Excerpts from Marc’s speech announcing his intention to run for Brantford-Brant MP:
In 2009, encouraged by my family, my friends and my colleagues, I was asked to run to be the MP for Brant – and I accepted that challenge. For nearly two years, right up until the May 2011 election, we worked hard and made impressive gains coming in second and earning more than 16,000 local votes.
I’m asking for a chance to turn that momentum into a win. I am asking for your help to make a breakthrough in Brantford-Brant.
I am happy to announce that I am officially seeking the nomination to represent your concerns in the upcoming Federal election – currently scheduled for October 2015.
In the last election, we worked hard despite criticism that people in Brant would not vote for a New Democrat.
We worked harder when some folks laughed off a candidate who had just turned 30 when the writ was dropped. They thought he wouldn’t have the ability or means to run a credible campaign against seasoned local politicians.
We were told it would be a tight race between our current Conservative MP and a former Liberal MP. It was the way it was, it was the way some thought it would always be.
But we proved them wrong.
We did creative things and turned away from the traditional, heavy spending, focus-on-advertising-and-phone-poll model most campaigns still use.
Instead, we fostered a community development model of campaigning that was recognized locally, nationally and internationally.
We worked hard to show people that they had a choice – and you still have a choice.
After the 2011 election – we continued to do the work.
When Conservatives tout job numbers which show a growing sector of the economy relying on precarious, low-wage or temporary work that you just can’t support a family on – we push back, offering a vision of sustainable economic development, good jobs and a diverse, responsive economy that includes better policy for job-creating small businesses.
When Conservatives cut Old Age Security – in Brant we fought to end seniors poverty and hold them to account.
When Conservatives say land claim resolution is their number one priority during an election but chose not to get back at the table with Six Nations after elected – we offered and continued to offer alternatives towards a successful nation-to-nation relationship.
We push in Brantford-Brant and across Canada for a national pharmacare plan that would save us money and improve health care, we advocate for a food strategy that would see farming protected in this region and value added jobs created.
We fight for those struggling – the senior who has to decide between nourishing food and paying off the heating bill this month, the family in need of affordable housing, the young people who leave school to find themselves starting out already behind the previous generation – and all Canadians who fall through the holes in our social safety net.
We fight for source water protection and for reinstating federal protections on our magnificent Grand River. We stand for people getting a fair shake in an open, transparent and trustworthy government – including democratic reform, to ensure all voters are heard.
Together, we have these conversations, and many others in Brantford-Brant and we positively influence national policy.
Together, we can change how things are done locally and nationally and do it in a positive and progressive way.
Together, we can do this and much more.
In the lead up to the 2015 election, if nominated as your candidate, I will be asking progressively-minded people of all stripes to come together, stick together and make positive change in Brant.
I’ll be asking progressive conservatives who don’t like the way the Harper government has acted over the last several years and who didn’t vote for this kind of scandal and mismanagement to instead Marc their vote.
I’ll be asking folks who lean NDP, Liberal or Green to join with me, not just for a vote, but for local conversation on how we can work together to improve the debate between our political parties, while also working together on practical things that we can do to improve the lives of all Canadians.
I’ll also be doing all that I can to encourage those who don’t vote or haven’t voted in quite some time, to get to the ballot box.
I will be actively seeking your support in this very important election – an election that can actually change things for you and those you care about.
I would be honoured to receive your support and will continue to work everyday in our community to earn it and keep it.