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It’s the end of the year.  A great time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished in Brant over the last 12 months.  Elections are won and change is made not just in the weeks leading up to an election but in the years of hard work between elections.

And in Brant we are doing that hard work and loving every minute of it.  

If you’d like to donate to the local riding association to make sure we have the funds to win whenever Stephen Harper calls the next election click here.  Your donations are also used to make sure we have the funds to continue with our community development initiatives like the ones listed below.

You can make a one-time donation to maximize your 2013 tax credits or sign on for an affordable regular monthly donation and make sure we have stable funding to hit the doors, hold events and advocate for change in the riding.

So without further ado in chronological order here are the Top 10 Brant NDP Federal Initiatives of 2013:

1. Modernized Local Communications:

An upgraded Brant NDP site where people can get the latest news (as well as volunteer and donate), a subscription e-mail service and re-occuring federal political columns in the Brant News were all key markers for improved communication with supporters in 2013.  This infrastructure allows us to stay in contact in a much more efficient and fruitful way.

Visit Brantndp.ca and sign up as an e-mail subscriber here.

2. Malcolm Allen visits Brant to champion national food strategy and visit with local farmers and farming groups:

 

Malcom Allen’s visit to Brant earlier this year was a great follow up on Deputy Agriculture Critic Ruth-Ellen Brosseau’s visit in late 2012.  We were able to meet with local farmers and farming advocates as well as hold a well attended town hall in the County of Brant where we discussed everything from genetically modified foods to agri-business to agri-slums that have been popping up in and around Brant. Read more from this Brantford Expositor article.

 Malcolm Allen


 

3. Business Roundtable with Glenn Thibeault looks at small businesses and consumers being gouged by credit card swipe fees:

 

Think those points systems on your credit cards come without a cost?  The truth is they cost you and local businesses a lot of money and raise the price of everything.  Retailers, restaurants and businesses small and large are dinged by these credit card swipe fees to pay for your points and they pass the cost on to you.  We sat down with many local small business owners to hear their concerns and share with them the NDP plan for fairness and transparency at Sophia’s Bakery in downtown Brantford.  Get more details at this Brantford Expositor story on this visit.

 

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4. Free 3rd Annual Brantford Youth Leadership Conference with Rathika Sitsabaiesan and many others sees massive growth:

 

One of our best events every year and it just keeps growing.  This year over 100 local youth and dozens of adults from across the political spectrum participated in our non-partisan annual youth leadership conference.  This year we held the event at Counterpoint Church and plan on tweaking the formula for next year’s event (tentatively booked for April 25th, 2014) so that we can accommodate even more students. Check out this story from The Sputnik to hear what students had to say about the event.

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5. Whirlwind visit with Paul Dewar:

 

When Paul Dewar comes to town he really comes to town!  In our day with Paul we had meetings with Immigrant Settlement Services, educators, job training organizations, the YMCA, anti-human trafficking advocates, local grand parenting groups, the Brant News and the Brantford Expositor.  We then had Paul as the special guest at our Federal Annual General Meeting to discuss the conflict minerals legislation he is developing. Paul made some very strong statements in this article about our chances in Brant in 2015 and spoke directly to foreign affairs issues in this Brant News article as well.

 

 

 

6. New Executive Formed:

 

Speaking of our AGM – that evening we formed a great new Federal Executive led by long-time volunteer and former Federal Campaign Manager Neil MacDonald as our new president.  Neil held the post of Secretary for several years on the Executive Committee before stepping up to the new role of President and he and the new Exec have done a great job so far this term!

 

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Long-time Volunteer & Now President Neil Macdonald to the left of Jack Layton from this 2009 photo.

 

 

7. PAC Program successful:

 

Pre-Authorized Contributions is a fancy term for monthly donations.  In 2013 we made a dedicated effort to reach out to those who want to support the Brant NDP with a reliable and secure monthly donation program.  

We got word in the fourth quarter of 2013 that of all the new PAC programs that launched in Canada we have the highest monthly per-dollar total on record.  Not able to donate in a lump sum? Prefer to budget your contribution monthly?  Then a PAC is the right move for you.  All the money raised stays local and can be done by cheque or credit card.  Click here to sign up via credit card or cheque. 

 

 

 

8. Tom Mulcair Visits Brant to talk employment, environment, temp work:

 

I had the pleasure of spending another day in the riding with Federal NDP and Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair.  We had a wonderful visit covered by Television, Print and Radio Journalists from across the region as we highlighted the work being done by Hartmann Canada – a local environmentally and socially conscious egg carton manufacturer in Brantford and a manufacturer that does not hire temp workers – preferring to hire permanent employees at a living wage.  This visit also marked the 3rd stop on Tom’s campaign to ‘Roll up The Red Carpet’ and abolish the Senate – a position which continues to gain momentum and approval across the country.

Read the Brant News article here.

Read the story and watch video from the Brantford Expositor here.

Read the Sputnik’s coverage here.

 

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9. A Local New Democrat Named Platinum Winner Best Local Politician 

 

For the second year in a row – thanks to your support – I was voted the Platinum Winner for the Best Local Politician category of the Brant News Reader’s Choice Awards.  Thank you so much for the gesture! It is very humbling and appreciated.

 

Thank you

 

 

10. Craig Scott Visits Brant announces work on Grant River Protection Bill, Fed NDP launch petition campaign.

 

At the end of 2013 MP Craig Scott visited the town of Paris in Brant County to not only speak at a large meeting of the Concerned Citizens of Brant but to also make an announcement.  The local riding association will be working with the Federal NDP on the creation a bill to restore full federal protection to the Grand River waterway.  This protection was stripped in a recent Conservative omnibus bill. Craig, local volunteers and myself began canvassing areas of Paris and within 2 hours were able to secure over 100 signatures on our petition in support of the Grand River.  A great start with more to begin in 2014! Click the photo below to learn more!

Craig Scott

So there you have it!  A pretty impressive list of good deeds and local organization as we push ahead to the next Federal election.  We’re hoping progressives of all stripes Conservatives, New Democrat, Liberal, Green and non-affiliated lend us their support to create the positive change Brant needs as we move forward.

If you’re interested in joining our local and national movement as a volunteer please e-mail Federal President Neil MacDonald at neil@brantndp.ca today and help us break our fundraising records and go toe-to-toe financially with the other parties by donating here.

Here is to an excellent 2014 where we create a country and a riding where no one is left behind.

Sincerely,

Marc Laferriere

Brant Federal New Democrat Candidate of Record

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