Sunday, September 4, 2011

Halton Liberals Off to the Races

Indira Naidoo-Harris and the Halton Liberals kicked off their campaign today with a good old fashioned open house and barbeque at their new campaign office on Main Street in Milton. They timed it nicely to coincide with both the end of the Farmers' Market and the beginning of the Steam Era Parade, so there were plenty of people on hand.

I must say, the office is much nicer than the last one I spent a campaign in. Housed in the former Joleens storefront on the south side of Main Street, it's got a ton of space and even has cubicles. Cubicles! Why, when I was working the phone banks for the '08 election we were all crammed cheek by jowl into a tiny windowless office with nothing but a headset and a breath mint between us.

But I digress.

All the usual suspects turned out, of course. Former Halton MP Julian Reed was there, along with former Halton MPP Walt Elliott. Naidoo-Harris was introduced first by Walt, then by current Oakville MP Kevin Flynn, and was followed up by Linda Jeffrey, Ontario's Minister of Natural Resources.

I must say, I was impressed by Naidoo-Harris' speech. Her polished communication skills are not surprising for a former broadcaster, but in this case it sounds like she was also aided by some fairly tight messaging from party HQ. The theme of "Moving Forward Together" was effectively hammered home, as was the litany of impressive sounding statistics on education, jobs, and hospital wait times we've heard on the TV ads.


Local Liberals have also been giving Naidoo-Harris credit for the recent Milton hospital expansion approval, which might be stretching things a bit. She may well have had some influence - something along the lines of, "Get this done now or we don't have a hope in hell in Halton" - but I'm sure Ted Chudleigh feels he deserves some of the credit, and every member of Milton's municipal government who has fought for this over the past decade or so certainly does. Still, it was a huge victory, and if local Liberals want to benefit from the fact that it came under their government's watch... well, who can blame them?

It's not like every sitting government in the history of democracy hasn't done exactly the same thing.

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