Liberals are Well Served

For some reason or another, legions seem to be perennial places for political events of all types and stripes. About a month ago, I wound my way through a maze of pool tables and war memorabilia to a large hall at the Dundas Legion near McMaster, anticipating to hear from our new leader.

For me it would be my first encounter with him since the dazzling convention in late 2006. Waiting to cast my decisive vote on the third ballot, I saw the figures of Dion and Kennedy cut to the left of me. My eyes met with Kennedy and he mouthed thank you. The moment was a difficult, but what to do next was clear. My move to Dion never needed a second thought; his genuine nature and witty performance at the Toronto leadership debate had automatically made him the only option in a “what if” situation.

Back at the legion, he had arrived and simply watching him interacting with the crowd and talking to many he came across has humble, optimistic and sincere. Once he made it to the stage, he spoke passionately about the environment and how it is becoming more and more intertwined with our economic future. For someone with intellectual might, he wasn’t abstract or impersonal; it didn’t feel like he was preaching to us, but engaging in conversation with each one of us. I feel confident about the future and emboldened by our leader. Liberals are well served.
Mark Ungar
McMaster University


It's working

During the leadership race I’d occasionally return to my hometown in rural Ontario and escape the drama of the race at the farm that I grew up on. While there I’d drop by my grandmother’s house and fill her in on the latest events. It was nice to have someone to listen to me as I vented my frustrations about being sleep deprived or my lack of dietary prudence. She didn’t really follow the race too closely and relied largely on my super biased assessment of the whole thing.

One visit she told me that she was happy that Dion was making the environment such a priority. She remembers the last time the environment received such attention was in the United States back in the 80’s or something concerning acid rain, and she’s happy the focus was back on it. So this meant something to me, if my 91 year old, card carrying Republican, American grandmother was hearing the message about the need for environmental sustainability then we must be doing something right.

As Liberals we should be proud that we have made such a concerted effort to bring the environment to the forefront of public opinion, and we’re fortunate to have a leader with such a credible record on the environment. So I’m looking forward to an election and to spreading the word that it is the Liberals who have a serious commitment to the environment, and win the next election one grandmother at a time!

Jay- Ontario


we are ready.

“Delia, why do you like Stephane Dion?” Oh boy I thought; leadership was over a month ago, why is he asking me this question?

“Well, I like him because…,” and I continue on with my speech, something I had perfected since joining the Dion campaign last summer. I decided to stop mid-sentence and ask the former Rae supporter why he wanted to know? I mean really, we don't need to try to recruit each other anymore....we're working together!

“I saw him the other day and spent some time with him, and well, I understand what it was you saw in him. I see it too,” he said.

Big sigh of relief. Hearing that really meant a lot to me. My friends from the other campaigns are genuinely supporting our new leader, something more people (Liberals and non-Liberals alike) are doing every day. After the end of Leadership in December, I was unsure how Dion would be embraced amongst the Liberal youth on a national scale. I am very happy with the way everyone has rallied behind Dion with the same goal in mind. I am proud to say that the party is uniting and that we are preparing to win the next election.

The National Youth Campaign is an example for the rest of the party to follow. We are working together, mobilized, and ready to kick some major butt. The Liberal party is ready to once again be at the helm. Bring it on.

Delia Greco


Liberals United!!!

Attending the 2006 Liberal Leadership Convention was the experience of a lifetime, especially for a Liberal rookie like me. Not even had I stepped foot on the convention floor when I already got sucked into the whirlwind of welcome rallies, photo opps and strategy sessions that came to comprise my life for the next few days. Sporting RAEvolution t-shirts and chanting at the top of our lungs, we escorted Bob into Le Palais de Congres, anxious at what awaited during the course of the weekend. It was then that I realized how fortunate I was to be a part of something so grand and important for the future of our Nation.

As a Bevilacqua-turned-Rae delegate and youth team captain I took on a liaison role both within my camp and externally with other teams. When I wasn’t chasing my team around the convention floor I was chatting up other youth delegates in order to gage the direction they would take if their candidate dropped out. Surely enough after the third ballot I found myself in this position. As emotions flared and everyone pondered what to do next, I tried to keep in mind what Bob had reminded us of repeatedly through out the campaign – that no matter what the convention outcome we will leave Montreal united as a party under great leadership, ready to topple down Stephen Harper and the Conservatives. As such, after some consideration I knew Stephane Dion was the best candidate and deserved my vote going into the final ballot.

As tiresome and chaotic as the convention was, it was only half the job we originally set out to achieve. I am incredibly excited to be part of the BC campaign team once again, helping to gear up and prepare for our federal election. An election that could be upon us in a matter of only a few weeks! We have enormous momentum right now and are united under a great leader who is sure to take us to victory in the next election!

- Hila Wesa


Proud to be a Dion Liberal

Having the opportunity to attend the 2006 Liberal Leadership convention was a thrill of a lifetime for me. Aboard the 530am train to Montreal from Hamilton I was already sporting my Generation Kennedy youth gear. I could barely contain my excitement to represent the man I believed would be the leader of the Liberal party in just a few short days. Both my mother and brother had been Gerard Kennedy delegates at the 1996 Ontario Leadership convention. 10 years later, it was my turn.
At the convention I took on the role of National Youth Volunteer coordinator. This roll allowed me the opportunity to meet youth from all over Canada. My brother was one of the Ontario whips and together we were attempting to figure out where we would go if Gerard did not end up the top guy. As the second ballot results came out and reports of Gerard heading to Dion began to spread, my brother and I stood together discussing our next move. After hearing that Kennedy had made his way over to Stephane Dion we both knew what we needed to do. With tears in my eyes I called Denise Brunsdon, my contact with the Dion camp and said we were coming over. All the youth who had began to surround both my brother and I followed us to get on our green gear. As I looked around, I knew that a pivotal moment in my life, and the life of the Liberal Party had just passed.
It was a proud moment for me when I looked at the convention centre from the stage and saw a sea of green spreading across the floor. The party was coming together, rallying around a man who would carry the principles and style of leadership that I had seen in Gerard. Once I saw Denise Brunsdon I knew I had made the right choice. I joined the Dion campaign in full force and began making phone calls in order to pull out the vote. This was an inclusive team and I was happy to be on board.
I am now so excited to be gearing up for an election. Stephane Dion has even inspired a member of my family to run for the nomination on Hamilton Mountain. I know the Liberal Party team is stronger then ever, more united then ever, and more ready then ever, to govern our great country under Stephane Dion.


Post-Convention Chronicles

Hello everyone! If you were lucky enough to attend the 2006 Leadership Convention, you must be recovered by now since it's already two months later! I can't believe how time flies.
This is Ali Jonzon writing. I am one of the youth representatives on the Liberal Party of Canada's National Campaign Committee and a National Co-Chair of the Young Liberal's Election Campaign Committee. My counterpart is the wonderful Melissa Pierre from Quebec. I, myself, live in "Liberal-rich" Alberta. I think I was given the honour of serving on the above mentioned committees because they know that Alberta Liberals are the toughest! In any case, I'm extremely happy and excited to be a voice for the youth as we prepare for the next election (which we're going to win, by the way).
Some of you may remember me as a National Youth Co-Chair of the Michael Ignatieff campaign. Why, you ask, am I now on all these election committees if Ignatieff didn't win? Two words: tous ensemble. I am a Liberal first and foremost, which superceeds any leadership contest; serving my party is the priority. I'm not going to lie, I was devastated when the contestant I worked so hard for didn't win the leadership (you may have even seen the photo of me crying in Maclean's), but I also know that we're in very good hands under M. Stephane Dion! Think about it: he's a federalist, a Francophone, an intellectual, and an environmentalist. That is a lot of ammo against Stephen Harper! So far I've been very impressed by Dion, and am confident that he will only get better.
Since the convention, us Young Liberals have been working harder than ever to prepare for the next election. We have an amazingly talented youth team in place that have already accomplished so much. To name a few:

  • Marc Andre Gendron's YouTube Attack Ad Rebuttal was viewed on Mike Duffy Live and, to date, has received over 4800 hits! See it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ON0pKGdLjxk

  • Several letters to the editor have been printed in both local and national papers, including the Globe and Mail.

  • Young Liberals in BC and Ontario have protested Harper's "child-care" program and Wajid Khan's crossing, respectively. Both of these protests received national media attention. My favourite lines from these protests were: (1) Help not Harpocrisy, and (2) Khan is Khanfused. These protests are a great example of a grassroots way to make people listen to the Young Liberals!

  • Young Liberals across the country were present at the Canadian Federation of Student protests, handing out flyers detailing Harper's so-called Post-Secondary Education platform, as compared to the Liberal's Post-Secondary Education funding and policies. For example, the Conservatives promised an $80 textbook credit that you receive when the school year is done. Whereas the Liberals dedicated $2.2 billion over five years to improve student financial assistance and help make post-secondary education more affordable for lower- and middle-income Canadians. Too bad one textbook is twice the amount the Conservatives promised. I think the students got the message that the Liberal Party are students' friends, while the Conservatives really aren't.

I could go on, but I think I'll leave the bragging there. The truth is--we're organized and we're ready to take the Tories head-on. If you're not currently in contact with any Young Liberals in your area and would like to help in the next election, please e-mail me at ajonzon@ualberta.ca and I'll put you in touch with a Young Liberal in your area.

Let's kick some Tory blue butt!