NDP deputy leader makes early campaign stop in Brantford

News Dec 05, 2014 by Brian Shypula Brant News

Homemade spaghetti came with a side of social consciousness as the Brantford-Brant Federal NDP hosted its 90-cent dinner on Thursday night.

Marc Laferriere, the sole declared candidate for the Brant NDP nomination in next year’s federal election, was joined by party deputy leader Megan Leslie at the campaign-style event held at St. Jude’s Anglican Church in Brantford.

Leslie told party faithful that Canadians are “one election away” from national affordable child care, a $15 an hour minimum wage, protection for the Grand River and a party that takes climate change seriously, if the NDP is elected.

“It’s time for some change,” she said.

Local NDP started the 90-cent dinners in 2009 in reaction to a $90-a-plate dinner held by the Liberals that same year in Brantford with Justin Trudeau and a $150-a-plate Conservatives dinner with Senator Mike Duffy.

Despite the nominal price for the meal, the event was a fundraiser for the Brant NDP. Laferriere appealed for donations.

“We are fighting quite a battle in this next election. We’re running against a seated MP and we’re running against a professional lobbyist. Those are powerful, powerful forces,” he said

Of the three major parties, the NDP is the only one without a declared candidate in Brant. MP Phil McColeman was quietly acclaimed in the spring and Liberal Danielle Takacs was chosen in August.

Laferriere finished second in the 2011 election.

NDP volunteers expected to feed 200 people at the dinner, which sold out two seatings.

The early seatings included newly elected city councillors Brian Van Tilborg and Rick Weaver, Grand Erie District School Board trustees Alex Felsky and John Harris and Brantford mayoral challenger Michael St. Amant.

While the former provincial Progressive Conservative candidate for Brant was not about to change his political stripe or vote for Laferierre, St. Amant gave credit to the NDP.

“There are a lot of volunteers here and that speaks well for what the NDP are doing and sends us a message to be ready,” he said.

The NDP is doing a good job engaging younger voters on issues like affordable housing and the environment, he said.

Earlier in the day, Leslie and Laferriere met with students in the Activism and Eco Committee at Brantford Collegiate Institute and held a roundtable talk with local environmentalists. The gatherings were intended to help with development of the NDP’s platform in next year’s federal election.

“You can’t let a bunch of pointy heads in Ottawa decide what’s important to Canada, you need to actually get out there and hear people,” Leslie said.

She said the roundtable group talked about an environmental bill of rights, which dovetailed with a private member’s bill – the Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights – introduced by Edmonton-Strathcona NDP MP Linda Duncan in early November.

“There was a lot of concern about the Grand River, about source water protection,” Laferriere said.

“This is why we’ve been pushing a Grand River Protection Act,” he added.

The riding association had copies of a petition available to sign at the dinner. The private member’s bill calls on the federal government to restore protection to the entire Grand River, to restore the environmental assessment process for proposed development projects on of near previously protected bodies of water and to commit to meaningful public consultation prior to approval of any project.

The document notes: “The Grand River is not entirely protected and the Paris Quarry project poses great environmental risks to the watershed.”

The changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act left the Grand River under federal protection only from the Wilkes Dam in Brantford south to Lake Erie. Protection for the full river was eliminated in the Harper government’s 2012 omnibus bill.

Leslie, who is also the NDP environmental critic, was scheduled to speak about the environment at a conference at University of Toronto on Friday morning. She’s been a friend with Laferriere since visiting the riding in 2010 and made a side trip to support the 90-cent dinner.

“Even though I’m the MP for Halifax I feel like I know what’s going on in Brant because he has such a good social media presence,” she said.

Volunteers spent the previous night making the homemade meal. For 90 cents, diners got a choice of meat, vegetarian or gluten-free spaghetti, caesar salad and dessert. Sophia’s Bakery supplied the popular dessert – caramel-apple bread pudding.

St. Jude’s was chosen for the venue in part because the church hosts an emergency meal program, serving from 75 to 150 people in need monthly.

“The churches are doing what they can but government also has a role; it has a role in helping out people in these situations and scenarios,” Laferriere said.    

NDP deputy leader makes early campaign stop in Brantford

News Dec 05, 2014 by Brian Shypula Brant News

Homemade spaghetti came with a side of social consciousness as the Brantford-Brant Federal NDP hosted its 90-cent dinner on Thursday night.

Marc Laferriere, the sole declared candidate for the Brant NDP nomination in next year’s federal election, was joined by party deputy leader Megan Leslie at the campaign-style event held at St. Jude’s Anglican Church in Brantford.

Leslie told party faithful that Canadians are “one election away” from national affordable child care, a $15 an hour minimum wage, protection for the Grand River and a party that takes climate change seriously, if the NDP is elected.

“It’s time for some change,” she said.

Local NDP started the 90-cent dinners in 2009 in reaction to a $90-a-plate dinner held by the Liberals that same year in Brantford with Justin Trudeau and a $150-a-plate Conservatives dinner with Senator Mike Duffy.

Despite the nominal price for the meal, the event was a fundraiser for the Brant NDP. Laferriere appealed for donations.

“We are fighting quite a battle in this next election. We’re running against a seated MP and we’re running against a professional lobbyist. Those are powerful, powerful forces,” he said

Of the three major parties, the NDP is the only one without a declared candidate in Brant. MP Phil McColeman was quietly acclaimed in the spring and Liberal Danielle Takacs was chosen in August.

Laferriere finished second in the 2011 election.

NDP volunteers expected to feed 200 people at the dinner, which sold out two seatings.

The early seatings included newly elected city councillors Brian Van Tilborg and Rick Weaver, Grand Erie District School Board trustees Alex Felsky and John Harris and Brantford mayoral challenger Michael St. Amant.

While the former provincial Progressive Conservative candidate for Brant was not about to change his political stripe or vote for Laferierre, St. Amant gave credit to the NDP.

“There are a lot of volunteers here and that speaks well for what the NDP are doing and sends us a message to be ready,” he said.

The NDP is doing a good job engaging younger voters on issues like affordable housing and the environment, he said.

Earlier in the day, Leslie and Laferriere met with students in the Activism and Eco Committee at Brantford Collegiate Institute and held a roundtable talk with local environmentalists. The gatherings were intended to help with development of the NDP’s platform in next year’s federal election.

“You can’t let a bunch of pointy heads in Ottawa decide what’s important to Canada, you need to actually get out there and hear people,” Leslie said.

She said the roundtable group talked about an environmental bill of rights, which dovetailed with a private member’s bill – the Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights – introduced by Edmonton-Strathcona NDP MP Linda Duncan in early November.

“There was a lot of concern about the Grand River, about source water protection,” Laferriere said.

“This is why we’ve been pushing a Grand River Protection Act,” he added.

The riding association had copies of a petition available to sign at the dinner. The private member’s bill calls on the federal government to restore protection to the entire Grand River, to restore the environmental assessment process for proposed development projects on of near previously protected bodies of water and to commit to meaningful public consultation prior to approval of any project.

The document notes: “The Grand River is not entirely protected and the Paris Quarry project poses great environmental risks to the watershed.”

The changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act left the Grand River under federal protection only from the Wilkes Dam in Brantford south to Lake Erie. Protection for the full river was eliminated in the Harper government’s 2012 omnibus bill.

Leslie, who is also the NDP environmental critic, was scheduled to speak about the environment at a conference at University of Toronto on Friday morning. She’s been a friend with Laferriere since visiting the riding in 2010 and made a side trip to support the 90-cent dinner.

“Even though I’m the MP for Halifax I feel like I know what’s going on in Brant because he has such a good social media presence,” she said.

Volunteers spent the previous night making the homemade meal. For 90 cents, diners got a choice of meat, vegetarian or gluten-free spaghetti, caesar salad and dessert. Sophia’s Bakery supplied the popular dessert – caramel-apple bread pudding.

St. Jude’s was chosen for the venue in part because the church hosts an emergency meal program, serving from 75 to 150 people in need monthly.

“The churches are doing what they can but government also has a role; it has a role in helping out people in these situations and scenarios,” Laferriere said.    

NDP deputy leader makes early campaign stop in Brantford

News Dec 05, 2014 by Brian Shypula Brant News

Homemade spaghetti came with a side of social consciousness as the Brantford-Brant Federal NDP hosted its 90-cent dinner on Thursday night.

Marc Laferriere, the sole declared candidate for the Brant NDP nomination in next year’s federal election, was joined by party deputy leader Megan Leslie at the campaign-style event held at St. Jude’s Anglican Church in Brantford.

Leslie told party faithful that Canadians are “one election away” from national affordable child care, a $15 an hour minimum wage, protection for the Grand River and a party that takes climate change seriously, if the NDP is elected.

“It’s time for some change,” she said.

Local NDP started the 90-cent dinners in 2009 in reaction to a $90-a-plate dinner held by the Liberals that same year in Brantford with Justin Trudeau and a $150-a-plate Conservatives dinner with Senator Mike Duffy.

Despite the nominal price for the meal, the event was a fundraiser for the Brant NDP. Laferriere appealed for donations.

“We are fighting quite a battle in this next election. We’re running against a seated MP and we’re running against a professional lobbyist. Those are powerful, powerful forces,” he said

Of the three major parties, the NDP is the only one without a declared candidate in Brant. MP Phil McColeman was quietly acclaimed in the spring and Liberal Danielle Takacs was chosen in August.

Laferriere finished second in the 2011 election.

NDP volunteers expected to feed 200 people at the dinner, which sold out two seatings.

The early seatings included newly elected city councillors Brian Van Tilborg and Rick Weaver, Grand Erie District School Board trustees Alex Felsky and John Harris and Brantford mayoral challenger Michael St. Amant.

While the former provincial Progressive Conservative candidate for Brant was not about to change his political stripe or vote for Laferierre, St. Amant gave credit to the NDP.

“There are a lot of volunteers here and that speaks well for what the NDP are doing and sends us a message to be ready,” he said.

The NDP is doing a good job engaging younger voters on issues like affordable housing and the environment, he said.

Earlier in the day, Leslie and Laferriere met with students in the Activism and Eco Committee at Brantford Collegiate Institute and held a roundtable talk with local environmentalists. The gatherings were intended to help with development of the NDP’s platform in next year’s federal election.

“You can’t let a bunch of pointy heads in Ottawa decide what’s important to Canada, you need to actually get out there and hear people,” Leslie said.

She said the roundtable group talked about an environmental bill of rights, which dovetailed with a private member’s bill – the Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights – introduced by Edmonton-Strathcona NDP MP Linda Duncan in early November.

“There was a lot of concern about the Grand River, about source water protection,” Laferriere said.

“This is why we’ve been pushing a Grand River Protection Act,” he added.

The riding association had copies of a petition available to sign at the dinner. The private member’s bill calls on the federal government to restore protection to the entire Grand River, to restore the environmental assessment process for proposed development projects on of near previously protected bodies of water and to commit to meaningful public consultation prior to approval of any project.

The document notes: “The Grand River is not entirely protected and the Paris Quarry project poses great environmental risks to the watershed.”

The changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act left the Grand River under federal protection only from the Wilkes Dam in Brantford south to Lake Erie. Protection for the full river was eliminated in the Harper government’s 2012 omnibus bill.

Leslie, who is also the NDP environmental critic, was scheduled to speak about the environment at a conference at University of Toronto on Friday morning. She’s been a friend with Laferriere since visiting the riding in 2010 and made a side trip to support the 90-cent dinner.

“Even though I’m the MP for Halifax I feel like I know what’s going on in Brant because he has such a good social media presence,” she said.

Volunteers spent the previous night making the homemade meal. For 90 cents, diners got a choice of meat, vegetarian or gluten-free spaghetti, caesar salad and dessert. Sophia’s Bakery supplied the popular dessert – caramel-apple bread pudding.

St. Jude’s was chosen for the venue in part because the church hosts an emergency meal program, serving from 75 to 150 people in need monthly.

“The churches are doing what they can but government also has a role; it has a role in helping out people in these situations and scenarios,” Laferriere said.