Candidates – 2021 Liberal National Convention | Liberal Party of Canada

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Alicia Natividad

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Candidate for: National Women’s Liberal Commission > National Chair

Alicia Natividad

Candidate for: National Women’s Liberal Commission > National Chair

I am a Liberal since I moved from Athens, Greece to Canada in 1970.

I am a member of the Ottawa-Vanier Federal Liberal Association and was a member of the executive of the riding association for many years. In addition, I was the President of the Ottawa-Vanier Federal Liberal Women’s Club from 2006-2013.

I then joined the executive of the Ontario Women’s Liberal Commission that represented all federal and provincial Liberal women’s clubs until 2016 when the Liberal Party of Canada changed its Constitution to mandate the political affiliation of women’s clubs to only one party. In 2019 I was awarded the Donna Dale Award from the Ontario Women’s Liberal Commission for my volunteer contribution to the enhancement of Liberal women and policies.

When the National Women’s Liberal Commission (NWLCO”) was established on November 4, 2017, I was acclaimed as its first Chair. As NWLCO’s Chair, I led the NWLCO executive to pursue its mandate to engage, educate, train, and support women who want to run for the Liberal Party. Before and during the pandemic, I oversaw a face-to-face campaign college, five (5) webinars on election readiness, club engagements through telephone and video platform meetings, mentorship for Liberal women, and fundraising for the Judy La Marsh Fund. I found ways to increase communication with Ontario Liberal women through webinars, e-newsletters, Facebook, and Twitter. I engaged Liberal women to be part of NWLCO and the Liberal Party.

I work collaboratively with my executive, the Chairs of the Young Liberal Commission (Ontario), the Seniors Liberal Commission (Ontario), and the Indigenous Peoples Commission, and the other Liberal women’s commissions.

I am honoured to run as Chair of the National Women’s Liberal Commission and will lead the Commission with leadership, relevancy, and accountability.

Amarit Brar

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Candidate for: National Women’s Liberal Commission > Organization Chair

Amarit Brar

Candidate for: National Women’s Liberal Commission > Organization Chair

Born and raised in British Columbia, Amarit got involved with the Liberal Party back in 2015 during the general federal election. She became a liberal because of the party’s commitment to inclusivity, and their record on immigration and women’s rights. The Liberal Party is a community where Amarit feels comfortable championing the need for creating safer spaces and empowering women and youth, to stand up and have our voices heard. As Organization Chair of the National Women’s Liberal Commission, Amarit is committed to work with the rest of the board to rebuild the NWLC from the ground up, in cooperation with NWLC members and women who are choosing forward.

She is committed to collaborating with present and prospective NWLC members across Canada, and will utilize her experience from her previous roles from Young Liberals of Canada and regional get-out-to-vote organizer to best serve the NWLC membership and to attract new women to the party.

In her spare time, you can catch Amarit reading books, and listening to podcasts.

Christina Monroe

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Candidate for: National Board of Directors > Party Secretary

Christina Monroe

Candidate for: National Board of Directors > Party Secretary

A lifelong Liberal Christina has been volunteering for the party long before she was able to join as a member.

Christina grew up and went to school in Winnipeg, completing a degree in Early Childhood Education. One of her earliest political memories is knocking on doors in elementary school with her MP for the 1984 election. Learning the importance of dedicated volunteers, in ensuring good people were elected, to lead the way to a better Canada her motto is: teamwork is everything. 

Christina moved to Yellowknife in 1999 and fell in love with the north. She joined the NWT PTB board in 2008 and served until 2017. Christina is the go to Liberal person for data and social media in Northwest Territories. Reaching out and befriending Liberals to stay connected and listen to the concerns of other Liberals and Canadians. Christina volunteers daily on management of Liberal facebook pages and helps many Non-Governmental Organizations, local businesses, candidates, MLAs and MPs with best practices and online engagement.  Christina worked on both the 2015 and 2019 elections in the NWT on the logistical challenges of a large remote riding with 33 communities, many without reliable internet, road access and the inability to ever meet our volunteers face to face.
 
Christina is an active volunteer and teaches workshops, mentors women candidates and their teams on effective data collection, GOTV and social media strategy.

The Liberal Party has an amazing network of liberals coast to coast to coast who value the connections and support for each other in the digital age. As National Policy Secretary, Christina is committed to moving our party forward with tools and training to have more supported volunteers on the ground.

Conrad Desjarlais

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Candidate for: Indigenous Peoples’ Commission > Co-Chair (male)

Conrad Desjarlais

Candidate for: Indigenous Peoples’ Commission > Co-Chair (male)

Conrad Desjarlais is a proud member of the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation (Treaty 8) and has a long background working in the urban Indigenous community. He was part of the initial formation of the Greater Vancouver Urban Aboriginal Strategy Steering Committee and involved with the Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS) on a national level. He also served on the Aboriginal Homelessness Steering Committee of BC as a service provider representative and as Chair.

Conrad was involved in the process leading up to the historic Kelowna Accord as a participant at the Canada-Aboriginal Peoples Roundtable, Lifelong Learning Sectoral Session. These unique experiences has pushed Conrad to advocate for better indigenous policy development at the federal level and with all levels of government.

Conrad also has a long background as a federal Liberal. He was an elected delegate at The Liberal Party of Canada leadership election of 2006 in Montréal and was part of the Ken Dryden leadership campaign’s BC team.

Conrad has been very fortunate to combine his Indigenous background and Liberal experience to provide on the ground support to two separate Liberal campaigns with First Nation candidates, in the ridings of Vancouver East and Vancouver-Granville.

In addition to his role as the current National Co-Chair of the Indigenous People Commission, Conrad also serves on the National Board of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Daniel Minden

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Candidate for: Young Liberals of Canada > National Communications Chair

Daniel Minden

Candidate for: Young Liberals of Canada > National Communications Chair

Daniel Minden is the incumbent National Communications Chair for the Young Liberals of Canada. Born and raised in Ontario, Daniel graduated from the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto in 2017 and now studies political science and history at McGill University in Montréal. Inspired by Justin Trudeau’s message of hope and hard work, Daniel began knocking on doors for the Liberal Party in 2015. From 2019 to 2020, Daniel served as President of Liberal McGill, one of the most active Young Liberal campus clubs in Canada. In this role, he recruited new student volunteers, organized days of action in target ridings, brought Liberal candidates to campus, and planned the club’s annual trip to Parliament Hill. As YLC National Communications Chair since 2020, Daniel has worked hard to provide YLC campus clubs and provincial/territorial associations with communications support on recruitment materials, social media best practices, and media relations, drawing on a wide range of professional experiences inside and outside of politics. Outside of politics, Daniel enjoys skiing, hiking, and sailing. Daniel speaks English and French.

Donna Nelson

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Candidate for: National Women’s Liberal Commission > Recording Officer

Donna Nelson

Candidate for: National Women’s Liberal Commission > Recording Officer

Donna is a long-time resident of Brantford-Brant (BB) and works in the Employment Law and Human Rights arena. Donna is a proud mother of two children. 

Donna has been a very active volunteer with the Brantford-Brant Women’s Liberal Club (Chair), the Ontario Women’s Liberal Commission (Fundraising), the National Women’s Liberal Commission of Ontario (Membership),  and the National Women’s Liberal Commission (Recording Officer).  She also sits on her local EDA board as Organization Chair.  During the 2015 campaign Donna was active recruiting youth volunteer and making calls to thousands of Liberal supporters.  In 2019, Donna took a lead role within the BB campaign where she was the Office Manager and Volunteer Coordinator.  With her local team, they reached out to more Liberals than any other year prior.    

Donna has volunteered many hours as an Officer with the Navy League of Canada, as well as time as a board member for the Brantford Navy League Branch. During her tenure with the Navy League of Canada, Donna has participated and hosted many fundraisers, events, and special activities for the local Cadet Corps.  Donna is also an animal lover and a Director on the Brant Animal Aid Foundation (BAAF), that assist low income individuals with vet bills.  As a Director on the BAAF Donna has assisting with several successful fundraising events.  Last year, Donna became part of a local CARES group who sponsored and set up a refugee family locally.  Donna is compassionate about equality for all and ensuring no one individual is left out.

Doug Brydges

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Candidate for: Senior Liberals’ Commission > Secretary

Doug Brydges

Candidate for: Senior Liberals’ Commission > Secretary

Before retiring and re-settling in Callander Ontario (in 2001) Doug owned and operated a commercial printing plant and published a weekly newspaper for 20 years in the Greenstone Region of northwestern Ontario. During those years he served in public office for two terms as a municipal councillor and two terms as public school board trustee, as was actively involved in several channels of volunteer community service including Rotary International.

Following eight years as a municipal councillor in Callander, outside of North Bay, where he lived since early 2002, Doug has continued serving as Chair of Callander’s Planning Advisory Committee. In his spare time, Doug continues to enjoy home-based pursuits that include woodworking, music, and finishing the family’s second new home in Callander.

Doug has been a member of the Party of Callander in the electoral district of Nipissing-Timiskaming and has volunteered in several capacities in federal election campaigns since 2004. In 2009, he was elected as EDA Vice-President, southern region, and has continued serving as the EDA’s Vice-chair since 2011.

More recently, Doug’s activity with the Senior Liberals’ Commission (SLC) has included:

  • Co-chair (English), (early 2018 to present)
  • Communications Chair (early 2015 to early 2018)
  • Communications Chair with the Ontario Section (2015-16)
  • Authoring the SLC Club start-up kit
  • Vice-chair of the Charter Committee (2017)
  • Chair of the Ontario Section (2017-18)

Doug decided to seek the position of Secretary with the Senior Liberals’ Commission after completing a three-year term as the Commission’s Co-chair (English). Having previously served as the Commission’s Communications Chair and Secretary-Treasurer from 2015 to 2018, Doug is well qualified to take on the recently revised role of Commission Secretary.

Elise Bartlett

Candidate for: National Board of Directors > Vice-President (French)

Elise Bartlett

Candidate for: National Board of Directors > Vice-President (French)

Gary Xie

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Candidate for: Young Liberals of Canada > National Membership Chair

Gary Xie

Candidate for: Young Liberals of Canada > National Membership Chair

From Surrey, British Columbia, Gary joined the Liberal Party in 2012 as a highschool student, when he became the youth rep for South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale’s Liberal EDA.

Gary received a Bachelor’s degree in International Political Economy from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, with a minor in French. During his studies in Washington, D.C., Gary was an intern at the US Senate, where he did work with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee. In 2016, Gary took a gap year to work on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign HQ in New York.

Following the 2016 US Presidential Election, Gary decided to move to economics research to look at inequality and incentives to drive meaningful policy. Gary has worked at Brookings Institution as a research assistant with Dr. Cheng Li, and has conducted research at the OECD’s Trade and Agricultural Directorate, in Paris on renewable energy, as well as with World Bank on China’s BRI. In 2019, Gary was the recipient of the Yenching Scholarship to pursue graduate study at Peking University. In China, Gary conducted research with the Institute of New Structural Economics, led by former VP and Chief Economist of the World Bank Group, Justin Lin. Gary’s research focuses on environmental economics and the political economy of clean energy transition.

Prior to running for Membership Chair, Gary was the VP Policy and VP (French) for YLC(BC). He also served as the Multiculturalism Chair for YLC’s National Board. He currently sits on his EDA in South Surrey-White Rock as the election readiness chair.

One of Gary’s fondest memories was organizing a youth campaign during COVID to support the community. He led a group of students from his alma mater, Semiahmoo Secondary, to draw a mural in front of the Peace Arch Hospital.

Henry Mann

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Candidate for: Young Liberals of Canada > National Finance Chair

Henry Mann

Candidate for: Young Liberals of Canada > National Finance Chair

Currently in his third year studying political science at the University of Ottawa, Henry has been an engaged and active Young Liberal since 2015. He was drawn to the Liberal Party because of its pragmatic yet progressive and optimistic approach to the major issues confronting Canada, and he first volunteered for Oakville North-Burlington MP Pam Damoff’s campaign in the 2015 federal election. Henry was a consistent and regular participant in Team Damoff canvasses throughout that summer and fall and has maintained that level of commitment in his work as a Young Liberal. Following that election, he remained engaged in the Liberal scene in Ontario both federally and provincially and moved to Ottawa for university in the fall of 2018. That November, he was elected first year representative of the University of Ottawa Young Liberals. The following spring, he became Vice President (Provincial) of the University of Ottawa Young Liberals and was elected Finance Chair of the Young Liberals of Canada (Ontario) at the Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario) convention in April 2019. While he continues to hold this role, he has also served as President of the University of Ottawa Young Liberals since April 2020.

Henry wants to bring the same proactive, transparent, and responsive approach he has fostered as YLCO Finance Chair to the position of National Finance Chair. He is passionate about the potential of properly funded Young Liberal events and initiatives, and it is his goal to ensure the Young Liberals of Canada meets the unique financial needs of provincial and territorial boards, campus clubs, and riding clubs across the country. He is committed to consultation, collaboration, and reliability in using the YLC’s financial resources to support grassroots Young Liberals and enhance their activities from coast to coast to coast.

Hilary Williamson

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Candidate for: Senior Liberals’ Commission > Co-Chair (English)

Hilary Williamson

Candidate for: Senior Liberals’ Commission > Co-Chair (English)

Hilary is a retired computer scientist who spent most of her professional career at Bell-Northern Research (1973-1988) in Ottawa and Toronto. Her last position was as a Director in Design Interpretive, which focused on user interfaces, primarily for Nortel Networks equipment. A list of her published papers is available at https://www.linkedin.com/in/hilary-williamson-a3394365/ .

Hilary was one of a handful of women in BNR management, and promoted several other capable women. She managed both software development and ergonomics departments, building a variety of early email and network applications.

From 1988, while raising her two sons, Hilary volunteered with children with learning disabilities, and chaired school committees in Montreal. She also reviewed educational software for Kids Domain online. She has played harp weekly to Long Term Care residents in Ottawa for 10 years and has run a popular book review site for over 20 years.

Hilary has been an active member of the Pontiac, Quebec EDA Board since 2017, and Pontiac Policy Chair (2018-2020). She co-chaired the SLC Healthcare Working Group (2017-2018) and presented the resolution “Reclaiming and Sustaining Canada’s Healthcare” at the 2018 Convention, where it was prioritized. She also acted for then SLC Policy Chair Doug McDonald at Halifax.

Hilary was prime on the rewrite of the SLC Policy Guide (2019-2020). She led the development of the resolution “Aging in the Right Place – A Matter of Life and Death”, which was prioritized 5th by SLC in its 2020 vote. She has acted as SLC National Communications Chair (2019-present), emphasizing SLC’s support of policy work and its need to rebuild relationships with Senior Registered Liberals in EDAs through Senior Representatives and SLC Clubs.

Hilary now lives with her husband, Serge Fournier, in beautiful Val-des-Monts, Quebec, an hour’s drive from the capital.

Iain Munro

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Candidate for: Senior Liberals’ Commission > Secretary

Iain Munro

Candidate for: Senior Liberals’ Commission > Secretary

I joined the SLC as Ontario Regional Chair in 2012 and was elected to my current position, Secretary-Treasurer, in 2016. I remain passionate about our work and wish to continue to combat ageism through pursuing our official Mission.

Raised and educated in Hamilton, my early years continue to inform who I am. Officer training in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) paid for my university education and introduced me to Canada—its land, seas and peoples, coast to coast, to coast. Indeed, one cruise deep into Arctic waters remains a remarkable life experience. Because of my sister’s deep disappointment in being unable to follow me, this was also the beginning of my lifelong fight for feminism. Sixty years later, my shipboard comradeship continues on the Board of Directors of the UNTDA where, poignantly, one of my Board colleagues is Canada’s first female RCN Admiral.

In 1967, working for the Canadian Pavilion at Expo67, I published a weekly bilingual journal for thousands of hosts and hostesses from all over the world. I was never more grateful for being born Canadian. During doctoral studies in Ottawa later that year, “Trudeaumania” swept me up and I’ve remained a committed Liberal ever since. Initially teaching high school history, I joined Queen’s University as a professor for the next 36 years.

My commitment to human rights and Canada’s multicultural society has informed my lifelong work as teacher, administrator, writer, and activist for community sustainability. Six years as Chair of the Queen’s International Centre and a leading member of the Ontario College of Teachers’ Executive Board were natural extensions of this devotion. I speak French and German, and continue my commitment to lifelong education by learning Russian, Spanish, and Italian. I also travel, garden, paint, draw, and play table tennis, the ukulele, and the cello (albeit
badly).

Inessa De Angelis

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Candidate for: Young Liberals of Canada > Policy Chair

Inessa De Angelis

Candidate for: Young Liberals of Canada > Policy Chair

Born in Alberta, raised in British Columbia, and currently living in Ontario, Inessa brings a multi-provincial understanding to the YLC Board.

She has been a dedicated Young Liberal since 2014, working in the riding of Vancouver Quadra between 2014 and 2018. Inessa served as a Data Specialist on Joyce Murray, MP’s 2015 re-election campaign and was the Youth Representative and Communications Manager for the Vancouver Quadra Electoral District Association.

Since moving to Ottawa in 2018 to attend the University of Ottawa, Inessa has held multiple roles with the University of Ottawa Young Liberals, including Director of Communication. Furthermore, Inessa is an active volunteer in the riding of Ottawa Centre and during the 2019 campaign, she served as the Youth Outreach Chair on Catherine McKenna, MP’s re-election campaign.

Since December 2020, Inessa has been the National Policy Chair for the Young Liberals of Canada. Inessa has a wealth of experience in communication, organization, policy, and working collaboratively which she brings to the board. In her roles in Vancouver Quadra, at the University of Ottawa, and working on Parliament Hill, she has worked tirelessly to research, craft, and promote important policies.

Inessa’s vision for the Policy Chair position includes increasing communication with Provincial and Territorial Boards, Campus Clubs and Riding Clubs while providing more opportunities to engagement with policy outside of the policy process. She is committed to working to address both areas and plans on focusing on increasing inclusivity, accessibility, and engagement within the policy process and the Young Liberals of Canada generally. She believes that we can continue to grow our movement and inspire volunteers to make calls and knock on doors through policy engagement. Inessa is passionate about youth engagement in politics, especially encouraging more young women to get involved in the political process.

Ingrid Dandanell

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Candidate for: Senior Liberals’ Commission > Governance Chair

Ingrid Dandanell

Candidate for: Senior Liberals’ Commission > Governance Chair

My name is Ingrid Dandanell. I’m relatively new to the LPC. I am the former Communications Chair & Member, Policy Committee of the SLC(A). Currently, I am the Policy Chair, Edmonton Centre Federal Liberal Association EDA and a member of the Seniors Policy Committee, Alberta Liberal Party. However, I’ve voted Liberal, federally and provincially, for the past 50 years.

Prior to my retirement in 2014, I was the Systems and Documents Librarian, Alberta Legislature Library. I served on the Board of the Canadian Library Association (CLA) as Treasurer. I was also the National Treasurer, Canadian Association of Special Libraries and Information Services (CASLIS); serving two terms. I was the recipient of the CASLIS Award for Special Librarianship in Canada in 2011.

I’m a member of the Disability Advisory Council, Dying with Dignity Canada. My mother also earned an MLS degree. For the last 27 years of her life, she and I lived together. Five years prior to her death, she was diagnosed with Lewy Bodies Dementia. I cared for her in our home.  The circumstances of her death has made me a passionate proponent of every Canadian’s right to choose the manner of their dying.

In terms of full disclosure, I have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder and C-PTSD. I am at least fifth generation who suffers from depression. Thankfully, there are now alternatives to the decisions made by my grandmother and great-great grandfather. I am limited by these mental illnesses only to the degree in which other people stigmatize the illnesses. I see no difference in my need to take medications for my brain’s inability to produce sufficient levels of Serotonin than that of a diabetic who is dependent on daily insulin injections.

Judith Berg

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Candidate for: Senior Liberals’ Commission > SLC Policy Chair

Judith Berg

Candidate for: Senior Liberals’ Commission > SLC Policy Chair

My career spanned management positions in a children’s rehabilitation hospital; employment and education counseling in First Nations’ communities; Directorships in the Operations and Public Affairs departments of the federal government; and the design and delivery of personal development seminars as an entrepreneur. Upon retirement, I volunteered with the Liberal Party of Canada in 2015 as the Senior Rep on the Kelowna-Lake Country EDA. While working with the EDA, I accepted a Director-at-Large position with SLCBC where I assisted in updating the website and managing the Blog. When a request was made by a member of the SLCBC Executive for support, research, and policy advocacy for the Live-In Caregiver Program, I became involved, drawing on my federal government experience with the program. Our research and policy recommendations were presented to the BC Caucus and key Liberal members. The experience locked in my interest in policy and resolution development. At this time, the SLC was introducing a grassroots approach to enhance the engagement of seniors in the development of Party Platform policy. Our process begins with a national survey of SRLs to identify priorities on issues and needs. Realization of the value of this approach was reflected in 4 SLC resolutions being debated at the 2018 Halifax convention. I was elected to the SLCBC Policy Chair following the 2018 Halifax convention, however, midway through my term I was appointed to the SLC Policy Chair position by acclamation. I am seeking another full term to continue to fine-tune a process unique to the LPC and to SLC. In another term, I will emphasize Continuous Engagement over the 2 year policy cycle. This emphasizes advocating and promoting the 2012 resolutions while preparing for the next 2 year cycle. We seek to increase participation of SRLs as our measure of success.

Judith Quinn

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Candidate for: National Women’s Liberal Commission > Policy Chair

Judith Quinn

Candidate for: National Women’s Liberal Commission > Policy Chair

Although born in northern Ontario, I have spent most of my childhood and adult life in Montreal. I graduated with a BSc. in Nursing from McGill and practiced in several areas including serving an Indigenous community in Northern Quebec.  Subsequently I returned to school to study acupuncture. After graduation I opened
my own acupuncture practice in the Montreal area. Providing quality care focused on improving well being has been a driving force in my life.

Together with my husband of 35 years we have raised four vibrant and dynamic children who make us proud every day.  I have had the opportunity and pleasure to travel extensively across Europe, the Middle East and Africa including living in the UAE for 4 years. This has given me tremendous perspective on different peoples and cultures as well as a greater appreciation for the great gifts Canada is blessed with. 

I have been an active member of the LPC since 1999.  I have been involved with the National Women’s Liberal Commission (Quebec) for many years, and worked collaboratively researching, writing and promoting policy resolutions. I have attended many National and Provincial LPC Conventions, actively participating in policy workshops and plenaries. 

In 2018 I was elected Policy Chair of the National Women’s Liberal Commission (NWLC). Over the past 3 years I worked with the wonderful and diverse group of women that make up our NWLC Policy Committee to develop resolutions and to raise awareness around issues that are important to women. I am committed to getting more women involved in politics and in influencing government policy to reflect the concerns and perspectives of women as seen through a Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) lens. My main areas of interest are in health, environment and social justice issues and how all these overlap and are interrelated.

Kathy Ong

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Candidate for: National Women’s Liberal Commission > Organization Chair

Kathy Ong

Candidate for: National Women’s Liberal Commission > Organization Chair

I am Kathy Ong and I would like to be your Organizational Chair for the National Women’s Liberal Commission. I am a Canadian Born Chinese cis-woman, and proud to be a child of two immigrants. My family has always been long time Liberal voters, but I joined the party as volunteer when I moved to Calgary. I volunteered for the 2019 campaign in my home riding of Calgary-Centre and served as NWLC (AB) Policy Chair from June 2019 to February 2021. I have met a lot of great people while volunteering for the Liberal Party, learned a lot about politics
and my country. I have met MPs, Ministers and the Prime Minister, and worked with other Liberals on developing policy resolutions. These are opportunities that I did not realize I could have and would like other Canadians to have. I am passionate about engaging more women in the party and empowering them to apply their skill set to be leaders within the party. I am a Feminist and am most passionate about Women’s rights, human rights, diversity and inclusion, healthcare, and LGBTQ2S+ issues. What is valuable and important to me is how I can positively impact my local communities and advocate for others. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in or have questions about my qualifications, my vision or plan to build the Women’s Commission across the nation. Please also visit my website: kathyong.wordpress.com Thank you and stay well!

Laurent Ruffo-Caracchini

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Candidate for: Young Liberals of Canada > National Vice-Chair, French

Laurent Ruffo-Caracchini

Candidate for: Young Liberals of Canada > National Vice-Chair, French

At 20, my identity is as hyphened as my last name: Italo-Québécois, I was born in Montreal, and spent most of my early years shuttling between University towns and back and forth across the Atlantic. Having completed my elementary schooling at École Secondaire Gabriel-Dumont, and my high school years at Central Secondary in London, Ontario, I’m currently in my final year of an Honors Double Major in Financial Economics and Political Science at Western University.

At a young age, my grandfather, an ex-Catholic Priest who had left the robes due in part to his too-progressive ideals, instilled into me the importance of politics: Berlusconi’s fall, Obama’s rise, Harper’s cuts were formative experiences which we would discuss through the magic of video calls, from a kitchen in snowy Ontario, and a balcony in the Tuscan sun. In 2016, I joined organized politics in the form of my riding youth council, and soon after that, I was volunteering with my local EDA and with my MP, Peter Fragiskatos. Off-election year or not, he lost no opportunity to knock on his constituents’ doors – a work ethic which I’ve come to admire greatly. I’m now the president of the Western University Liberal Association, a group which I’d like to thank for their incredible work over a tough year. Since the 2019 election, I’ve also taken on a spot on the board of the London North-Centre Riding association, and, this year, contributed on the YLC’s Organizational Committee

I consider myself a naturalized Franco-Ontarian: from “Notre Place” to the trillium and Fleur-de-Lys, it is an identity which I am proud to hold, and whose place I intend to strengthen within the young Liberal family. I intend to continue to work to reinforce the equality of French within the organization, carrying with me a special care for the experiences and viewpoints of Francophone minorities outside of Québec.

Layla Sharif

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Candidate for: National Women’s Liberal Commission > National Vice Chair

Layla Sharif

Candidate for: National Women’s Liberal Commission > National Vice Chair

My name is Layla Sharif. I have put my name forward for the position of Vice Chair of NWLC and I am seeking your support in being the successful candidate for this position.

I am a very active and committed Liberal, supporting, and serving in a number of positions both Federally and Provincially I live in Pickering Ontario and I am the Vice Chair of Scarborough Guildwood Federal Liberal Association, Chair of Scarborough Guildwood Women’s Federal Liberal Club, Vice Chair of the National Women’s
Liberal Commission (Ontario) and a member of Pickering Uxbridge Federal Liberal Association. One of the new women’s clubs I am helping to establish is the Durham Women’s Federal Liberal Club.

Provincially I am a Director of Pickering Uxbridge Provincial Liberal Association and the Scarborough Rouge Park Provincial Liberal Association. I am on the Ontario Women’s Liberal Commission (OWLC) Executive serving as the Regional VP (Scarborough/North York).

I am also a highly active member of my community and a supporter of a vast array of community-based organizations. I currently serve as a Member of the Historica-Dominion Institute’s Speakers Bureau, Board Member of the 43 Division-Community Police Liaison Committee, and Member of Canadian Council of Muslim Women-Durham Chapter and President of CCMW-Scarborough Chapter.

I have worked for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Literacy Campaign in Kabul, Afghanistan for 6 years, and speak different languages.

I am a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Recipient of 5 years Volunteer Service Pin with Toronto Police Services-43 Division and 20 years of Services at House of Commons Award.

I am eager to continue to serve the Liberal Party and I feel my experience and expertise would be an invaluable assist to the NWLC in the role of Vice Chair. I would be pleased to chat with you further about my interest in this position.

Lucas Borchenko

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Candidate for: Young Liberals of Canada > National Chair

Lucas Borchenko

Candidate for: Young Liberals of Canada > National Chair

Margaret Stewart

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Candidate for: Senior Liberals’ Commission > SLC Communications Chair

Margaret Stewart

Candidate for: Senior Liberals’ Commission > SLC Communications Chair

I’m Margaret Stewart. I’m running for Communications Chair, Senior Liberals Commission.

I live in the beautiful federal Riding of Burnaby North-Seymour, in British Columbia, but I grew up on Farnham Avenue in the City of Toronto. When I moved to the West Coast in 1974 with my four-year-old I had a potty pail in the back seat and a typewriter in the trunk of my old navy-blue Jaguar. I was lucky and got work in a small Vancouver Island radio station and later in Victoria. Radio in those days was magical. In 2012 I produced a book profiling the pioneering female broadcasters whose work had been ignored by historians. “Radio Ladies” was a labour of love and I am happy to say that the book is now in libraries and schools across Canada.

“Liberalism” is something we are so lucky to have in Canada. After my retirement I applied for the Seniors’ Representative position with the Burnaby-North Seymour EDA. From that appointment I moved into the B.C. Section Communications Chair and then into the Vice-Chair position with the national SLC Communications Committee. I’m passionate about the promotion of policy resolution involvement at the grassroots level. I feel that more Liberal seniors should become acquainted with the fascinating democratic process that we have in Canada, in terms of policy. Communication with seniors and not just Liberal seniors is vital. Communicating is what I do and I hope that you will vote for me. Thank you.

Mike Morrison

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Candidate for: National Board of Directors > Policy Secretary

Mike Morrison

Candidate for: National Board of Directors > Policy Secretary

After almost a decade of active involvement in the Party, I want to be the next Policy Secretary for the Liberal Party of Canada National Board of Directors. It’s an important role that I believe I’m now well prepared for.

I have held Liberal Policy Chair roles at the EDA and regional level and have held just about all other EDA positions (e.g., EDA Chair, Fundraising Chair, Organization Chair) and campaign roles (including Campaign Manager).

I have written and assisted with over 20 policy resolutions, including one that was in the top five in Ontario in the last policy cycle and others that made it to the National Convention floor over the last decade. I’ve worked on campaigns in multiple provinces, helped raise over $200,000 for EDAs, recruit hundreds of volunteers, and have had thousands of conversations with Liberals across Canada.

As your next Policy Secretary, I want to work hard with the National Board, Provincial/Territorial/EDA Policy Chairs and Commissions to further improve the policy process to make it more streamlined and find ways to better ensure interested Liberals can continually write and advocate for policies year-round and every year.

I want to ensure EDAs get more assistance with holding policy forums, writing policy resolutions and promoting Liberal policies. I will be a Policy Secretary who connects with and listens to Liberals from coast to coast to coast to get your input.

I will also bring my organizational experience to the National Board and give valuable input whenever possible.

As your Policy Secretary, I’d be proud to work with Liberals all over Canada to ensure the voices and ideas of Liberals are heard while at the same time staying focused on contributing towards the Liberal Party winning a majority government in the next election and keeping it well beyond then.

Mira Ahmad

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Candidate for: National Board of Directors > Vice-President (English)

Mira Ahmad

Candidate for: National Board of Directors > Vice-President (English)

Mira has been proudly volunteering for the Liberal Party of Canada for nearly a decade. 

After volunteering with the Young Liberals of Canada (Quebec) as President, Mira ran for and became National President of the Young Liberals of Canada in 2015. She started her term at the Biennial Convention in Winnipeg in May 2016, which she co-chaired alongside Randy Boissonnault, Rebecca Chartrand and Terry Duguid. 

As President of the Young Liberals of Canada, Mira worked closely with Canadian youth to champion progressive causes building towards 2019. She developed and implemented the YLC’s new charter, paving the way for a more open and effective commission, with the most transparent and engaging policy process we have ever seen. Under her presidency, the YLC grew by an additional 10 campus clubs, for a total of 60 from coast to coast to coast. It also established 40 new youth riding clubs and grew the YLC membership by 15,000 registered Liberals.

Mira was very active on Team Trudeau in Montreal during the 2015 election. She was campaign manager for Frank Baylis’ nomination – who became the MP for Pierrefonds-Dollard. She also notably managed Rachel Bendayan’s campaign in Outremont, which under her leadership increased the Liberal vote share by 18% against former NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair.

In 2018, Mira became the youngest elected Vice-President (English) in the party’s history. Since then, she’s worked with thousands of Liberals to empower and grow our membership, elevate the voices of women and young people and ensure candidates and riding associations have the tools they need to win. 

Mira is seeking a second mandate as Vice-President (English) on the National Board of Directors.

In her day job, Mira works as Director of Communications and Operations for Canada 2020, Canada’s leading, independent and progressive think-tank.

Molly Wilkins

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Candidate for: Young Liberals of Canada > Women’s Representative of the Young Liberals

Molly Wilkins

Candidate for: Young Liberals of Canada > Women’s Representative of the Young Liberals

My name is Molly Wilkins and I am so excited to be running for the position of Women’s Representative of the Young Liberals of Canada! My journey with Canadian politics started in 2019 where I volunteered in my home riding of London-West. After the 2019 Federal election I continued my involvement with politics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario– where I currently studying Political Science. At McMaster I joined the McMaster Young Liberals as the Federal Finance Officer in January 2020, and in May of 2020 I became the Federal President! Within the Hamilton community, I work with an Ontario Women’s Liberal Commission club to make Ontario politics more accessible and representative to young women in the area.

I’m incredibly honoured and excited to be pursuing a position on the Young Liberals of Canada Board of Directors. Uplifting women who have historically been ignored and silenced is at the centre of my political interests. Not only listening, but also passing the microphone to women to tell their stories and share their experiences. Breaking down the barriers that many women face when trying to enter into politics, is central to my platform as I run for this position with YLC. Not all women face the same barriers when trying to enter into politics, and it is our duty to continue to challenge these barriers and to advocate for more women with unique backgrounds and experiences to hold important positions within Canadian politics.

Nicholas Ellis

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Candidate for: Young Liberals of Canada > National Organization Chair

Nicholas Ellis

Candidate for: Young Liberals of Canada > National Organization Chair

Nicholas Ellis—born and raised in Winterton, Newfoundland and Labrador; Bachelor of Humanities and Social Sciences student at Memorial University of Newfoundland; member of the Premier’s Youth Council; Youth Representative on the Carbonear – Trinity – Bay De Verde Liberal District Association; perpetual campaigner; keen traveller; and moviegoer at the cinemas.

Nicholas, being from a small town in rural Newfoundland—is a firm advocate for engagement and bringing all stakeholders to the table. He brings that passion to his role as your Organization-Chair for the Young Liberals of Canada.

Nicholas is looking forward to meeting and working for and with you.

Reina Sinclair

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Candidate for: Indigenous Peoples’ Commission > Vice-Chair (Operations)

Reina Sinclair

Candidate for: Indigenous Peoples’ Commission > Vice-Chair (Operations)

Reina was born, and currently resides in, Regina, SK and brings a wealth of Liberal volunteer and campaign experience to the National Executive.

A lifelong Liberal, Reina has volunteered in several local LPC campaigns including candidate’s Della Anaquod, Louis Browne and Jordan Ames-Sinclair in the last Federal Election.

Reina’s campaign experience includes as a Federal candidate in 1993 and a Provincial Sask Liberal candidate in 1999 and 2016. Reina has served as Indigenous delegate for numerous LPC conventions since the LPC Aboriginal Peoples Commission came into existence in 1991.

A proud Mother of 3 boys, and Nana to 5, Reina is currently attending the First Nations University of Canada full time pursuing a Political Science Degree while employed with the Metis Nation – Saskatchewan as the Director of Environment.

The political involvement of her twin grandsons inspires Reina to again step forward and return to seek another term on the National Indigenous Peoples Commission – this time as Vice Chair Operations. Reina has previously served the IPC in two Executive positions including as IPC SK Regional President. She served on the LPC Council of Presidents Executive and as EDA President for Regina Qu’Appelle. Reina is currently the standing President of the Regina-Qu’Appelle Federal Liberal Association.

Reina makes it a priority to encourage her own grandchildren, and all young people, to actively participate in politics at all levels, Indigenous, municipal, provincial, and federal, as an important civic responsibility.

Sam Bhalesar

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Candidate for: National Board of Directors > Party Secretary

Sam Bhalesar

Candidate for: National Board of Directors > Party Secretary

Born and raised in the Oshawa-Whitby area in Ontario, Sam became involved in politics at a young age. Her passion and love for politics set her on a journey as a young Liberal at 15. She took on numerous roles on the Student Council, with the Ontario Secondary School Student’s Association, and as a United Nations Youth Delegate. 30 years later, she is as passionate and dedicated to the Liberal Party as when she was as a youth.
 
During her post-graduate studies (Hamilton, Winnipeg), Sam continued to volunteer with the Liberals in many ridings, organizing many women’s clubs and working with a number of MPs in their constituents’ offices. In 2003, Sam was selected as a Manitoba provincial Liberal candidate. Following the election, she was hired as Director of the National Women’s Liberal Commission (NWLC) and she also provided support to the Indigenous Peoples’ Commission. She has served as Vice President for the Carleton Riding Association, Vice President Ontario, NWLC, Interim President (NWLC), and most recently as Party Secretary. 
 
Sam and her husband, Nav of 17 years, have two beautiful boys, Eshaan (10 yr) and Nivaan (7 yr). She is a dedicated, proud mother who hopes her children will embrace the Liberal values that she believes in and have the same opportunities to serve Canadians as she has.  In addition to her dedication to her family and the Party, Sam is an active member of the community. She devotes her time to support many charities and not-for-profit organizations.  
 
Sam strongly believes that by being a part of the Liberal family, she will make a significant and meaningful contribution to the future of Canada – where the economy will be strong, the environment will be clean and green and most of all, where race, gender and sexual orientation will not apply.

Sara Mirwaldt

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Candidate for: Young Liberals of Canada > National Vice-Chair, English

Sara Mirwaldt

Candidate for: Young Liberals of Canada > National Vice-Chair, English

My name is Sara Jessica Mirwaldt and I am running to be your next Vice Chair English of the Young Liberals of Canada. I currently live with my family and three dogs in Cooks Creek, Manitoba, which is a small rural town just east of Winnipeg. I am a third year student at the University of Manitoba, majoring in Criminology, and I currently work as a legal assistant. Upon finishing my undergraduate degree I plan to apply to law school and pursue a career in family law.

My involvement with the Liberal Party of Canada began three years ago. Since then, I have served as the YLC(M) Chair and as a Director on the Provencher Federal Liberal Association. My team in Manitoba has been working hard to build up membership, empower youth to be involved, and provide our members with an opportunity to have their voices heard.

This is work that I want to continue on a national level. The young liberals are more than just the youth wing of the party. We are volunteers, we are policy makers, we are leaders, we are a community.

To continue our organization’s success we need strong and accessible representation on the central level. We need to ensure that updated and tailored resources are created for every region of the country. We need to strengthen our foundation, build up our membership, and revitalize our clubs to create a strong community from coast to coast. I want to be a strong voice on the executive to advocate for what our members need. Wherever you are from in the country, I want to ensure that you have the support and resources to make the most of your experience as a young liberal.

I graciously ask for your support this April!

Thank you.

Suzanne Cowan

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Candidate for: National Board of Directors > President

Suzanne Cowan

Candidate for: National Board of Directors > President

A lifelong Liberal, proud maritimer and mother of two amazing daughters, Suzanne was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Suzanne has served for the last three years as President of the Liberal Party of Canada after being elected at the party’s convention in Halifax in 2018. Prior to that, Suzanne served as Vice-President (English) on the National Board.

When not volunteering with the Liberal team, Suzanne has worked as a senior executive in several public and private sector organizations. While working in the private sector in Toronto, Suzanne joined Justin Trudeau’s leadership campaign and had central roles in the 2015 and 2019 federal campaigns.  

Suzanne believes the party needs to inspire the imagination and the hearts of Canadians so that they see themselves reflected in the Liberal family and represented by the Liberal government. This, she believes, will be the key to the Liberal Party’s future success.

Suzy Kies

Candidate for: Indigenous Peoples’ Commission > Co-Chair (female)

Suzy Kies

Candidate for: Indigenous Peoples’ Commission > Co-Chair (female)