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article imageLiberal MP Rob Oliphant running on 'politics of people' campaign Special

By Andrew Moran     Apr 2, 2011 in Politics
Toronto - Don Valley West federal electoral district Liberal Member of Parliament Rob Oliphant is running a “politics of people” campaign and is planning to send his Conservative adversary, John Carmichael, “back to the country club.”
On a warm sunny Saturday in the Greater Toronto Area, various federal political campaigns began to canvass in neighbourhoods across the city. The re-election campaign of Liberal Member of Parliament Rob Oliphant continued their canvassing in the riding of Don Valley West.
Voters packed Oliphant’s campaign office located on Laird Drive to speak with the MP on various political issues and asked him questions on his campaign. When Oliphant supporters were not speaking with the political representative, many gathered and discussed foreign policy topics, issues of concern to the riding and the present state of the House of Commons.
Prior to the volunteers hitting the pavement, Oliphant, former Liberal Member of Parliament of Don Valley West John Godfrey and Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament for Don Valley West and Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne provided words of support and encouragement for Oliphant and his staffers.
Liberal Member of Parliament Rob Oliphant speaking with supporters.
Liberal Member of Parliament Rob Oliphant speaking with supporters.
Who is Rob Oliphant?
In 2008, Oliphant became the successor to MP John Godfrey by defeating Conservative candidate John Carmichael. He is currently the Liberal Party Critic for Multiculturalism and Member of the Standing Committee for Citizenship and Immigration.
Oliphant has been serving as the Co-Chair of the Canada-India Parliamentary Friendship Group, Treasurer-Secretary of the Canada-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group and the Liberal Caucus’ Intergovernmental Affairs Liaison with Queen’s Park on Ontario Issues.
The Liberal MP has worked extensively throughout the community over the years, including working in small organizations that assist in affordable housing, economic growth, promotion of justice and peace and reducing poverty.
“Rob has fostered the construction of three housing and long-term care facilities for seniors and low-income families,” writes Oliphant’s campaign website. “The most recent was the newly opened Cedarhurst located at Bayview Avenue and York Mills Road, a not-for-profit, community residences specifically dedicated to the care of seniors living with Alzheimer disease or related dementia.”
Since the 1980s, Oliphant has worked behind the scenes in provincial politics. He took on a senior role in Ontario Premier David Peterson’s government and worked as an executive assistant to Mavis Wilson, Ontario Minister for Women’s Issues, and Ontario Minister of Culture and Communications, Christine Hart.
Former Liberal Member of Parliament John Godfrey.
Former Liberal Member of Parliament John Godfrey.
Oliphant speaks on Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government
“He [Michael Ignatieff] asks questions. He engages with people and I think, in these last two years, has engaged with the country,” said Oliphant. “He has been in every village, town and city across the country. Last summer, he did 10 provinces and three territories, and he listened.”
During Ignatieff’s cross tour country, Oliphant said his party leader has been listening and now, since the federal election campaign began last week, he is doing the talking about “getting that message out.”
Since Oliphant’s election more than two years ago, Oliphant said there have been many days where it has been difficult. During his time in the House of Commons, Oliphant said he has received letters from his constituents stating that they can’t tolerate many of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives’ “so-called tough on crime agenda” and “their economic mismanagement.”
“Believe me, we can’t tolerate it those,” said Oliphant. “But timing is important in politics. So we’ve had to sit back from time to time and had to support bills we’re uncomfortable with and I think we’ll have an omnibus return to sanity bill when we’re in power.”
Federal, provincial politicians talk Oliphant
Kathleen Wynne is the Premier of Ontario
Kathleen Wynne is the Premier of Ontario
Although former Liberal MP John Godfrey continued to state in jest that he is glad that he is out of federal politics, Godfrey believes Oliphant has been a great Member of Parliament for two and a half years and “now has to do all the legwork.”
“Rob has done a fantastic job, I am so glad I handed over the job to Rob,” said former Liberal MP John Godfrey. “Rob has been able to do it. The first thing is, he won the seat. But what's really important is that he has worked so hard for everybody. He has built up that reputation.”
Godfrey stated that Oliphant has been a good representative for the Don Valley West riding because he does not limit himself to the riding and has worked with Canadians everywhere, which is something “that should be recognized.”
“I think that there is a confluence of nastiness that is happening right now and that will help us,” said Ontario Minister of Transportation, Kathleen Wynne. “We have been articulate and intelligent in this campaign. We have an articulate and intelligent leader running in this riding. We have an articulate and intelligent leader of the Liberal Party and that will shine through the light.”
The Liberal MPP quoted Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty by saying that the general public can “despair all by themselves,” but noted that the public needs leaders to bring them up, which is something that both Oliphant and Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff do.
“So let’s go do that.”
Liberal Member of Parliament Rob Oliphant re-election campaign staff.
Liberal Member of Parliament Rob Oliphant re-election campaign staff.
Information about Don Valley West
The federal electoral district, which was established in 1976, is located in the province of Ontario. The riding sits in uptown Toronto; stretching from Yonge Street and Lawrence Avenue to Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue and York Mills Road and Bayview Avenue to the Don River.
There are approximately 115,539 people residing in Don Valley West, most of which maintain a modest middle income. The riding has the highest amount of Muslims in the country.
Conservative Party nominee John Carmichael, New Democrat Party nominee Nicole Yovanoff and Green Party nominee Georgina Wilcock will vie for a seat in the House of Commons in the upcoming federal election.
More about Canada Election 2011, rob oliphant, liberal party of canada, john carmichael, Politics
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