Simcoe North “important battleground in the next election”

When Liberal party member Ryan Barber announced that he would be running to lead the Simcoe North Liberals, my family were very proud to support him. For the first time I signed up to be a member of the Liberal party, and the passion for the position and trust of character Barber exudes made it an easy choice for others to join as well, if only for the ability to vote Barber in to the role. Barber, who has volunteered for the party for the last 20 years, was on the local Liberal executive for 18 years, and served as President of the association for 6 years, has taken on the challenge of running for the official Liberal candidate in Simcoe North, and thereafter to be the Member of Parliament for Simcoe North. My family and I had the pleasure of listening to and meeting the Liberal leader, Justin Trudeau, back in the winter of 2012 (around the time that he was running for the top position of his party – which he later secured in the spring of 2013) when he came to our blossoming town for a speech at the Royal Canadian Legion. The parallels of Barber and Trudeau play on my mind. Now in 2015 Trudeau’s campaigning has turned towards uprooting the Conservatives and Stephen Harper, with the hopes of bringing Liberal values and policy back to helm of Canada’s house of parliament. Both young men, Barber and Trudeau, have taken a leap of faith and thrown their hats in to the ring with no guarantee of victory – but strong will and support surely give them the fuel for the fight. They are putting their political beliefs and years of experience to use, with the ambitious plan of making a difference for their country. Also, both are working to knock the Conservatives from their post (Simcoe North has had Conservative Bruce Stanton representing as MP since 2006, prior to that the riding has been lead by the now dissolved PC party stretching back farther than some care to remember, while Stephen Harper has been PM since the winter of 2006). “Simcoe North will be an important battleground in the next election. As a swing riding for the last 30 years, the outcome of the vote in ridings like Simcoe North may tip the balance of power in parliament between the Trudeau Liberals and the Harper Conservatives in a close election,” Ryan Barber wrote in an online interview. “Justin [Trudeau] has been an inspirational figure that’s making people question what kind of country they want to live in,” Barber says. “The idea that we can build something great by being proactive, through hard work, is a far more appealing vision for Canada that encourages people to be bold and create opportunities for themselves and each other. If Justin can continue to get people onside with this message not only can he win the next election, but hopefully he can get people in the mindset to do great things again and usher in another great chapter in Canadian history,” Barber continued. There is something about Harper’s Conservative party that has not been sitting right with a lot of Canadians and it has become apparent over the last several months, most notably and recently with the crossing of the floor of Eve Adams from Conservative to Liberal. Though not as scandalous as some make it out to be – Winston Churchill left his Conservative party for the Liberals in 1904 before crossing back in 1924 – Adam’s shift does shine a light on what may be happening within Harper’s strictly controlled government. “Eve [Adams] says she crossed the floor because she couldn’t stay under the heavy handed direction of Stephen Harper, and that’s believable. What’s more, she’s not the only one. While her floor crossing has been big news the bigger story are the 25 Conservative MP’s that have announced they will not be running for re-election, most recent among them John Baird,” Barber says. At 30 years old I consider myself a young voter. I haven’t been interested in politics until very recently. I credit friends like Barber and positive leaders like Trudeau for the new found interest and the feeling that I, along with my fellow citizens, actually have a say. Ashley Matt Editor-at-Large, Online Producer @the_ontarian

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