Friday, August 22, 2008

Life on the Campaign Trail

Author's Note: I wrote this piece as the August 21 "Guelph Beat" column in case I wasn't able to interview Gloria Kovach in time for deadline. That did eventually happen so the article posted here on August 21st is the one that ran in Echo Weekly.

I has originally hoped that this week I’d be bringing you my candidate profile of Gloria Kovach, but there’s been some scheduling trouble between my camp and hers in finding a time to talk. (And by “my camp” I mean me. I am my camp.) So since I’m without, I thought I’d talk a little about the campaign. Now on average I go to about two or three events per week, as well as meeting a candidate in person to interview them for this column. A hectic schedule to be sure, but by-elections don’t happen everyday.


The name of the event was “Summer Fling” and it was a gathering of Ontario’s Young Liberals. Mostly university students and recent university grads, many events are a part of the Fling, but most importantly, it brings in a lot of high-profile party members to talk to the young people, a fact very important given that this year’s festivities were being held in Guelph.


It’s not often that campaign events happen in my part of town, but today’s special. My destination is the Blood Donor Clinic on Silvercreek where Green candidate Mike Nagy and his party leader Elizabeth May have come to give back. Look on the bulletin board of milestone donors and you’ll see Nagy’s picture. He says that he’s given blood regularly since ’86, although he had to take a break while he was doing a lot of career-related travelling. For May, it was the first time she’d given blood since her hip surgery last Fall.


It’s been nearly a week since a candidate for the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada joined the race. Campaigning on the issue of animal abuse and their protection, the day brings me to another “below the radar” issue: the re-classification of Natural Health Products. Bill C-51 will propose an amendment to the Food & Drugs Act that will categorize NHPs as therapeutic products and thus filing them into the same category as pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices.

Balderdash, says NDP candidate Tom King, who received some help spreading that message from Trinity-Spadina MP Olivia Chow. The duo called for a Bill that would install NHPs in a third category with its own stipulations and regulations. The press conference was held in front of the Stone Store in downtown Guelph, a shop that sells many of the products that could end up banned or held indefinitely for approval should Bill C-51 become law.


As I plug away at another Echo column, I sit and wait for the Kovach campaign to get back to me. So if anyone from the Conservative camp is reading this, have your people call my people. And again, by “my people,” I mean me,

For more information on any of these events, or on other by-election stuff going down, please visit my blog at

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