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Blackburn to Support Laferriere at Innovative Campaign Event on August 28th.

Picnic Ad for Paris

Brantford – On Saturday August 28th from 1:00 – 3:00pm Former Brant NDP MP Derek Blackburn will be the special guest of honour at a Pay What You Can Picnic being held by Local Candidate Marc Laferriere and Federal NDP Leader Jack Layton on the grounds of historic Yates Castle (corner of Usher St & Rushton Ave) 

“I am pleased to fully endorse this young man.” Blackburn said in a prepared statement.  “Over the last few months as I have gotten to know Marc I see that he has all the tools to be a very effective voice for the people of Brant in Ottawa.  I expect winning things from him and his team and am asking those who supported me in the past to support Marc now and during the next election.

“He’s very keen, hard working, accessible and he understands that constituents are the number one priority.  That thought should be paramount for any politician; people before party and Marc already appreciates this.

“I’m very excited to visit and hope to see old friends and colleagues during this event.”

Derek reached out to Laferriere with a phone call several months ago after hearing from several sources about all the work that had been done in the riding. This turned into regular calls between the two and a recent face-to-face visit at Derek’s home in Gatineau.

“Derek has been a great mentor. An hour on the phone with Derek is like a week of campaign school. It’s important to me to work with those who have been there before and Derek is in my mind and the minds of many here the most successful politician to ever serve this area,” Laferriere said.

Formerly a teacher in Paris Mr. Blackburn won a by-election in 1971 to represent Brant Riding in Ottawa. He went on to win the next 6 elections until his retirement from politics in 1993. Mr. Blackburn developed a strong reputation for his people-focused constituency work and his ability to work with people from all walks of life and all political persuasions.

After his political career Derek accepted an appointment from then Prime-Minister Brian Mulroney to the Immigration and Refugee Board which is Canada’s largest independent administrative tribunal responsible for making decisions on immigration and refugee matters.

Federal New Democrat Leader Jack Layton is looking forward to meeting Derek for the first time. “I’m very excited to meet Mr. Blackburn, and to honour his contributions to this riding and parliament. I understand he will be saying a few words. This is shaping up to be quite an event.”

Derek has fond memories of working with Jack’s father and former Progressive Conservative Cabinet Minister Robert Layton. “I got to know Robert in the House and he was a fine man. Despite belonging to different parties we had a lot of respect for one another. Both father and son are top notch in my book.”

The Pay What You Can Picnic is an event open to the public and is part of the Brant NDP’s initiatives to offer low cost and no cost events that are accessible to everyone.

On the subject of accessibility Laferriere offered these comments, “We strongly believe that politics should be participatory. One of our goals when we started with these kinds of events was to find creative ways to change the culture of Federal Politics at the local level. We’re now seeing more open and unscripted events in and around the riding and couldn’t be more pleased. It’s about time and it has led to greater interest in local politics.”

Click the photo below to see the Facebook event page:

Read more about the event online in the Brant News and Expositor

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