NORTH BAY – Nipissing-Timiscaming Liberal candidate Anthony Rota won easily over Conservative Peter Chirico. We celebrated into the night despite the fact that Anthony and the Liberal caucus will be sitting on the opposite side of the House when Parliament resumes.
I had an enjoyable time working on Anthony’s campaign. It was also a very rewarding experience.
Throughout election day, I called hundreds of the 22,000 identified Liberal supporters in North Bay. I focused on mainly the aboriginal vote and spoke to many friends and acquaintances who were quick to offer Anthony his support. Many of our voters were in their pajamas or had just washed their hair into the late evening as polls began to close. With some gentle persuasion each and every supporter did their civic duty. At the Duchesnay poll — 100 per cent of our identified Liberal supporters came out to vote. Exactly 109 voters. Way to go Nipissing First Nation!
Certainly, I am disappointed with a Conservative government. Their aboriginal policies, wholly developed without any First Nation involvement, may set our Nation-to-Nation relationship back decades. The in-roads we have made at the historic First Ministers’ meeting in Kelowna is certainly in jeopardy.
On the bright side, this is a minority government with a very strong Liberal opposition. With the support of the NDP, there is a chance that the aboriginal agenda will be more moderate.
I rarely offer words of praise to a Prime Minister, however, Paul Martin will be missed. The commitment and partnership he has forged with aboriginal people in Canada is beyond that of any Prime Minister. He truly has an understanding of First Nations people.
I would like to thank Laurie McLaren, Muriel Sawyer, Chris Hachkowski, Lisa Robinson, and for helping out on e-day.
I’d like to thank Peter Gavan, Garth Goodhew, Greg Kolz, Lindsay Furlong, Barbara Gavan, and Chantal Rota for their guidance and the opportunity.
Most of all, I’d like to thank Anthony Rota for the opportunity to work on his successful campaign. I wish him well in Ottawa.