Saturday, December 31

Covering More Ground

Flanked by Bal, Walter and Tyler, we arrived at the Seniors lodge in Cardston and were immediately greeted by Kay. What a pleasant surprize for us to see the space set up 'meeting-style' for our arrival, hoping I could take a moment and speak en masse... Well, I'm not one to back down from an opportunity to talk policy and values.

It made it feel like home to meet a few ladies originally from England, and it turned out to be quite lively with lots of questions and observations. Not surprisingly, we heard a lot of questions on pensions. There is a consensus for regular increases that will not be eaten up by cost of living and increased rents from the institution. I assured them, and I assure you now, I will pass these concerns along to the party and attempt to work for improvements & betterments- whether elected or not.

Next, it was a quick jaunt over to the lodge in Magrath, where Bal & I were requested for a lunchtime reception. As we were leaving, one individual refused to shake hands as a preventive measure against all the flu that is going around currently. Given my work in the Health industry, I can certainly appreciate her position and would like to reassure constituents that I am equally concerned with the predicted influenza epidemic and am working towards ensuring Canada's preparedness should such an event occur!

We later joined up with Walter and Tyler back in Cardston for a late gorgeous lunch. Thanks a mil Kay to you and your family for your kindness and hospitality. We spent the next several hours door-knocking and dropping brochures before heading home.

After checking my emails I would like to draw your attention to a Liberal announcement that caught my attention:

"The Liberal government's recent tax measures will pour over $6 billion into consumers' pockets before the end of April," according to JP Morgan Securities Canada economist Ted Carmichael." For further info please check policy details here or call my office at 317-1419.

Since this is my last correspondence for 2005 I would like to take the opportunity to wish you and yours a Healthy and Prosperous New Year and all the best wishes. Keep tuned.

Friday, December 30

I Encourage Your Imput

A phone conference with some of my colleagues across the Province was in hand. We reviewed progress of our campaigns, highlighted issues and shared responses/experiences which might assist others.

Walter, a first-rate volunteer and citizen, and I went door-to-door in the afternoon. Fortunately, the weather was nice, though cooled quickly as darkness fell, but we felt buoyed by the overall reception and response. Not only were we able to assure ourselves of several more and new votes of support, but we were also able to bolster our roster of locations for our campaign signs... Only a couple of those we met yesterday obviously believe the current reports attempting to besmirch the Liberals and Hon. Ralph Goodale. Fortunately, it appears most people are capable of thinking for themselves. Thanks a million Walter for your company!

On returning to the office, I participated on a policy session with key members from our team. After supper I was priveliged to be accompanied door-to-door by Paige, a Lethbridgian attending the University of Ottawa. Our reception at the steps was equally as pleasant and fruitful as the afternoon's outing.

After discussing amongst the team my correspondence with a Lethbridge constituent, I invite you to read my reply to his concerns surrounding the Liberal gun control policy and Bill C-68. To read the letter, click here (I have omitted his name to ensure privacy). I encourage you to read and respond to my letter with your imput.

Today, we plan on putting our feet to work again with more door-knocking, but first I must take care of some personal bills and contact a power company to assure our family has reasonably-priced power for the next year. Again, keep tuned.

Thursday, December 29

The Unexpected Caller

On December 28, as planned, I attended a memorial. The service was a beautiful celebration of the life of another wonderful person and Joyce (Senator Fairbairn), as she does with everything, gave a super eulogy.

Then I dropped by the office, returned some phonecalls and received a call from Deputy Prime Minister, Honourable Anne McLellan. Similarly, she too was catching up around her office... calling other candidates, such as myself, to review and provide support. It was unexpected, but nevertheless nice to be reassured and have the support from key members of such a wonderful team.

Speaking of that wonderful team: Tyler, Diane, Chris and I reviewed the scripts for my advertising. I only arrived a few minutes late for supper! Stay Tuned.

Wednesday, December 28

The Swing of Things

As we start back into the swing of things, I should fill you in since my last correspondence. On Christmas Eve after some last minute shopping David and our oldest daughter, Aileen assisted with preparation of a mail-out at the campaign office. Following our midnight Mass, we headed home for our family tradition to sit around the tree and drink some egg nog, listen to carols and open one gift each. As we are always a little late going to bed Christmas Eve, some of the family were a little tardy getting up Christmas morning, and, then it was into the gift-opening. Following our traditional brunch (consisting most importantly of sticky buns) we went for dinner to our extended family in Taber and returned in the early hours of Boxing Day morning. Needless to say we all got up late.

Our oldest son, Sean and his wife, Sandra joined us after journeying from BC. We shared amongst friends and finished-off the day with a gorgeous supper prepared largely by David. David left early yesterday. Sean and Sandra leave tomorrow.

We had our post-organizational meeting at the campaign office yesterday. Thanks to all who attended. I feel very confident with all the positive energy that it being brought to this campaign. Many signs were erected before Christmas and many more are ready to be placed in the coming days.

On Wednesday morning I will be attending a funeral, then be around the office for the best part of the afternoon. On Thursday and Friday we hope to do some door-to-door. Though Friday morning, I am scheduled to work on some advertising. Saturday I hope to do some campaigning in a couple of the rural towns. For details keep tuned.

Sunday, December 25

Merry Christmas To All...

Due to the season, family commitments and out of respect for everyone's need for quiet during these few days, I expect to be doing none other than relaxing and enjoying catch-up with family and friends!

We celebrated David's birthday on the 23rd. A day late. But as he only arrived from Toronto yesterday, we weren't left with many options... After a wonderful supper, presents and cake, we took advantage of this opportunity, to enjoy our limited time together, and watched a movie as a family. So, for the next few days, I trust you too will take it easy and enjoy your family and friends. Then you can tune-in again as we gear-up for the second phase of the campaign.

May peace, joy and every good wish be with you and yours now and always.

Friday, December 23

A brief meeting with my agent kick-started yesterday into gear, first thing in the AM. After which, followed a review of the recent agriculture announcements. Mid morning found us in and amongst our press conference with Global TV followed by a meeting with CTV to discuss campaign messages. This was followed by a meeting with one of my agricultural advisors. Also, I had a call from an executive in Ms. McLellan's office with respect to a concern I relayed to her on Monday.

I was able to finish out the day making several phone calls to secure sign locations, as well as make some key visits to local businesses along the campaign trail.

Thursday, December 22

'Im'Pressing A Conference

I had to return to work for a couple important meetings. I took advantage of my being in the office to check my voice mail. To both my delight and surprize: one was from Prime Minister Martin enroute to Regina (Sunday). He offered his best wishes and just wanted to chat since he did not get a solid chance to do so (other than a hug and handshake) in Calgary (Saturday). I was really taken that he would make the time for such a task, seeing he is so busy and has 306 other ridings, as well as his Government functions, et al.

The Conservatives announced some Ag-policy, but really, it didn't amount to much. The long and short: If they win, they promise to replace the CAIS program. To view the Liberal plan on agriculture, click here.

I also attended prayers for a former colleague who had retired only 5 years ago.

This morning at the campaign office, a press conference has been arranged for 10:30 AM. I will be around the office for the greater portion of the day, other than a scheduled visit in the afternoon to another industrial outfit. I would love to see some of you down at the office to hear your concerns. I extend this invitation to dialogue on any topic. ...When I dropped by the office on the way home last night, I was told of one supporter's significant generosity. I was also advised that the sign crew will be hard at work erecting signs Thursday evening. Thanks a million you guys! You are what makes this campaign such a huge success.

Later tonight, it would seem that my family is 'unofficially' beginning our holiday (as I will be traveling to Calgary to pick up our son, David, returning from Toronto for a few days to celebrate. Our daughter Aileen returned from the U of C this last evening. Sean and his wife Sandra, will be joining us on Boxing Day for a couple days. And, of course, Richael is already with us. Once again, I am blessed with my family at this time of year! Keep tuned!

Wednesday, December 21

Time, Signs & Brochures.. Oh My!

Yesterday started with a couple phonecalls and then a meeting with my core team to review some of the election rules and a campaign appeal. This was followed by a briefing by another ag-adviser. Feeling saturated with information I raced home for lunch and did a couple housekeeping chores.

In the afternoon, I dropped by an industrial outfit and was surprised that the main partner (who is so successful), could sound so anti-anything-Liberal. So much so, to point of him seriously entertaining the idea of Alberta or the West going it alone. However, thank God, everyone else I encounter appear to believe and visualize our great country as a united entity.

Then it was off for another meeting to tie-up some loose ends on the Provincial side of the Party. At 5, it was a meeting of the Aboriginal Housing in Action Society. We were all excited to approve our first applicant in the first step to owning their own home. Then I dropped by the campaign office where a good crowd were busy preparing the campaign signs as well as organizing our first shipment of brochures. Please let us know in the office if you lawn is hungry for a sign!

At 1o:3o (after leaving the campaign office for the evening), I could begin my newly adopted evening ritual of addressing all my daily correspondence. Fortunate for me, my emails have dropped from roughly 50+ each day to a modest 30+. Among the highlights from the mass of communication, are several emails pertaining to the new agricultural policies.

Tuesday, December 20

A National Platform Tailored for Alberta

Hi again Folks:

Sorry I didn't have too much to write for Sunday. I took it a little easier, and used it as a chance to attend Church in Picture Butte (as they were celebrating their 50th Anniversary). I met some old friends and had a wonderful chat with the Bishop. Later I did some Christmas prep and attended to some emails.

In contrast to Sunday's schedule, Monday was packed with activity. After a couple phonecalls, I attended the TV station to produce a Season's Greeting to be aired over the holiday period. Following that I had a fascinating meeting with a gentleman regarded and considered highly knowledgeable in several aspects of farming. He also happens to have been a staunch Conservative but has recently become disenchanted with the negativity shadowing the opposition and the lack of representation. Not to mention the Americanization of big business in Canada, as well as our big neighbour thumbing their nose at international rulings that do not favour them. He believes something needs to be done to turn these tendencies around and believes the only way it is possible, is by a Liberal Government.

Before taking off for Calgary, I had to pick up information on another extremely sensitive topic from a local business and relay it to Ms. McLellan, Deputy Prime Minister (whom I and several fellow candidates met in Calgary for the official release of the Liberal Alberta Platform).

Once again, though much smaller in numbers, it was reminiscent of Saturday evening with Prime Minister Martin. I was really glad I attended; it helped link, like a puzzle, the many components the Government has been developing. There are so many wonderful things I am learning that make me ever more proud of this great country and being Canadian!

I was able to get back in time to attend funeral prayers for another upstanding member of the community who passed on. He will be sadly missed.

Today's campaign holds a couple key meetings, as well as a planned visit to an industrial outfit. All signs suggest it will be another busy and prosperous day! Keep tuned.

Sunday, December 18

''you won't take away my Canada"

It was cold outside. Very. Cold.

The irony of this situation being the warmth and enthusiasm with which we were greeted by constituents. Allow me to take this opportunity to thank those of you that invited us into your homes to meet and discuss (offering us a break from the weather). One thing made clear to me yesterday, is that voters are in no hurry to forget the opposition parties responsible for forcing this Christmas/Winter campaign upon all of us. Many quickly indicated they supported me and the Liberal Party and that we can count on their vote come Jan 23rd (eager to close their doors to keep out the chill). Even our trusty and ever-reliable pencils came in handy when our pens failed, succumbing to the temperature.

Chief among your concerns, and on the forefront of everyone's mind is healthcare.

Healthcare. Healthcare. Healthcare... And we couldn't be more supportive!

Trailing that: income security and education. Surprizingly (especially given the push and priority on this topic for Mr. Harper & his Conservatives), only two people noted concern about the GST, and both had opposing views as to how this should be handled. One even suggested something needed to be done with respect to EI.

A quick wardrobe change was in hand, and then it was off to Calgary with the support of Tyler, Jeff & Chris to meet with the Prime Minister. Unfortunately, it being such a busy time as well as the short notice, Gloria and my daughter Richael were unable to accompany me; however, my other daughter, Aileen (and her partner, Sheldon) were able to join us at the rally.

There were several hundred there. The atmosphere: electric. To witness and feel welcome in a crowd that was such a wonderful demonstration of the great Canadian mosaic: AWESOME!

Of course, being a candidate, I was accorded honour with my fellow candidates from southern Alberta on stage. Each of us was greeted with a hearty handshake, a hug and words of encouragement. It was simultaneously overwhelming and empowering to experience the camaraderie and support. I was privileged to be right close to Mr. Martin, as he once again (reminiscent of the previous night's debate) passionately reiterated his commitment to, and pride for, our great country!

Saturday, December 17

This is a Race

It was a race to get there in time. But it just goes to show you what a little perseverance, determination and luck with the traffic lights can do...

Remote in hand, I was home to take in the Leaders' Debate. Watching, it was readily evident the other three leaders were ganging up on Mr. Martin. All bullying aside, it made me proud for one (and I hope all of you too), to see our PM remaining firm in his stance on the US issue(s).

Earlier in the day, my team met with CTV to discuss advertising, put the finishing touches on a new broshure, met with several people who dropped by the office ot pledge their help, and then met with CityTV (Channel 8, Calgary) for a scheduled interview discussing Youth & Women (in) Politics. For more on these two topics, please follow these links, which you will also find on my home page, as well as the homepage:

After the debate, I was reminded by Gloria that we had another engagement to attend, where we were again surrrounded by friends, colleagues, supporters and strangers, all happy that I am in the running and their assurances that they are pulling for me.

With so many people disclosing to me that they are switching their allegiance from the opposing parties to the Liberals... it makes me wonder who will be left to vote Conservative?!

On that note, I must be off. My campaign manager (smiling from that last comment), is tapping his watch... my team is rushing me out the door for a quick round of door-to-door campiagning before our meeting with the Prime Minister today! More on that tomorrow, friends.

Friday, December 16

Full-Steam Ahead!

Hello Friends.

I apologize for my lapse in writing these past two days. Think of it as my little way of building your suspense and anticipation for the exciting news I am about to share with all of you.

After my last meeting yesterday, I briefly attended a pre-Christmas get-together with colleagues from SHIA, and from there, I was off to a College staff party to end the evening. Or so I thought... I was no sooner home when I received a call from Calgary inviting me and my team to meet and campaign with the Prime Minister on Saturday! I am already anxious to report back to you on my encounter with Mr. Martin.

Today marks two things:

One. We expect confirmation from Elections Canada on my candidacy documentation submitted earlier this week. And,

Two. It is the beginning of a month long hiatus from work, so that I may dedicate myself to the campaign.

I'm aware this is not your typical Friday night, let alone what most people would do on their first full day of holiday. But nothing about this campaign is typical. This evening, I will be glued to my television watching the Leaders' Debate... (no phone calls until after the debate is finished, please!)

The support continues. A friend I had phoned on another matter, disclosed her plans to vote Green. At her mentioning of the topic, and immediately after my mentioning the Liberal candidate for the Lethbridge Riding, she changed her mind saying now she "will have to backtrack and vote for me".

She's not alone. I continue to encounter people telling me of their long-standing affiliation with the opposition that has ended. Some have even been kind enough to translate that for me: "That's another vote for Team Cormican, Michael." Some have already started helping at the office!

Wednesday, December 14

December 13:

My Elections Canada documentation is currently being reviewed and I have arranged to start vacation on Friday, Dec. 16th so I can start campaigning full-time. This evening, I attended our Annual Habitat (for Humanity) Christmas party. Otherwise, I fielded a few phone calls and I am now beginning to catch up on my mail.

Monday, December 12

Vacation Day!!

I took a vacation day and obtained more signatures of electors in support of my registration as a candidate with Elections Canada and attended our staff Christmas Lunch. Afterwards, I joined my SHIA (Social Housing in Action) colleagues to support Dr. Bowie in his presentation update at City Council. Following Dr. Bowie's report, due to my involvement and unanticipated delay, I was asked to give technical back-up to Stasha Donahue, Chair of the Coalition on Poverty in her presentation to City Council on the most recent demographic report released on poverty in the region.

Being the candidate in the campaign, reinforces my appreciation for the knowledge gained as a result of my involvement to-date on both these committees... as well as the need and timeliness of the Liberal policies to deal with and rectify these deficiencies.

Today was the first day the office was open and manned by Diane and Tyler. The phones were hooked up, making all of our office contact information official:
317-1419 p
317-1274 f

For daily progress on the campaign don't forget to check my weblog regularly.

Sunday, December 11

A Red Ribbon Affair

I hadn't time to check the paper before going to Church today but was told there by several people who made it their business to approach me that they had already seen the picture and article in The Herald. Thanks a mil to Stephen and The Lethbridge Herald for it. Of course, being the weekend it has been quiet on the policy scene, other than Mr. Harper trying to tell the public how the Liberals will respond. However, thank you very much Mr. Harper we can speak for ourselves.

From tomorrow on the office will be manned by our eager volunteers and the phonelines will be up and running. The ladies did a super job setting up the office It looks warm and inviting, as well as the volunteers. Please drop by. Diane, Mary and Tyler will be happy to slot you in and get you working. I look forward to meeting you.

Article courtesy of the Lethbridge Herald (Sunday December 11th)

Saturday, December 10

The Office Opening

As you might guess, it is different being the actual candidate and made all the more difficult when one still has work to complete. It is my intent to take some of my accrued vacation so I can give my candidacy, Liberal supporters and the electorate, the time they deserve, as well as be successful in my run. There is so much to be done and I need everyone's help however big or small. For those who believe we need representation in Government from here and people of integrity, I say let's ensure we vote for the person who fits that bill. I invite you to check out my record and I assure you that I have always been and plan to remain accessible and down-to-earth.

Last Saturday I was introduced as the Candidate, we held an organizational meeting on Thursday and today beginning at 10AM, we have scheduled an official opening for our Campaign Office. I invite you to attend and look forward to meeting and dialoguing. See you there. We plan to spend the rest of the day door-knocking, talking to constituents in Lethbridge.


My weblog went on line in the early hours this morning. Thanks a mil to our son, David in Toronto for his assistance in developing it. Despite everyone's being busy due to the Christmas season in the mid-morning several met at our campaign office for the official opening and kick-off to the campaign. Thanks to all for attending and thanks to our revered Senator, Joyce Fairbairn for her assured support, attendance and assistance in cutting the ribbon and thanks to Stephen Tipper, Lethbridge Herald for his attendance and reporting.

In the afternoon we started the door-to-door campaign and the reception was most gratifying. The majority by far were most pleasant and most volunteered that I "have their vote" or support. One well-known conservative I've got know on the campaign circuit even agreed to a sign for her front lawn and stated that she believes "Mr. Martin is the only leader who has the wherewithall to lead the country and that he was well underway in proving his ability". Some expressed hopes that our Medicare system be maintained and students expressed concern about the high cost of tuition. Really, it was a great and friendly start though a few expressed concern at having to go through an election so soon again ... at this time ... and the unnecessary cost. If one was to judge by that and if all subsequent meeting of the electorate turned out the same, the omen looks good. However, you'll have to bare with us to see if the climate remains friendly.

Friday, December 9

Campaign Underway.

A lot has happened over the past couple of weeks since I was first invited to run as the Liberal Candidate in Lethbridge. Though having worked in several campaigns over the years and being familiar with most of the intricacies, requirements and expectations, one quickly forgets how tiring it can be (not forgetting the fact that the election was prematurely forced on us by the Conservative opposition that is hungry for power). As one of the Conservatives that joined our team said, there was no need for the election at this time and their effort to bring about the defeat of the Government, a thrust he and others believe was based on "... falsehoods, inuendos and misrepresentations". I also remind you that Mr. Martin had assured us earlier in the year that he would call an election within 30 days of submission of the final Report from Mr. Justice Gomery. The same person further elaborated on his belief that "there is no evidence the present government is guilty of corruption, scandal, gross abuse of public funds and the culture of entitlement the Opposition like to emphasize to the electorate. So I invite you to arm yourself with the facts before you judge who is being honest or dishonest. I like to believe the truth will eventually surface; hopefully before it is too late and people are duped.

My biggest regret is all the fine legislation that fell when the government was defeated. Can people believe a leader and his party, that avowedly discussed a firewall around Alberta, appears to have no concerns about threats to Medicare (our beacon to the world), and then in their bid to gain power have no qualms about jumping into bed with a separatist party whose aim is to breakup the country. I'm certainly concerned about such goings on which is why I decided to run.

I feel honoured to be part of such a great team; a team that has done so many good things for us from keeping us out of an unjust war that has destroyed relations with a huge part of the world, our Muslim brothers. A year ago last Spring they were first up to the plate to assist our farmers beleagured by BSE and Canada has been the only country in the G7 that has posted surpluses for several years in succession. Most recently, Mr. Martin and his team took the brave step towards healing, reconcillitation and compensation to our long-suffering First Nations brothers. That is the kind of leadership our country needs. So lets get back to governing!