Wednesday, December 29

Update on 2010 activity and best wishes of the season

Hi Friends:
It’s been another busy year for me personally, work and family-wise. Those that know I’m retired will likely question why I used the word “work”, however; like me you’ve probably heard many retired folk say how busy they are, even wonder how they fitted in all they did while working. Well; so too with me; sometimes I feel super busy and political responsibilities add to it. Part of my business is that I continue on many committees and activities some of which really keep me very busy, but I enjoy being able to be of help to others; it gives a sense of purpose and keeps me in touch and alert. Sometimes it is difficult to balance everything with all the demands of life. Some will understand too that with grandchildren in the picture and in my case political responsibilities as well, it can add-up to a hectic schedule as can be seen from the family update.

As chair of Friends of Medicare a lot of my time was consumed organizing rallies and speakers and I even spoke to many groups myself in our thrust to increase public awareness and to ensure the Alberta government in its cutting and reshaping of public health care didn’t destroy it. As you might have heard the Medicare agreement between the Provinces and the Federal government is coming up for review again in 2014 and it looked like the Alberta Government was determined to push the envelope as far as possible in the privatization process by cutting and reshaping which as history proves decimates the public service and demoralizes staff. In August due to being nominated I stepped down as chair locally though continue as Provincial chair. The fight in support of Medicare continues and as I have often said, we will always need to fight for it since entrepreneurs see health care as a potential goldmine, a guaranteed income generator.

On the political side, though it turned out not to be an election year; it became more hectic for me in August when I was nominated to be the Liberal Candidate for the Lethbridge Riding. Also, though there are not much signs of an election the possibility is always there that one can be triggered suddenly; so like the good scout one needs be prepared. Also, as I have often said, “one can not expect to win if campaigning is only done during the actual writ-period”. Common-sense suggests that the longer a person campaigns the more likely the possibility of winning and, though I have been active I’ll be increasing intensity in the New Year.

One reason I didn’t get into assertive campaigning following nomination was that this year was a municipal election year and as any experienced campaigner will tell you it would be confusing for those concentrating on the local aldermanic and school-boards elections; some would consider it irresponsible. However, I’ve been listening and taking opportunities wherever possible to hear people’s concerns and issues. I assisted one of the candidates in the municipal campaign and attended a couple of the forums, a great place to keep in touch on “bread ‘n butter” issues of concern to citizens on the local level. I also continued in Toastmasters and attending SACPA (Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs) a great forum to keep educated on issues in general. However, having decided to offer myself as a candidate for the Liberal nomination and to free time for campaigning I decided not to run for another term for SACPA’s Board.

Earlier in the year I attended LPCA and ALP Liberal Conventions and in the Spring I followed the Canada 150 Conference held in Montreal which had some of the brightest progressives across Canada and the World involved discussing ideas and the future as we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday and beyond. On June 19 I and a couple other local Liberals including President Tanis attended the regional follow-up held in Edmonton. It was exciting rubbing shoulders with such high-powered thinkers and being involved in discussions and plans that will affect Canada for far into our future. I’ve also met with significant individuals and groups in the area and plan on doing more of same. In July I attended the Friendship Centers of Canada Annual Conference and AGM held in Hinton.
Over the summer I followed reports of Michael Ignatieff’s successful tour across Canada during which he unveiled lots of great liberal policy. Though often covered by the media for those who missed out because of vacation I intend to republish highlights as time passes. Details can be accessed on the Liberal website at On the cross-Canada tour Mr. Ignatieff and members of caucus visited over 160 locations touching base and meeting thousands of Canadians wanting to get to know him better. Others of the Liberal caucus were busy doing similar across the country as well. The tour is reported to have been a great success and he extended the invitation to everyone of progressive inclination to join us in our great big red tent.

On August 7 I was nominated as the Liberal Candidate for the Lethbridge Riding. On August 14 Senator Joyce and I attended the annual parade in Picture Butte and in the afternoon of the same day we attended the unveiling of a WW 2 Lancaster Bomber in the restoration process in Nanton. Also, in August local Liberals held a very successful garage sale bringing in some needed funds for the next election. Thanks to all who assisted in the endeavor. On August 25 I left on vacation to attend my niece’s wedding, caught-up with family and friends and enjoyed the best ever Irish weather. On return I attended a couple of conferences; most notable being one on ‘Racism and Discrimination’ which underscored the need for us to be sensitive and alert especially with respect to minorities and gay and lesbian rights.

On the National scene some of Mr. Harper’s and his government’s policies started back-firing on them. Their motion to kill the gun registry was defeated and their foreign policies started posing concerns too. For the first time Canada did not get a seat on the UN Security Council, an obvious blow to Canada’s prestige not only among member states but in the world and obviously a sign that they need to revisit their foreign policies.

Liberal policies released over the year appear to resonate with Canadians and present a clear alternative to Mr. Harper’s and the Conservatives’ divisiveness and opportunism. One of the most significant policy releases by Mr. Ignatieff in the Fall was the Liberal ‘Family Care Plan’. The policy is designed to relieve financial pressures on people caring for sick and dying family members and considering the population of this area it should be worth approximately $100,000.00. It obviously prompted Mr. Harper’s recent proposal that the government is considering similar tax-relief for those caring for sick and elderly and confirms that we are right on track and in sync with Canadians’ needs.

From hereon I’ll be updating my blog regularly, so please keep tuned. You can also find the latest and details from a National perspective at; just follow the prompts.

In December local liberals enjoyed a Christmas party. And, here’s wishing you and yours the best of the season whether it be Ramadan or Diwali or Chanukkah Festival of Lights, Christmas or Chinese New Year and Happy New Year. I thank you for supporting us and taking time to celebrate.

May you always enjoy good health, peace and prosperity and by the way if you wish to contribute financially to receive a tax-receipt for this fiscal year, your contribution will have to be in the mail and date-marked before the end of the December. I appreciate hearing from people and I invite you to contact me either by email or phone me at (403) 381-7635. And, since everyone wants good and better makes us all look better we all have responsibility to push for good change and improvement for all of us.
Michael J. Cormican
Michael Cormican, Liberal Candidate; Lethbridge Riding

Tuesday, October 19

"Canada and Canadians in a Changing World"

Today I heard famed CBC News anchor Peter Mansbridge who appeared at the U of L to share with students and southern Albertans his thoughts on a changing Canadian culture, politics, and society. He was presented by the U of L Students' Union (ULSU) with all proceeds from the event benefiting the ULSU food bank.

Mr. Mansbridge used three simple stories that demonstrate how readily outsiders know who Canadians are. For Liberal update check

Mr. Mansbridge who has interviewed many important people including President Obama started with reference to the elections of last evening in Calgary and Lethbridge. He noted the increased voter turn out as good for democracy and emphasized the importance of local politics which as he said affect our daily lives the most.

He also shared the warmth he experienced with Mr. Obama who despite an exacting schedule took the time to return and introduce him to a Canadian working for the Whitehouse making them both feel so important and appreciated. He also discussed his experience with a couple of famous people one of whom made him feel anything but appreciated.

He even discussed a little of his own career journey as well as the responsibility of any media, particularly the CBC to inform the public even their responsibility to present the not so nice issues humanity need to face.

The capacity audience was captivated with his examples depicting how outsiders readily recognize Canadians and the good associated with them. His simple yet graphic stories touched emotional buttons were as follows:
• The young Haitian girl who on meeting him and noticing his Canadian pin, pointed and said “Canadians good”. On his questioning as to why, she led him a little distance away to 3 Canadian Nurses from Vancouver who no one knew were there. They had taken time off from their jobs at their own expense to get there with supplies to help the injured.
• Next was his experience last year in the Netherlands where at celebrations recognizing that Canadians liberated them he asked a young lady with a 4 year old in her arms “why she would bring such a small child”. She told him she wanted him to know and remember that Canadians liberated them. And finally;
• Is the young Canadian CIDA worker in Kabul who he ascertained had been born in and escaped from Afghanistan and who was accepted by Canada and took out Canadian citizenship. After completing her education she “wanted to return to her motherland to share her experience about the benefits of living in a free democracy using Canada as the example”.
What I learned: A recurring theme is that Canadians are compassionate and caring locally, nationally and abroad. Questions and answers suggested “we don’t rule the world” and “we just explore … bad politics does not represent the majority … we need an informed electorate but it must want to be informed”. Another consideration is that “it is important for us to know … to present the news/info responsibly and his major concerns are “ignorance and apathy” and … we need to “teach and encourage caring, listening and engagement”. If presented with opportunity to hear him I recommend you take it to “get to know the man behind the scenes”. I was impressed. Michael

Monday, October 18

Exciting news again for Canadians from the Liberals!

Today in speeches in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto Liberals released policy much needed to help provide hope to Canadians struggling with the continuing effects of our sluggish economy. The announcement follows close to the recently announced 'Family Care Plan’ all of which presents a clear choice to Canadians between Liberals and the Governing Conservatives. It outlines what a Liberal Government will do to help get Canada back on track, help regain our position in the world and provide Canadians hope for a better future. Our record speaks for itself.

For more details on ‘Liberals present clear economic choices to Canadians’ contact me or check at Posted on October 18, 2010.

The following highlights what a Liberal government will do for middle class families, the economy as well as to help redeem Canada’s role in the world “by easing their economic pressures with strategic investments in health, family care, pensions, learning and jobs, and global leadership … read-on at

Friday, October 15

Justin Trudeau on Michael Ignatieff

Everywhere he went this summer, Michael Ignatieff invited Canadians into the Big Red Tent.

Each time the bus pulled into an event in one of the 13 provinces and territories he visited, the Big Red Tent grew a little bit bigger. Canadians, shut out by the Harper government, came to see what we were about — “to kick our tires” as Michael put it.

We need to keep bringing progressive Canadians from the left and the right into the tent this fall — that’s why Michael is hosting town halls across the country and that’s why I’d like to share something with you.

If you have friends, family, or colleagues that didn’t have a chance to meet Michael Ignatieff at one of the 160+ events this summer, then send them this video and introduce them to the good and decent man leading the party at the centre of Canadian politics.
Watch and share the video

There’s another good reason I need you to help me make this video go viral.

When the next wave of Conservative attacks come — and knowing Stephen Harper, they will come sooner rather than later — we need to be ready.

We can blunt their assault by making sure everyone we know has watched and shared this video. Because then, Canadians will be able to witness for themselves the strength, the sincerity, and the integrity of the man I’m proud to call both my Leader and my friend.

They’ll see a Leader who respects them. Who listens. Who takes their questions every chance he gets — like he’s doing each week in person and online at our Open mike town halls.

They’ll see a party that offers a progressive, compassionate and responsible alternative to Stephen Harper’s politics of division. A party that chooses families over more corporate tax cuts, and is fighting for their priorities in Ottawa — pensions, health care, learning and jobs.

And they’ll learn about our policies, like the new Liberal Family Care Plan to support caregivers and our Global Networks Strategy to restore Canada’s reputation in the world.

But instead all they’ll see is the Conservative caricature of us — unless you take a few minutes to share the video and say "Come on in to the Big Red Tent!"

Thank you.

Justin P.J. Trudeau

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To contact the Liberal Party of Canada, please reply to this email. Our mailing address: 81 Metcalfe street, suite 600 Ottawa ON K1P 6M8.

To hear Michael speaking from the heart check

Campaign Kick-off

Hi Friends:
Summer and most people's vacations as well as the Liberal Nomination are over and though no election has been called we need to get the campaign started so we can win and get the change that people in this riding have been telling us they want. This summer was busier than usual for me including a couple of trips to the US as well as the Liberal Nomination followed by a trip to Ireland. It had been over four years since I saw my family. If you’re interested in checking out the acceptance speech I gave at the nomination meeting please highlight and hit ‘Address to the Lethbridge Riding Liberal Nomination Meeting’.

Though all trips were for pleasure and/or family catch-up the effects of the economic melt-down were evident in both the US and Ireland. People were happy to see us and we were amazed by the great bargains in US stores. “Sales” everywhere were offering half price in their effort to encourage consumers to spend. Ireland has unemployment of 13 %. Like the US the downturn has resulted in 384,000 homes either abandoned or left in an unfinished state and people are very angry. They’re blaming the government for the state of the economy.

Following return I spent a few days in retreat on Aboriginal issues and planning and last week I attended a three day conference organized by the city on Racism and Discrimination. The city is a member of the ‘Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination’. It helped those of us attending realize that racism and discrimination continues especially towards gays and lesbians and that the population at large needs to be educated on it.

On the political level Mr. Ignatieff finished his cross-country tour of Canada which was a great success. He visited over 160 locations providing a great opportunity for Canadians to get to know him. Also, Parliament has resumed sitting and many people were very happy to see the first major release of policy by Mr. Ignatieff and the Liberals, the Family Care Plan’. It offers a clear alternative to Conservative policies and will relieve financial pressures on people caring for sick and dying family members. Considering the population of this region it should be worth approximately $100,000.00. For further details please check From hereon I will be updating regularly, so please keep tuned. You will find the latest from a National perspective at

Michael Cormican, Liberal Candidate; Lethbridge EDA

Saturday, June 26

Update on ‘Canada at 150’ and the latest session held in Edmonton on June 19, 2010

It's time again to provide some update. You can rest assured I keep busy in all sorts of issues, not least being in the health care area as chair of Friends of Medicare.

You may be aware of the thrust by Liberals, specifically our Leader, Michael Ignatieff who last year called for the largest get-together thrust in Canadian History in terms of discussing and formulating vision and policy for Liberals and Canada as we celebrate our 150th birthday in 2017. Of course, it goes much further than that; really looking at the issues now and as best we can anticipate them well into the future as well as also looking at how we can address them. Since unlike some that believe thay only have the answers for everythings and to assure we are in tune with what Canadians want everyone has been given the opportunity to give their opinion and thoughts; in other words to be part of the solution.

The thrust called on progressive thinkers regardless of affiliation or background and has resulted in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all of us. The synergy was palpable throughout sessions to-date; the closest and most recent encounter being set for Edmonton on June 19 to facilitate Canadians across the Prairies. I should note that some of us were already well-primed having followed the Montreal Convention in March in the media and/or on the web.

On June 19, Donna, Everett, Greg and I attended the historic ‘Canada at 150’ session in Edmonton. The session was planned as a follow-up to the March meeting held in Montreal which linked over 30,000 Canadians from over 40 countries. The Edmonton session being closer and another once ever chance that we felt we could not pass-up especially since due to space, cost and other considerations we were unable to attend the session in person in Montreal though many of us followed it closely on the web.

The Edmonton session was one of the 8 arranged across the country in follow-up to the March session and included input from young and old and people of all political persuasions and backgrounds since as or leader, Michael noted in his address and summary the great Liberal tent is large, accommodative and inclusive. He also appeared very comfortable with everyone and made everyone feel likewise and appeared to enjoy himself as did his wife Tsusanna. They deserve our support and admiration.

Maurel Bellanger, Co-chair from the March session kicked-off the session and several MPs and Senators including Ralph Goodale and Tommy Banks attended and spearheaded sessions. The audience included people from across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the NWTs and everyone left feeling psyched and special at having had opportunity to be part of planning and shaping our future. In short, this is a “National Discussion” to help ensure Liberals are looking at our future and in sync with Canadians so we can be the best we can be in all respects and in the best interests of all. We commend Mr. Ignatieff for taking such a bold and forward step and look forward in great anticipation.

Though I didn’t count it appeared as though about 150 to 200 attended. After welcoming statements and to make the most of everyone’s time the agenda provided forced us to choose between breakout sessions on topics as follows:
• Jobs Today and Tomorrow
• Real Life Issues for Canadian Families
• Energy, Environment, Economy
• The Creative and Competitive Economy
• A Strong Presence in the World of 2017

So Lethbridge could get most benefit we chose to ensure someone attended each session and so we could report better on the conference. Mr. Ignatieff attended either the first half of last part of all the sessions. Detailed notes from all of the sessions will be shared with those in attendance and can be likewise shared with anyone. Following a wonderful lunch, the Panel - Enhancing and Protecting our Fresh Water Resources presented and fielded questions and comments. Information presented was supportive of our Water Policy which went to National following the LPCA convention in Lethbridge.

Mr. Ignatieff ended the day summarizing most accurately what he and we all heard and he assured us he will come to Lethbridge. The organizers deserve our thanks for such a well-run conference and our Leader, Michael deserves special recognition for his vision and foresight in bringing about such a much needed exercise and undertaking to ensure that we are prepared and foremost in leading for our future in the world. Hats off; let’s all roll-up our sleeves and do our best so we can assure ourselves a true leader that makes us feel proud to be Canadian again!

Summarised by: Michael Cormican

Friday, March 19

Some people's take on Mr. Harper

Thought some that may read my blog might be interested in what Murray Dobbin, author, free-lance writer and journalist has to say on Mr. Harper. His take is interesting. So as not to distort or misinterpret what he says her it as he presented it. If you are interested in checing him out further you may check him at

"Stephen Harper’s Assault on Democracy
Author and columnist Murray Dobbin details the harm Prime Minister Stephen Harper is doing to the political and social fabric of Canada in a new, hard-hitting essay commissioned by the Council of Canadians titled Harper’s Hitlist: Power, Process and the Assault on Democracy.

As Dobbin explains in the opening paragraphs of the essay, “This study is intended to examine the most serious violations of democracy committed by the prime minister and his government. Some are clearly more serious than others. But taken as a whole they add up to a dangerous undermining of our democratic traditions, institutions and precedents – and politics. These violations are not accidental, they are not incidental, and they are not oversights or simply the sign of an impatient government or ‘decisive’ leadership. They are a fundamental part of Harper’s iron-fisted determination to remake Canada, whether Canadians like it or not.”

Harper’s Hitlist: Power, Process and the Assault on Democracy
Download report here 1 MB or in sections below:

•Part 1 - Stephen Harper’s Assault on Democracy
•Part 2 - Two Prorogations in Less Than a Year
•Part 3 - Thwarting Democracy
•Part 4 - Controlling Critics
•Part 5 - Manipulating and Muzzling the Media
•Part 6 - A Personal Agenda
•Part 7 - Failing to Protect Canadian Citizens
•Part 8 - Harper Attacks Rights
•Part 9 - Political Advocacy Under Fire
•Part 10 - Conclusion

About the Author
Murray Dobbin has been a freelance journalist, broadcaster and author for thirty-five years. He is also a leading activist and analyst in the movement against corporate globalization. He has written extensively on various trade agreements and their impact on democracy and on neo-liberalism’s attack on social programs. He is a past executive board member of the Council of Canadians and author or Word Warriors, and online activism tool hosted on the Council’s website at"

Michael, March 19, 2010

Sunday, January 31

Preparing for the Canada we want in 2017 and beyond

I applaud those providing this opportunity for Canadians to review and especially look at the future; in essence to dream, share and express our hopes to help us and our great country to continue working toward being the best we can be. Though relatively new as a nation, in the context of the history of nations; our size, resources and reasonableness we are blessed with and the influence we have acquired it is timely to assess and be prepared for not only our 150th milestone but for well into the foreseeable future. We have a responsibility to keep up with our maturity and to continue as the beacon that people will continue to look to and emulate. I truly appreciate being afforded the opportunity to participate and contribute to help ensure that as many as possible of the broadest spectrum of ideas and aspirations possible are shared and used to encourage hope, to redefine our vision, engender confidence and recalibrate us as we continue our journey. It is great to note the number of Canadians that have responded obviously from across the political divides, as it should be to share their vision and ideas to help develop the broadest consensus possible.

In preparation to achieve our goals I believe we need a “Canada first” policy but with a caring eye and our hand ready to reach-out to those near and far who are less fortunate. We need to encourage cooperation rather than versus partisanship and get away from the rugged individualist attitude that may have worked in bygone days but must give way to cooperation if we want to survive. We need to cultivate our caring strengths and to work as a team, and we need to believe “we can do it”. We need to get away from the negatives i.e. “the sky is falling”, or worse still, the punitive and vengeful “pound of flesh” attitude, and encourage the positive or we too will be brought down if as predicted by some western civilization collapses. We should recognize the fact that other people progress and enjoy quality of life too, and we must get away from a politics of fear and division. We must encourage everyone to contribute, participate and share so that everyone can enjoy comfort and security.

We need to encourage, re-kindle, engender and maintain a sense of fairness, equity and “win/win” for each other and everyone in our dealings with each other, so that those challenged, whether young or old, female, or of whatever status or minority regardless of affiliation or orientation feel fulfilled.

To minimize and avoid mistakes of the past, let us ensure that we have reasonable regulations in place for those institutions responsible for our welfare and security, especially in the food, health and financial production, and provide regulations that will not stifle, but assure quality, safety and equity. In respect to financial losses, I suggest that in balancing overall best interest, the individual should have first right to fair compensation over the collective or corporation, and stockholders or directors’ needs should be secondary.

Not only because of the fragility of the environment and finiteness of resources but as responsible people we must manage them with prudence and sustainability to ensure not only our own survival, but that of our progeny and that of other species and our environment. We need to encourage and reward frugality, environmentally conscious life styles and innovation, while accepting and encouraging diversity and alternatives, rather than feeling threatened and squelching dissent or difference in initiative.

In a world of limited resources we need to learn to “make do” with less, learn to be and to develop value for quality of life rather than being a slave to activity and consumption. We need to encourage reuse of used resources and waste as much as possible and we should use passive energy resources wherever possible, in keeping with conservation and sustainability principles and to learn to be satisfied with much less and realize there’s more to life than consumption.

Our governments need to return as soon as possible to balanced budgeting and encourage contingency (“rainy-day”) saving plans that can be drawn on when times unexpectedly become challenging due to catastrophe or natural upsets; and we need to assist neighbors in need, whether near or far-away. And;

We especially need to encourage and develop systems that allow everyone eligible to be fully involved in the democratic process so they will exercise their franchise and fully enjoy the widest array of the benefits of democracy. We especially need to assist each other to respect each other’s differences of opinion as well as the right to speak one’s opinion without fear of retaliation; and we need to respect traditions and conventions.

We need to clarify the role and responsibility of government for ensuring order, stability and balance in the best interest of all citizens; and we need to protect rights of competing interests to assure equity for all. Furthermore, we need to clarify government’s responsibility as being to serve the people, and to ensure and balance the greatest good, regardless of partisanship, beliefs or other considerations. We need to work assertively ensuring all segments of our great society can enjoy individual and our societal benefits equitably and we especially need to ensure everyone has access to basic health care and supports endeavoring to ensure our well-being with specific reference to Medicare. We really need to take a stand and finish the second phase so we can assure and have the healthiest citizenry and workforce as we continue our journey and building our great nation.

It would be a positive step to provide the most detailed guide possible outlining expectations and conduct for those serving us in public office. It should be clear that once elected a representative is expected to hear and serve all regardless of affiliation, belief or other status. Any such guide should include the expectation that individual and public meetings will be held as frequently as is feasible, to increase and ensure sensitivity and up-datedness in keeping with needs.

Regardless of the potential outcome for parties that benefit from the existing electoral system we immediately need to seriously determine which form of proportional representation would best suit our needs, and to institute it so that our democracy can provide the best and most objective government possible in the best interests of all Canadians. Likewise, I am convinced we need the input, review and balance provided by a second house of government, our Senate; but we need to seriously review and determine whether or not senators should be elected, and for how long they should hold office.

We need to continue to push for continued progress in equity, rights and quality of life for all people and beings on our planet.

Michael Cormican; Lethbridge, Alberta

Monday, January 11

Best Wishes for 2010 and may it be kinder to us than 2009 was!

In review of the past year I note as follows; I continue on the various committees I’ve been involved in for years i.e.

• Lethbridge Social Housing Leaders Committee and the city’s Affordable Housing Committee,
• Sik-ooh-kotoki Friendship Society - as Secretary, and the
• Aboriginal Housing Society of which I am Vice-chair. Though in existence only a few years, Aboriginal Housing has successfully completed its first development in housing. We’ve accommodated 30 families and we’re working frantically to get our next plans underway. It’s exciting to be involved with such dynamic people and in such rewarding work.

I’ve enjoyed many local events and meetings assisting in strategic and future plans and we foresee exciting times ahead for Sik-ooh-kotoki and Aboriginal Housing. In February we had a successful 40th Anniversary Gala for Sik-ooh-kotoki and in August I attended the annual Convention of Friendship Centers of Canada in Niagara Falls.

I also continue on the local Federal and Provincial Liberal Associations and the annual conventions as well as the National Liberal Convention in Vancouver in May. In June, with encouragement of my wife and friends, I treated myself by accepting an invitation to Ottawa. In addition to a tour of Parliament with our gracious and enthusiastic Senator Joyce Fairbairn, I met with some key Liberal politicians. For the reference and the record I presented in a brief outlining needs and issues that had been raised by various local political and community representatives in earlier contacts here. Hopefully in time and as the economy improves the effort will bring the desired results for the area. Unfortunately, Mr. Casson was busy and unable to meet with me. To assist them or anyone dealing with or visiting the area I also presented a profile I compiled of the area.

Throughout this past year, I devoted much time and energy on health care issues due to being elected chair of the Lethbridge Chapter of Friends of Medicare. Being the 40th Anniversary of Medicare in Alberta we planned to celebrate but had to return to our advocacy role when the Alberta government started major aggressive cuts and changes through its new organization, Alberta Health Services. Friends of Medicare which is a province-wide organization could not sit idly by.

We held rallies, information sessions, meetings and arranged for speakers to inform the public on the facts, and sustainability of Medicare. The fight continues. Not only should every Albertan be concerned but every Canadian should be concerned about the cuts and privatization the Alberta Government is implementing. They have totally demoralized the health workforce and ironically they are moving closer to privatized medicine just as the US moves closer to establishing what Canadians have enjoyed for 40 years!

In review, I must admit that we Liberals have had a tumultuous year; however; being an optimist, I foresee the outlook changing. We need to continue doing our best and what is right. Mr. Harper appears to be testing “the limits of tolerance”, especially with the issues concerning Afghan detainees, the environment and Canada’s representation in Copenhagen and now, the final insult, another prorogation of Parliament. If I can be of assistance please contact me by email or phone at 403-381-7635.

Michael Cormican