We made a brief stop in the lovely City of Kingston to meet with NDP Queen’s University students on our way to Ottawa. We had a quick bite at the Grad Club before continuing our trip to Ottawa.
Thank you Alexis White for the invitation to meet with you and your friends. I really enjoyed the wide range of issues we discussed and the sense of hope and enthusiasm we all shared for the re-invigoration of our party.
After battling a brief snow fall we made it to our lodgings in Ottawa. The Capital is beautiful covered in snow and the view of skaters on the Rideau Canal as we drove past was straight out of a greeting card. I had an early night in order to prepare for the leaders debate the next day.
I started off the day with a swim, followed by a lovely brunch at one of Ottawa’s many quaint restaurants. Then it was off to the Lord Elgin Hotel for the debate. The turn out was impressive. It’s a great feeling to be looking at a full room of New Democrats of all ages who are engaged in the political process. After the debate I met with some of my local supporters at the Lord Elgin Café. I really enjoy chatting to people from all walks of life. It was a great way to unwind from the debate, listening to what local Ottawa activists have to say and how they see the future of the party.
In spite of the bitter cold in Ottawa, we had a great turn out at my meet and greet brunch at Carmello's restaurant. It was especially warming to see the number of young people who showed up to talk with me. Among them was Natalie Beaudin, president of the Carlton New Democrats, and one of my youngest supporters - Gordie – 2 years old and he’s already canvassed! Thank you all for coming.
The brunch was followed by a fundraiser organized by some of my local supporters. There was some wonderful items donated included hand made finger puppets of all four leadership candidates. It was a great success and not only did we raise some money but I got to meet some great people who are active in the Ottawa community. Thank you all (and Maureen and Andrea in particular) for making this event possible!
I had never toured Parliament Hill and was looking forward to our brown bag lunch in one of the meeting rooms in the Confederation building. A number of MPs attended including the 3 Hamilton MPs, David Christopherson, Chris Charlton and Wayne Marston, Tony Martin (Sault Ste Marie) and Dennis Bevington (Western Arctic) attended along with numerous staffers. Thank you David Christopherson for giving us a back stage tour of Parliament. Off to Brantford to walk a picket line!