government over lobbying, it is worth taking a look at Tim Hudak's record.

During the Harris-Hudak years over 150 lobbyists were hired on behalf of organizations that received Ontario Government funds. These include Hospitals, Universities, School Boards and other organizations - all were allowed to use taxpayer dollars to hire Conservative insiders.
When Tim Hudak was Minister of Northern Development & Mines, several organizations that his Ministry funded hired lobbyists to approach him and his staff including the Northern Tourism Marketing Corporation and Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters. College Boreal (funding from TCU) and Thunder Bay Regional Hospital (MOHLTC) also disclosed efforts to lobby then-Minister Hudak.

When Tim Hudak was Minister of Culture, Tourism & Recreation his Ministry funded the Royal Botanical Gardens which in turn, hired a lobbyist to approach him.

When Tim Hudak was Minister of Consumer & Business Services, the TSSA [Technical Standards & Safety Authority] hired Conservative insider Bill King of Hill & Knowlton to lobby on their behalf. As Minister, Hudak made appointments to the Board and the TSSA reported to him as Minister. Important to note that the TSSA ended their relationship with King in 2004 and have not hired a lobbyist since. King ended up becoming Chief of Staff to federal Minister Tony Clement.

Tim Hudak will complain today about the use public funds to hire lobbyists, but the fact is, when he was in Cabinet he did nothing but encourage this practice.

From the Hudak's HST flip-flop, to calling for the scrapping of the Stewardship Ontario program he helped establish in government, Hudak hypocrisy surfaces once again as he "forgets" his own record in government.

Campaigns I've worked on

This list only includes federal/provincial/municipal campaigns, if I included student elections and OYL stuff that would add quite a few more.

2004 Paul Szabo federal Liberal re-election campaign, Mississauga South
2006 Paul Szabo federal Liberal re-election campaign, Mississauga South
2006 Stephane Dion federal Liberal leadership campaign
2007 Scott Bradley federal Liberal nomination, Ottawa Centre
2007 Charles Sousa provincial Liberal election campaign, Mississauga South
2007 Dave Caplan provincial Liberal re-election campaign, Don Valley East
2007 Yasir Naqvi provincial Liberal election campaign, Ottawa Centre
2008 Bob Rae federal Liberal by-election campaign, Toronto Centre
2008 Mark Garneau federal Liberal by-election campaign, Westmount-Ville Marie
2008 Frank Valeriote federal Liberal by-election campaign, Guelph
2008 Rob Oliphant federal Liberal by-election campaign, Guelph
2008 Penny Collenette federal Liberal election campaign, Ottawa Centre
2008 David McGuinty federal Liberal re-election campaign, Ottawa South
2008 David Pratt federal Liberal election campaign, Ottawa West-Nepean
2008 Mauril Belanger federal Liberal re-election campaign, Ottawa-Vanier
2008 Marc Godbout federal Liberal election campaign, Ottawa-Orleans
2008 Dan Boudria federal Liberal election campaign, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell
2009 Julie Bourgeois federal Liberal nomination, Glengarry-Presscott-Russell
2009 Scott Bradley federal Liberal nomination, Ottawa Centre
2009 Greg Fergus federal Liberal nomination, Pontiac
2009 Eric Hoskins provincial Liberal by-election campaign, St. Paul’s
2010 Glen Murray provincial Liberal by-election campaign, Toronto Centre
2010 Bob Chiarelli provincial Liberal by-election campaign, Ottawa West-Nepean
2010 Jim Watson municipal election campaign, mayor of Ottawa
2010 George Smitherman municipal election campaign, mayor of Toronto
2010 Chris Tindal municipal election campaign, Ward 27 Toronto
2010 Anita Vandenbeld, federal Liberal nomination campaign, Ottawa West-Nepean

Friday, October 15, 2010

Possible candidates for Liberals surface

With Charlottetown MP Shawn Murphy not running in the next election, this article discusses a few potential candidates to replace him as Liberal candidate,
including provincial Liberal cabinet ministers Richard Brown and Doug Currie, UPEI president Wade MacLauchlan and Charlottetown businessman Sean Casey, the husband of MLA Kathleen Casey, who also serves speaker of the P.E.I. legislature.

And according to one of those wonderful nameless Liberal sources, Rocco Rossi is a possible if unlikely candidate for the Liberals for the Vaughn by-election to go head to head with new Tory candidate Julian Fantino.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Prince George area nomination news

The Tory nomination in this soon to be vacant riding has a new contender, Tumbler Ridge Councillor Jerrilyn Schembri.

While several other candidates in the race have backgrounds in municipal politics, Schembri does bring a couple interesting dynamics to the race. First, in addition to being the only female candidate in the race, Schembri could potentially be the first centre-right female candidate to right in the riding ever. A look back at the candidates for the Conservative Party/Canadian Alliance/Reform Party/PC Party/Social Credit Party candidates for the riding (and counting the old riding of Cariboo) a grand total of zero of those candidates have been female, as far as I can tell. Secondly, compared to the old school Tory roots of the other competitors, she has only been a party member for a few months. Given that the riding is one of the safest for conservative parties in the country, (since 1945, it has had non conservative (Socred, PC, Reform, Alliance, Conservative) MP's only between 45-49 and 68-72) it might be safe to assume a fairly large and active party base, so unless she can sell a ton of new memberships she might have trouble cracking into the old boys club.

Keeping in the same area, this is a couple weeks old, but still has something:

The Christian Heritage Party will have candidate in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, with 2006 Cariboo-Prince George CHP candidate Chris Kempling setting a target of 1,000 votes, but the article also says that former riding association presidnt Murray Todd has put his name forward for the Liberals.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

BC nomination candidates for Liberals and Conservatives

Lot of news coming out of BC lately, it seems. Here we go.

Former District of North Vancouver councillor Roger Bassam who was rumoured to be interested in the Liberal nomination for the federal riding of the same name, has officially entered the race. The article also mentions former Green Party candidate Jim Stephenson as "an official federal Liberal nomination candidate", although I had heard that he had previously dropped out, unless he has decided to re-enter the race. Bassam was a former assisstant to previous Liberal MP Don Bell, and the article frames a potential race between Bassam and Stepehnson as perhaps being a battle between Liberal voters who want to continue in Bell's footsteps and elect a candidate with close ties to him, and more left-wing Liberals who want a candidate that can perhaps steal votes from the NDP and Green Party.

The already crowded race for the federal Conservative nomination in Jay Hill's seat has another contender, Cameron Stoltz, a city councillor from Prince George. An interesting side note of the race is that the 3 other candidates all have education backgrounds; longtime Tory organizer Don Irwin, a local municipal councilor and principal of a local Christian high school, Bob Zimmer, longtime Conservative activist and high school teacher, and Dan Davies, another city councilor and teacher. Zimmers's campaign if he were to win would be interesting for the federal party, as local anti-HST forces seem to have lined up behind his campaign. Zimmer is also active with the local upstart BC Conservative Party ( which has campaigned hard against the HST. With Hill stepping down from the House in a few weeks, it looks to be a fast and furious nomination campaign.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mark Bruneau new Liberal candidate in Jeanne-Le Ber

Mark Bruneau, who had previously run for the Liberal nomination in the riding in 2008, won a contested nomination for the nod this Sunday. Bruneau is a businessman and entrepreneur and will look to win back the riding for the Grits, which has seen some very close contests between the Bloc and Liberals over recent elections, being decided by 2.7% in 2008, making it one of the top targets for the Liberals in Quebec.

Monday, October 4, 2010

BC and Ontario nomination news

The Conservatives are continuing a push for former OPP commish Julian Fantino to run for the Tories in Vaughn.

Harper himself has apparently been in touch with Fantino to try and land him as a star candidate, with Fantino "leaning" towards taking a run. Only Kevin Bordian of the NDP (who are pretty much a non-factor in the seat) has been nominated, although
Tony Genco, who ran for the Liberals provincially in 1999 and has recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Downsview Park is looking at a run for the Liberals, and I've heard some rumours around a possible Liberal run by Steven Del Duca, a Director of the Vaughan Health Care Foundation and former EA to Greg Sorbara who is currently running for city council.

In BC, former Liberal MLA and cabinet minister Blair Lekstrom, who left the Liberal caucus saying his constituents were opposed to the HST (although noticably made no comment over his own personal position towards it) now says he will run again in his riding of Peace River South. Lekstrom had been rumoured to be interested in the federal Conservative nomination in Prince George-Peace River with current Tory MP Jay Hill stepping down next election.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ontario Women's Liberal Commission, featuring me

Second part of the newsletter features an interview with yours truly about women in politics and my new role as an executive on the Carleton Equal Voice Chapter.