Monday, September 30, 2013

Getting to know Amy Robichaud, Liberal nomination contestant in Scarborough-Southwest

While the 2015 federal election is a long ways off (if Stephen Harper actually sticks to his fixed election date law, that is), in a sign of the strength and renewal of the Liberal Party of Canada, quality candidates are already beginning to come forward and begin organizing for what will likely be hotly contested nominations across the country.

Just to the south of me is the riding of Scarborough-Southwest, where my friend Amy Robichaud has recently announced her intention to seek the Liberal nomination to take on the NDP's Dan Harris. The riding has a solid Liberal history, being held by Michelle Simson and Tom Wappel before Harris took it in 2011.

I recently asked Amy a few questions about why she's going after the nomination; those answers are below. To learn more about her campaign, visit her web site and look for her on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Jeff: Why have you decided to run for the nomination in Scarborough-South West?

Amy: I grew up in a hardworking family who taught me some incredibly important lessons:

My father, an industrial plumber and pipe fitter, taught me that you work hard even when it is hard work;
My mother, whip smart and patient, taught me to listen before I speak but to speak up when necessary;
My grandfather, who came to Canada seeking safety and opportunity, taught me to cherish our democracy and my citizenship;
And my grandmother, who never says “no” to a neighbour in need, taught me the value of being a good neighbour.

It is these lessons, and my genuine belief that we need to change the tone of politics in Canada and work hard to regain the trust of our neighbours and friends, that has lead to my decision to seek the nomination in Scarborough Southwest.

Jeff: What is your background in Scarborough, and the Liberal Party?

Amy: Scarborough is my adoptive home and I’ve always felt like I belong here. My neighbours in Scarborough Southwest work hard, look out for each other, and care about how each other are doing. I’ve been active in the community discussions around issues such as the Quarry Lands and residential flooding, and hope to continue engaging with my neighbours on matter that impact their lives.

I've been a Liberal Party member for several years, and have sat on the Scarborough Southwest riding association board.  I recently volunteered for the Chrystia Freeland campaign and was also quite involved during the federal leadership race.

I became a Liberal because I believe that individual Canadians are this country’s greatest natural resource, and that if we work together we can provide everyone with the opportunity to do better for themselves, their family and their community.

Jeff: What do you see as the key issues facing Scarborough that need attention from the federal government?

Amy: The costs of groceries and gas keep going up in Scarborough, but our pay checks don’t. The federal government needs to ensure that our economy is not only growing, but is fair. Middle class Canadians need a government that works for them.

The cost of education keeps going up and jobs keep getting harder to find. The federal government should ensure that every Scarborough youth has access to affordable education and training for the jobs that will exist when they graduate.

Our homes flood and streets crack and we need access to the best ideas and more resources to upgrade our municipal infrastructure. The federal government should play a role in bringing good ideas and resources to cities and communities that need them.

But most of all, my neighbours and I want to know that our interests and concerns are being listened to and meaningfully represented. Our government needs to be more open, transparent and responsive.

Jeff: Why are you the right person to represent the riding?

Amy: Scarborough Southwest needs someone who will work for the riding on both a local and national level.  In deciding to run for the nomination I am making a commitment to Scarborough Southwest Liberals and to all my neighbours that I will work each day to earn and keep their trust, that I will listen to them before I speak for them, that I will be present and interested in the concerns and celebrations in our community. I will also work to ensure that our local voice is heard and listened to on issues that are bigger than just one riding and that will take all of us – and a lot of hard work – to address and make right.

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