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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

our very own kennedy.

Though there has been much talk about potential Liberal leadership candidates since Paul Martin's abdication on January 23rd, there has been one name that has intrigued us: Gerard Kennedy.

Though we'd never heard of Kennedy before our good friend Bart wrote about him, we must admit that so far we like what we hear.

Being a strong centre-left Ontario MPP (for Parkdale-High Park) and Provincial Minister of Education, Kennedy could off an interesting alternative to the centre-right business Liberal leadership candidates (Stronach, Brison, etc).

Here are some of the things we find appealing about him...

- He’s young (mid-40's - not a senior citizen) and bilingual.

- He was born in Manitoba, attended the Universities of Trent and Alberta.

- He founded the Edmonton Food Bank before moving on to join the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto. He was the Executive Director of this Food Bank for ten years.

- He placed a strong second to Dalton McGuinty in the last Ontario Liberal Leadership race.

- He could add fresh blood and energy into the leadership race.

- He was not attached to the former Martin or Chrétien regimes.

This race needs strong candidates with liberal credentials. Mr. Kennedy may just be the person to offer those credentials.

We hope he strongly considers putting his hat in to the ring.


Hasty said...

Does he have any organization in place? Then again, do any of them?

Leadership races are so fun. I will enjoy watching this one from the sidelines. Here's hoping it gets really nasty! The site of the other party in a Leadership scrap is strangely alluring... remember the Seinfield about the cat fight with Elaine?

MississaugaPeter said...

Correction: Gerard founded the first food bank in Canada. It was in Edmonton. A few years later, a newly founded Daily Bread Food Bank asked him to become their Executive Director. In 1996, when Gerard left to run in a bye-election (which had been an NDP stronghold for decades; the NDP candidate against Gerard was none other than today's Toronto mayor, Harvard-educated David Miller), the Daily Bread Food Bank was feeding 150,000 every month.

daveberta said...

oops. Thanks for the clarification. We'll correct it.

Mark said...

Finishing a strong second to McGuinty is a mit of a misnomer. He finished a strong first on first ballot, seond ballot, third ballot and fourth I blieve, then on fifth the one last candidate couldn't deliver votes to him. McGuinty surpassed him because his team new how to work the delegates at and prior to the convention.

If Gerard runs this tim eout he'll need to find second ballot support from someone ahead of time or he'll get burned again.

A great guy though. And a candidate who would scare the crap out of Jack Layton, for whatever that's worth.

MississaugaPeter said...


Less than a year after leaving the Daily Bread Food Bank, his honesty and charism made him the number 1 choice with ballots 1-4.

Unfortunately, ballot 5 was at 2:00 a.m. Since the majority of his supporters were from the GTA area, they had prematurely gone home to their families. McGuinty, being from Ottawa, had the outside the GTA vote. They were shacked up in hotels around Maple Leaf Gardens. They were there for the vote. No one on the Kennedy team had expected a vote at 2:00 a.m.

Since then, Gerard has become the most recognizable Ontario Liberal other than McGuinty. 9 out of 10 teachers love him. And so do parents.

He is genuine. He is bilingual. He has roots in Manitoba and Alberta. He is honest. He will pack the lecture halls right across Canada.