Friday, August 24, 2007

McGuinty rallies the troops in Toronto: October 10th is our "date with destiny"

I just attended a noon-hour Ontario Liberal rally at the Toronto Marriott Eaton Centre Hotel.

All the candidates from across the province were there. Dalton was in excellent form. He spoke with great passion and humour, the kind which resonated so greatly on the campaign trail in 2003. This will be Dalton's third campaign as leader, which puts him at a decided advantage over John Tory. And judging from today's performance, Dalton will be pumped once the writ is officially dropped. October 10th will be our "date with destiny," he said to much applause.

The rally was very nicely orchestrated, showcasing some of the new candidates who are running for the first time. Ottawa Centre Liberal candidate Yasir Naqvi spoke to the crowd about the important contributions of new Canadians in Ontario. Trinity-Spadina Liberal candidate and Liberals For MMP supporter Kate Holloway called Dalton McGuinty the "greenest Premier that Ontario has ever seen." Haliburton-Victoria-Brock Liberal candidate Rick Johnson (who just resigned as President of the Ontario Public School Boards Association) warned the crowd about John Tory's ill-conceived plan to take $500 million per year out of public education and put it into private religious schools. Cambridge Liberal candidate Kathryn McGarry, a nurse, talked about the Liberal commitment to stronger public health care.

I'm picking up on a few winning themes in the Ontario Liberal campaign: a stronger public education system, a stronger public health care system, a cleaner environment and keeping Ontario "moving forward, not backward."

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