The Burlington (Ontario) PC riding association held its annual general meeting this past Saturday. As regular readers of this blog know, I’ve been critical of my local riding association from time to time, but I’m happy to report that I was encouraged—heartened in fact—by what I saw and heard on
Bert Radford, the out-going association president, ran the meeting in a tight, efficient manner, and with the right touch of humour. And once we’d finished our brunch, Ruth Roberts expertly guided us through the nomination process and election of next year’s slate of executive and general board members.
There was a sense of energy and optimism in the room that I have not noticed at riding events since former MPP Cam Jackson retired from the Ontario legislature in 2006.
Recently elected MPP Jane McKenna—Critic of Children and Youth Services and Deputy Co-Chair of Ethnic Outreach—was present, of course, and made an excellent speech. Ms. McKenna and her “team,” in my view, are fully responsible for the improved atmosphere. I left the meeting thinking, We’re back!
The Burlington riding association was once the envy of many ridings in Ontario and retains the core elements to be so again. I have the sense that incoming president Mark Fedak and his new board members have the enthusiasm, smarts and talent to build the association membership and its profile in the community and, as importantly, to lead us through the next election.
Let’s hope the central Ontario PC party apparatus agrees and backs off so the new Burlington PC team can get on with their jobs. It’s one thing for the central PC office to offer much needed and appreciated training, advice and other support, it’s quite another for it to insist on managing everything centrally and substituting edicts for advice and support.
© Russell G. Campbell, 2011