This is going to be a fun letter to write. And it’s going to be a little long. Why? Because we’ve got some really wonderful victories to celebrate, and some good, strong events to look forward to in the coming weeks.
So, first, congratulations to Keith Riel, Marion Burton and Mary Smith! All three of our friends were successful in their recent municipal elections. I’m really proud of the hard work they put into their victories - and of the hard work many New Democrat members contributed to their campaigns.
Just so you know, the Peterborough and District Labour Council endorsed six candidates, from Smith Ennismore Lakefield to Otonabee-South Monaghan and Cavan Monaghan. Four were elected outright, and one is awaiting a recount. I think this says a lot about the effectiveness of that Council, and also about what motivates voters in the district these days.
Some more good news. September 25 was the annual Pride March downtown. Most communities hold their Pride Day in the spring, but in Peterborough we like to hold it in the fall so that students can participate. Once again it was a great success, and our NDP banner was prominent.
On October 22, the Peterborough and District Labour Council held its annual Labour Appreciation Night at the Knights of Columbus Hall. The Peterborough NDP "bought" a table and was well represented by eight at the dinner. Guest speaker Sid Ryan, president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, gave his usual rousing speech, and reminded us that pensions and quality of life for older workers is an important issue, as is workplace health and safety.
But enough of the past! We’ve got some exciting upcoming events to mark on your calendars.
The Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLIFF) is Saturday, November 20 from 12:30 to 5 pm at Sadleir House, 751 George Street. The Peterborough NDP is one of the sponsors, along with the Labour Council. Well respected documentary filmmaker Laura Sky is the special guest speaker. This is going to be fun; we’ll get to see some great films, catch up, and discuss some of the most pressing issues for labour today in Peterborough, in Canada, and in the world. Look for us on Facebook.
Please note! The Peterborough NDP Riding Association Annual General Meeting will be held Thursday, November 25 at 7:00 at the Lions Centre, 347 Burnham Street. We will have the election of the next executive and, as always, a good social time. If you have been thinking of becoming more involved in the work of the Riding Association, this is the time to do it. We are always looking for "new" faces for the executive and our committees. Call or email me and we can talk about it.
MP Megan Leslie, the federal Health Critic, will be the guest speaker at our AGM, and she will be staying over for a day of meetings on Friday. She is on a tour that brings her here from Whitby and Oshawa. We are collecting stories about our experiences with the health care system and the new hospital. Please forward any comments to me.
Tentatively Megan will meet with health care workers in the morning and there will also be a rally in the afternoon on the need for universal pharmacare. I’ll keep you posted.
And, looking ahead to the new year, we’re hoping to have a visit from Jack Layton to celebrate our history in the riding. I’ll keep you posted on that too.