Monday, April 16

Thank You For Your Overwhelming Support

Good Morning! It is with much thanks and renewed spirits for Liberals everywhere I write this post. As most of you may already know, the nomination vote for the Lethbridge Liberal Party was held this weekend. As things would turn out, the membership was faced with the difficult decision between two candidates equally matched (Diane King and Myself).

It is with thanks I acknowledge your votes and support, you have elected myself for the second term as your representative for the upcoming federal election. And I intend to do all I can to be ready and meet the challenge head on to give the other names on the forthcoming ballot a run for their money. Your continued support and communication is always appreciated!

Below, is a copy of the speech I delivered on Saturday:

"Good Morning everyone/Bon jour/Oki!

Welcome and thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to come out and support us in this serious business.

Thank you, Shaun for your kind introduction. I really appreciate it! It is great to be assured of your loyalty.

Really, there is little need for introduction since many of you know me very well for many years. Including the voters in Lethbridge

I’m the guy that ran last year when no one else wanted to run when we had the hot issues of gun control, gay marriage and worst of all the sponsorship scandal. Yet despite these obstacles; I took the challenge and though a first time candidate I did extremely well obtaining 6,000 votes; no small feat.

Votes for Liberals in our riding at best don’t come easily, by accident or luck. It takes being credible, well-known, shrewd calculation, years of preparation, guts, determination and teamwork. Thank you, we did it.

Like many here I originated from elsewhere and obviously understand the difficulties one usually experiences in a new location, country or culture. Like most that migrate, we are motivated and believe in participation and contributing; our adoptive community is the beneficiary. We bring and share ideas and experiences and soon realize the mutual benefits that result from sharing of ourselves.

I believe I have been hugely blessed and that I would not be true to myself nor would I be truly living if I did not volunteer and contribute to assist my fellow-man to have opportunity and access to the services basic to living in dignity. And, I believe the more blessed we have been the more responsibility we have to contribute to the good of our neighbours and society and we must be good stewards of our life, resources and environment.

I was born and raised on a small farm and know what hard work is and just commenced early-retirement from a long, varied and fulfilling career, planning to dedicate more time to some of the activities I enjoy, including spreading the liberal message.

My many years in the health field helped me to understand the area that affects everyone’s life as much as education so I joined Friends of Medicare to help ensure our public funded health system, a treasure and envy of the world is maintained and will be there for us when we need it.

Yes; I realized early in life that if a segment of our community looks bad we all look bad which is why I chose to get involved in advocacy for housing, the Coalition on Poverty and Friends of Medicare. Next month I’ll be in Regina for the National Medicare Conference. And, today I had to return here from an out-of-town Aboriginal Retreat.

My work and experiences have helped me understand the devastating effects of poverty and the cycle of poverty. Working in health one quickly realizes the correlation between income, health and poverty and the need to narrow the gap so we can all enjoy a reasonable standard and live in dignity.

Soon after becoming a citizen in 1977, I joined the Party and as Shaun alluded to I managed his campaign. I have been active locally and provincially ever since, served two 6 year periods as President of Lethbridge West and I’m Regional Chair.

I also managed Al Barnhill’s, Leslie Vaala’s and Bal Boora’s campaigns as well as my wife Gloria’s two successful runs for the School Board and I’ve attended many Conventions over the years as John Boras will verify; he and I often were the only ones that made it our business to go.

I’ve been a Lethbridge Liberal since we were so few; we used to be accused of being able to meet in a phone-booth, and I see some of you here today that can recall that. It’s great to see how our numbers have grown.

I feel confident that anyone who knows and has worked with me will readily attest that I’m a man of action, consistent in my beliefs, diligent and a person of integrity and honour.

Being more a left-leaning Liberal I supported Mr. Dion for leader and believe his three policy pillars make great sense. Without a responsible, caring approach we will destroy ourselves and our world. It behoves us to be good stewards of our resources and environment and to care for the weakest amongst us.

I believe young parents and families deserve to have the best programs in Child Development that will assure quality child care and development and that provides education as well as work opportunities.

Also, I believe everyone deserves an adequate or living income to provide the basics so they may live with dignity and feel wanted and cared for instead of struggling unnecessarily in the cycle of poverty and worry that ruins health, kills hope and stifles innovation and progress.

I believe we need to support our struggling farmers, small businesses, the arts and our First Nations people with policies and programs that will assist and sustain them in the long-term.

I believe we need to restore funding for literacy, women’s and social programs and to ensure education is affordable for young people; and we need to institute Mr. Dion’s ‘Supplemental Pension’ plan for stay-at-home parents and small business entrepreneurs. We need policies that encourage responsible economic development.

We need to ensure our peacekeepers are properly equipped for their roles so our young men and women come back alive and we need to review our commitment in Afghanistan and regain our leadership role in the world.

I believe these are the areas needing attention right-away and I intend to work for them regardless of whether I’m in government or not.

However; first, I need your vote here today to win this nomination. I’m now free to speak and ready to bolt out the gate to make this riding Liberal again (for the first time in almost 100 years).

And, with a pending election so close I ask; “why would one want to change horses in mid-stream?” I have proven myself; have what it takes, including name recognition, signs, people ready to go for it and “I have the fire needed in my belly” to get the job done.

I believe that I will regain not only lost Liberal votes but those of Conservatives and others (hurt by Mr. Harper’s broken promises and regressive legislation).

The promise I give you is that of the Scout, “I will do my best” in responding and deliberation on individual and collective needs from a local and national perspective guided by my liberal values.

I thank you for your attention and consideration. Please vote for me to be your candidate for the upcoming election. I will be honoured to be your representative and carry the flag.

“Together we are Stronger” whether as community or as a nation and we need to get our great country moving forward again!

Have a safe journey home/Au revoir/Kaydomatsinook! April 14, 2007"


Anonymous said...

Congratulations... and Godspeed!!

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