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!

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