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 Liberal.ca. 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 Liberal.ca; 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