THE ELECTION ISSUE SHATTERED: National Association of Federal Retirees

 
THE ELECTION ISSUE SHATTERED: National Association of Federal Retirees
FALL 2015
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               The great divide: Divorce
               and the older couple PAGE 21

               Berlin by daylight PAGE 25

               Fitness for the long haul
               PAGE 34

   THE
   ELECTION ISSUE

   SHATTERED:
   How the permanent campaign is
   changing Canadian politics PAGE 8

   GROUND GAMES:
   The five ridings to watch PAGE 12

                                      PM40065047
THE ELECTION ISSUE SHATTERED: National Association of Federal Retirees
ASSOCIATION

                          So long, everyone.
                          IT’S BEEN AN HONOUR.
                          I remember it like it was yesterday.                  have led, supported or implemented on behalf
                                                                                of our members.
                          It was 1996, a full year into my retirement.
                                                                                This is an exciting time for us, but it isn’t
                          My wife and I were invited to a meeting at
                                                                                without challenges. The advocacy work we do
                          our local FSNA branch. Being newcomers to
                                                                                is ongoing, with long-term goals that can, at
                          the area, we were keen to meet new folks
                                                                                times, be difficult to bring into focus. And it’s
                          — and interested in learning more about
                                                                                become increasingly difficult to attract new
                          the Association.
                                                                                volunteers — our greatest strength — to carry
                          The evening proved pleasant and, a few months         out the important and rewarding advocacy
                          later, we were invited to another meeting. The        work we do.                                          Gary Oberg             Sylvia Ceacero
                          branch president told the audience the branch
                                                                                I’ve come to realize that now is the time for
                          needed volunteers with computer experience.
                                                                                a renewal of leadership. I hope the leaders
                          An abrupt jab to my ribs startled me — it was
                                                                                of tomorrow will continue to move the                 Sylvia Ceacero has resigned from
                          my wife, encouraging me to step up. My first
                                                                                Association forward with fresh ideas, forging         her position as CEO of the National
                          instinct was to decline (surely it would cut into
                                                                                this organization into an increasingly relevant,      Association of Federal Retirees,
                          golf time) but, after further elbowing, I agreed to
                                                                                powerful voice for federal retirees.                  effective July 31, 2015.
                          at least look into the idea.
                                                                                Although a year remains in my mandate,                We are thankful for Sylvia's dedication
                          That was 18 years ago. Passion and
                                                                                I believe it is time for me to move on.               and outstanding contributions over
                          enthusiasm for the Association grew within
                          me, and my belief in our mission and vision           It’s been a distinct honour to serve this             the past six years to the Association’s
                          flourished as the National Association of             membership — a membership that has                    members, stakeholders, partners,
                          Federal Retirees grew and evolved.                    more than doubled in size since I joined.             volunteers and staff. With her
                                                                                I will cherish my years of service to this            determined and tireless efforts, Sylvia
                          Our mission and vision have become more                                                                     has successfully managed the many
                                                                                organization, as well as each member on
                          inclusive, yet we remain focused on our                                                                     demands of our organization and
                                                                                whose behalf I’ve worked, each friendship that
                          raison d’être. We’ve recognized the wisdom                                                                  was instrumental in recruiting an
                                                                                blossomed with volunteers and members.
                          in advocating for retirement security for all                                                               excellent senior staff team. Under
                          Canadians, along with health care security,           I owe a huge debt of gratitude to CEO
                                                                                                                                      Sylvia’s leadership and prudent
                          veterans’ and seniors’ issues; we all stand           Sylvia Ceacero and her dedicated staff.
                                                                                                                                      fiscal management, the Association
                          to win when we work towards making these              These wonderful individuals work tirelessly
                                                                                                                                      has experienced an exciting growth
                          areas better. But we have not lost sight of           on our behalf; without them, we would not
  SPECIAL RATES           the single most important constant in this            be the strong and progressive Association
                                                                                                                                      in membership and revenues that
                                                                                                                                      bodes very well for the future of
FOR ASSOCIATION MEMBERS   Association: our focus on protecting the              we are today.
                                                                                                                                      the organization.
                          pensions and benefits of our members.
                                                                                It is with mixed emotions that I bid farewell to
                                                                                                                                      Although Sylvia is moving on to new
                          We’ve adapted to the digital age and                  my director responsibilities with the Association.
                                                                                                                                      challenges, the National Association of
                          we’re keeping pace with rapidly changing              It has been a privilege to serve you, and I leave
                                                                                                                                      Federal Retirees will continue to benefit
                          demographics. Sage magazine, a new                    with the hope that I may have played a small
                                                                                                                                      from the positive legacy she leaves
                          governance framework, new membership                  role in the evolution of our Association during a
                                                                                                                                      behind. We wish her all the best.
                          cards, the option to pay membership fees              time of tremendous change.
                          online and, soon, a new website that will                                                                   Mrs. Debbie Bernhardt, current Director
                                                                                Sincerely,
                          serve as a retirement portal for our members                                                                of Finance and Administration, will be
                          — these are just some of the ambitious and            GARY OBERG                                            the acting CEO until a new CEO has
                          successful projects our National Office staff         Former President                                      been appointed.
                                                                                National Association of Federal Retirees

                                                                                                                                                  FALL 2015 VOL. 7 SAGE  
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THE ELECTION ISSUE SHATTERED: National Association of Federal Retirees
ASSOCIATION

                          17                                                              25
                                                                                                                                                                  DEAR SAGE
                                                                                                                                                                  Keep those letters and emails coming, folks. Our mailing address is:
                                                                                                                                                                  National Association of Federal Retirees, 1052 St. Laurent Boulevard, Ottawa, ON K1K 3B4
                                                                                                                             PUBLISHER                            Or you can email us at sage@fsna.com
                                                                                                                       Sayward Montague

                                                               21                                            Manager, Advocacy and Communications
                                                                                                                               EDITOR
                                                                                                                            Doug Beazley
                                                                                                                                 CFO                              Having just read Ron Seabrook’s indignant letter (in our summer         Pension Wars
                                                                                                                           John Butterfield
 8                                                                                                                  EDITORIAL COORDINATORS
                                                                                                                Karen Ruttan and Angela Johnston
                                                                                                                                                                  issue — ed.), I cannot help but respond.

                                                                                                                                                                  Who am I? I am a former proud Conservative, who was a delegate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dear Sage,

                                 12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Your article in the summer edition of Sage (The Coming War Over
                                                                                                                      CREATIVE CONSULTANT                         to the PC convention of May 2003 held in Toronto. After attending
                                                                                                                            Sally Douglas                                                                                                 Retirement) speaks to the issue of pension envy and the federal
                                                                                                                                                                  this horrible meeting during which the Harper gang hijacked the old
                                                                                                                           CONTRIBUTORS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          government's ambition to have us all doing with less (except
                                                                                                                                                                  PC party, I could not remain a Conservative. I am now very much in
CONTENTS                                                                                                 Susan Delacourt, Paul Barber, Elizabeth Thompson,                                                                                senators and MPs) by forcing pensioners into target benefit plans
                                                                                                         Alan Freeman, BJ Siekierski, James Munson, Janice        favour of strategic voting. The strategic vote is a means of getting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          rather than the current defined benefit plans they have earned.
                                                                                                        Dickson, Alice Musabende, Mike Bruce, Sue McGarvie        rid of Harper’s disastrous regime.
 3 A MESSAGE FROM FORMER                           32 ROAD RULES: EVEN SHORT TRIPS                                    TRANSLATION SERVICES
                                                                                                                  Annie Bourret and Lynda Bolduc                  Harper Conservatives are destroying Canada, including Canadian
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It is the government itself that has been propagating
     PRESIDENT GARY OBERG                               NEED INSURANCE                                                                                                                                                                    falsehoods such as advising the private sector that these
                                                                                                                          GRAPHIC DESIGN                          science and Canadian lakes and just about everything that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          pensions are unsustainable.
 5   DEAR SAGE                                     33   MOVIN’ ON UP                                    Two Blonde Chicks Inc. Design + Marketing Group           Canadians used to hold dear. Mr. Seabrook didn’t make it clear
                                                        Whether it’s to the east side or the west                            COVER ART                            whether he is in favour of Canada’s traditional Conservatism or         I am amazed that the press has not looked deeply into the facts
 8 DIVIDE AND CONQUER                                   side, watch out for some common pitfalls                          Patrick Corrigan                        Harper’s disastrous agenda. The traditional Conservatives, as I had     and reported same. I believe there is great ignorance out there
     How the permanent campaign is killing              when comparing moving prices.                                      PHOTOGRAPHY                                                                                                    about how federal pensions actually work and when people are
                                                                                                                                                                  been, are likely to despise Harper and all he stands for. No doubt
     the idea of ‘national’ politics — with                                                                             Matthew Usherwood
                                                                                                                                                                  there are numerous former Conservatives who share my views.             told that the federal government actually "stole" some 30 billion
     dire consequences for how we govern           34 FITNESS FOR THE LONG HAUL                                               PRINTING
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          dollars from my husband's RCMP pension (along with others),
     ourselves. SUSAN DELACOURT                         Don’t let the return of cool weather divert                    St. Joseph Print Group                     — K. Jean Cottam, PhD
                                                        you from your fitness goals. MIKE BRUCE                                                                                                                                           they are truly dumbfounded.
12 ELECTION 2015 — WHERE THE                                                                              Letters to the Editor or to contact the National
     RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD                         35 MONKEY BUSINESS                                             Association of Federal Retirees:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Perhaps (the National Association of Federal Retirees) should place
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          full-page editorials in Canada's newspapers across the country
     Forget the national polls. Here are five           When it comes to love and sex, our genes             613.745.2559 (toll-free 1.855.304.4700)              Thank you for the excellent article on the subjects of assisted death
     ridings that bear watching. PAUL BARBER            do a lot of the thinking for us. SUE MCGARVIE    1052 St. Laurent Boulevard, Ottawa ON K1K 3B4                                                                                    putting into perspective exactly what has happened. I believe it
                                                                                                                                                                  and palliative care (‘A Question of Death and Life'). Those with the
                                                                                                                         sage@fsna.com                                                                                                    is time to hit Stephen Harper where it hurts. His only ambition is
17 THE POLITICS OF RETIREMENT                      37 ASK THE HEALTH OFFICER                                                                                      same opinion might also find the book by Atul Gawande, titled
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          to further erode the public service and then tell everyone he has
     As the population ages, voters worry               Health care is a provincial responsibility,         Sage Magazine is produced under license.              "Being Mortal", worth reading.
     more and more about how they'll live in                                                                 Publication # 40065047 ISSN 2292-7166                                                                                        balanced the budget — unfortunately on the backs of those same
                                                        but how can federal government policies
     retirement. We spoke to representatives of         affect the health care system and our                                                                     Keep up the good work.                                                  people who serve our country. Shame on him and the rest of his
                                                                                                                 Return undeliverable copies to:
     the major federal parties to find out how          insurance plans?                                                                                                                                                                  cronies in the Conservative Party of Canada.
     they plan to tackle the problem.
                                                                                                             Sage Magazine, 17 York Street, Suite 201             Sincerely,
                                                                                                                      Ottawa ON K1N 9J6
                                                   38 ASK THE PENSION OFFICER                                                                                     Baily Seshagiri
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Keep up the good work in protecting those who worked tirelessly
21   WELCOME TO SPLITSVILLE                                                                             For information on advertising in Sage, please contact:                                                                           for the good of this country only to be tossed to the wind at the
     The number of couples divorcing later
     in life is on the rise. What’s going on?
                                                   39 ASK THE VETERANS OFFICER                          Reid Savein: 416.898.9299 | info@searchlings.com                                                                                  whim of a government obsessed with the bottom line!

     ELIZABETH THOMPSON
                                                   40 ADVOCACY IN ACTION                                      To become a preferred partner of the
                                                                                                         National Association of Federal Retirees, contact
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          — Julie Dunn
                                                        Let’s make Election 2015 our moment.
25 BERLIN BY DAYLIGHT                                                                                          Sayward Montague at 613.745.2559
     Once a city shadowed by its past, Berlin
     has emerged as one of the world’s most
                                                   41 ASSOCIATION NEWS                                             Cover price $4.95 per issue
                                                                                                             Member subscription is $5.40 per year,
     dazzling tourism destinations. ALAN FREEMAN   43 BRANCH ANNOUNCEMENTS                                    included in Association membership

31 ASK THE PHARMACIST                              46 IN MEMORIAM
                                                                                                           Non-member subscription is $14.80 per year
                                                                                                           Non-members contact National Association
     Better ways to beat pain.                                                                                of Federal Retirees for subscriptions

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THE ELECTION ISSUE SHATTERED: National Association of Federal Retirees
ASSOCIATION

I read your excellent article but found the research somewhat            I am a retired federal public servant, and I golf with seven other                                                                         CALLING ALL MEMBERS
light. In 1981 the Saskatchewan government set up a new, fully           retirees, none of whom were public servants.
funded Defined Contribution Plan (DC) for all new employees.
                                                                         On hearing that my contribution to my health care premiums will be
Existing employees had to make a choice between remaining in
                                                                         increased from 25 per cent to 50 per cent, their question to me was
the old Defined Benefit Plan (DB) or switching to the new plan.

                                                                                                                                                                                     IT’S TIME TO FLY
                                                                         "Why should we pay 75 per cent of your premiums?"
The option was well explained to employees and the change met
little resistance. What a great opportunity now exists to examine        I wanted to run away and hide.
these two opposing types of pension plans when considering the
                                                                         — Howard Perrigo
proposed Target Benefit Pension Plan. The Saskatchewan plans have
co-existed for over 30 years, thus making for a great case study. This
is especially interesting in light of what the investment market has
gone through during that time. An interesting/fascinating comparison
would be to calculate actual pension payouts at specific points in
                                                                         I just finished reading the summer issue from cover to cover and
                                                                         thoroughly enjoyed it. The articles were interesting, succinct and
                                                                                                                                                                                    REFER TO WIN
time for the DC and DB plans, then factoring in a hypothetical Target    informative. Thank you!                                                                                                        CONTEST
Benefit Plan payout for the same periods. This case study would
                                                                         Keep up the good work.
explain what is being proposed in very real terms.
                                                                         — Nona Nalley
Advice from actuaries can be somewhat self-serving. Actuaries
make their living charging fees for time-consuming, complex,
very expensive pension valuations which have to be done regularly
by law for all DB plans. DC plans do not require actuaries, which
make them far less costly to operate. Target Benefit Pensions are
a compromise … giving actuaries the same or even more work.
You can draw your own conclusions.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Refer a new member for a chance to
                                                                                                                                                                                    win up to 180,000 Aeroplan Miles                          ®

— Victor Klassen
                                                                                                                                                                                     with our new Refer to Win contest.

                                                                                                                                                                                     To enter visit federalretirees.ca/ReferToWin

                                   SPEAK OUT FOR                                                                                                                                                                              180,00
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THE ELECTION ISSUE SHATTERED: National Association of Federal Retirees
FEATURE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            FEATURE

                                                                                                                                               Along the Trans-Canada                          the mass-market broadcasters. This is a         THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

                                                                                                                                                                                               party that has built its electoral success on
                                                                                                                                               highway, near the little Manitoba               finding target audiences in strategic areas
                                                                                                                                               town of Landmark and not                        across the country and building, in the words
                                                                                                                                               far outside Winnipeg, a sign                    of former Conservative campaign chief Tom
                                                                                                                                                                                               Flanagan, a “minimum winning coalition.”
                                                                                                                                               stands at the side of the road:
                                                                                                                                                                                               Flanagan, who has written some of the
                                                                                                                                               “Longitudinal Centre of Canada.                 most insightful books on how Harper’s
                                                                                                                                               96° (degrees) 48’ 35.”                          Conservatives win and keep power, was             A scene from the 2011 election debate:
                                                                                                                                                                                               one of the academics taking part this             Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe, and
                                                                                                                                               For mapmakers, it’s easy enough to find         year in the Canadian Political Science            Prime Minister Stephen Harper look on as
                                                                                                                                               the country’s dead centre: just count up                                                          Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff responds to
                                                                                                                                                                                               Association’s all-day workshop on the             a question Wednesday, April 13, 2011.
                                                                                                                                               the meridians east to west and divide by        so-called “permanent campaign.” This is
                                                                                                                                               two. But politics is a lot more complicated     the phenomenon of elections that never
                                                                                                                                               than cartography — and Canada’s political       really begin or end — where parties never
                                                                                                                                               centre has no handy signpost.                   stop fighting each other and the periods
                                                                                                                                               Though Canadian voters are hearing a lot        between the official election campaigns         This is the phenomenon of
                                                                                                                                               about the plight of the middle class in this    still look an awful lot like the campaigns      elections that never really
                                                                                                                                               campaign, the election battle itself isn’t      themselves. Permanent campaigning
                                                                                                                                               being fought anywhere near the middle of        sharpens differences between parties,           begin or end — where
                                                                                                                                               the road, politically speaking. In a campaign   distilling everything into distinct choices:
                                                                                                                                                                                               left versus right, business versus unions …
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               parties never stop fighting
                                                                                                                                               climate dominated by “micro-targeting,”
                                                                                                                                               niche audiences, polarization and “playing      even good versus evil. It generally does not    each other and the periods
                                                                                                                                                                                               reward collaboration between parties — or
                                                                                                                                               to the base”, our political ideas about
                                                                                                                                               Canada as a single, mass-market nation          politicians who try to find middle ground.      between the official
                                                                                                                                               are looking more and more like relics of        At the CPSA meeting, Flanagan talked            election campaigns still
                                                                                                                                               another time.                                   about how the “mushy middle” can end up
                                                                                                                                                                                               pushed to the sidelines in modern Canadian
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               look an awful lot like the
                                                                                                                                               Putting it another way, we’ve travelled
                                                                                                                                               some distance since Pierre Trudeau talked       politics — and how this could be bad news       campaigns themselves.
                                                                                                                                               about a nation “greater than the sum of         for the traditionally centrist Liberal party.
                                                                                                                                               its parts”, the place Joe Clark described as    Flanagan called it “invasion from the
                                                                                                                                               a “community of communities.” Federal           margins” (which sounds like a great name        can use. “Shutting down the national unity
                                                                                                                                               political campaigns in Canada are now run       for a science-fiction flick, come to think      issue has really hurt the Liberal party by
                                                                                                                                               by people skilled at seeing the nation as a     of it). It happens, he said, when politics      forcing politics back into a one-dimensional
                                                                                                                                               series of small, demographic targets — a        is focused on one thing — such as the           mould,” he told me in an email.
                                                                                                                                               community of its parts, you might say. And      economy — and a left-right conflict takes       So it may not be a mere coincidence

                           AND                                          CONQUER
                                                                                                                                               what’s true for the campaign is true, more      shape as a result. When that happens,           that the Liberal party was politically pre-
                                                                                                                                               or less, for governance as well.                said Flanagan, “centre parties tend to get      eminent in the 20th-century age of mass
                                                                                                                                               One sign of the decline of mass-market          squeezed out if they have competitors           marketing — and has done less well in the
                                                                                                                                               politics could be found in how the Harper       on both the left and right.” Flanagan was       21st century, the age of micro-targeted
                                                                                                                                               Conservatives approached the leaders’           speaking in the early days of the New           niche marketing.
                                                                                                                                               election debates this year. In May, the         Democratic Party’s surge in the polls, which
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has said on
                                                                                                                                               Conservatives announced that Prime              continued well into the summer and had
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               numerous occasions that while micro-
                              How the permanent campaign is killing the idea of                                                                Minister Stephen Harper likely would not be     pundits talking about the coming election
                                                                                                                                                                                               as a stark confrontation between the right
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               targeting may win elections, it’s not a
                                                                                                                                               participating in the traditional debates held
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               great tool for government. Back in 2012,
                               ‘national’ politics — with dire consequences for                                                                by the broadcast consortium of the major        and the left — with the Liberals as also-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               before he became leader, Trudeau talked to
                                                                                                                                               TV networks, opting instead to take part in     rans, third players.
                                           how we govern ourselves.                                                                            a series of smaller debates.                    Centrist parties such as the Liberals do well
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               me for my book, Shopping For Votes, and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               explained why Liberals have been less than
                                                                                                                                               What was interesting about this decision was    when national unity is an issue, Flanagan       eager to embrace micro-targeting and the
                                                              SUSAN DELACOURT                                                                                                                  said, because it adds an extra dimension
                                                                                                                                               the fact that Conservatives believed they                                                       segmentation of the electorate. In his mind,
                                                                                                                                               wouldn’t pay a political price for abandoning   to polarized politics that a centrist party     those are the tools of polarized politics.

              Prime Minister Stephen Harper addresses supporters in Truro, N.S. on Friday, May 15, 2015.   THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
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THE ELECTION ISSUE SHATTERED: National Association of Federal Retirees
FEATURE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     FEATURE

“Parties that are positioned on the left or   one-nation governance. “Micro-targeting          the election, and all the political parties     150 corporate Canada CEOs to send a

                                                                                                                                                                                                   THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         NDP Leader Tom Mulcair,
right of the political spectrum can take      is about finding new ways to talk to voters      have been talking to Facebook Canada            formal complaint earlier that year, arguing                                               centre, poses with participants
advantage of certain constituencies that      about the issues that are important to           to get tips and guidance on ad strategies       against a policy that would be bad for                                                    before the Canada Day tourney
are more engaged with activism or protest,”   them but the values, the proposals, and          to find their selected demographic targets.     business. “Harper blew them off,” Whyte                                                   at the James Gardens Lawn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Bowling Club in Toronto on
Trudeau said. “Because we don’t have          the message remain consistent.”                                                                  wrote, noting that the government simply
                                                                                               Why would political parties choose to use                                                                                                 Wednesday, July 1, 2015.
those natural constituencies, because we                                                                                                       doubled down and launched a website and
                                              While it’s true that the Conservatives           Facebook over TV ads? Cost is one reason.
are trying to appeal to that broad swath                                                                                                       ads that demonized the telecom sector.
                                              appear to be no great fans of the mass-          It’s much cheaper to throw up an online
of regular folks, the micro-targeting just                                                                                                     Why? Because the Conservatives stood
                                              market broadcasters, they still seem to find     ad, rather than pay for the production and
doesn’t appeal to us.                                                                                                                          to gain more in donations by whipping up
                                              the traditional networks good for one thing:     distribution of television advertising. More
                                                                                                                                               citizens’ anger against wireless rates.
“We’ve sort of bound ourselves as a party     advertising. The airwaves were inundated         to the point, though, television advertising
to saying the same things from one end        this summer with ads by Conservatives            is a bit like using a fire hose to water a      “One hundred and fifty CEOs may rule
of the country to the other… and trying       and the other parties — a reflection of the      garden — it’s saturation coverage, when         Canadian business, but at $1,200 a head
to govern for all the people, not just the    fact that elections are decided by people        all you may need is a watering can on           they are worth at most $180,000 to Harper,”
people who voted for us.”                     who don’t pay attention to politics, who         selected plants. Social media ads can be        Whyte wrote. “So 150 of the biggest, fattest
                                              only tune in if politics happens to intrude      directed at the audiences you need: soccer      CEOs in Canada wield less clout in Ottawa
The New Democrats, for their part, believe
                                              on their favourite TV show. These “floating      moms and dads, urban condo dwellers             than any 150 Conservative hotheads in my
it’s possible to do both. Brad Lavigne and
                                              voters” are a key, niche market for the          or rural farmers. As a bonus, social media      home riding of Edmonton Centre.”
Anne McGrath, the senior strategists who
                                              political strategists who sift through data to   ads give information back; parties can tell
will be steering the NDP campaign in                                                                                                           Whyte rather dismally predicted that this
                                              sort the population into supporters,             who is reading their ads, who is pressing
the election, have spent years carefully                                                                                                       would be the new reality. “We all need to
                                              non-supporters and “persuadables.”               “like” on Facebook or clicking links through
studying electoral demographics to find                                                                                                        get used to national parties more interested
                                                                                               to donation sites. In the parlance of the
the next waves of NDP voters. In July, the    Yet the increasing sophistication of that                                                        in capitalizing on problems than in fixing
                                                                                               professionals, the audience for online ads
NDP released an online ad slamming the        data-gathering technology spells more bad                                                        them. Get used to reams of government
                                                                                               is interactive, not passive. It’s a perfect
Conservatives, which Lavigne said was being   news for mass-market broadcasters, as it                                                         policy inexplicable but for its ability to
                                                                                               tool, in other words, if you’re in the
pushed out to target constituencies in the    happens. In the United States, where many                                                        grease the bagman’s gears.”
                                                                                               business of seeing Canada as a collection
Greater Toronto Area as well as other parts   Canadian politicos of all stripes have been
                                                                                               of demographic micro-targets. It’s also a       It’s not just Bay Street getting the cold
of the country where the party’s research     culling campaign tools and lessons for
                                                                                               very handy way to find the small donations      shoulder, by the way. It’s also the idea of
had shown pockets of voters looking           decades now, it’s predicted that Facebook
                                                                                               that are now the lifeblood of political party   government by mass consensus.
favourably on the idea of an alternative to   — yes, that place where you post pictures
                                                                                               operations in Canada, thanks to a decade’s
the Conservatives and Liberals.               of your family and your pets — will become                                                       Whether or not you were in favour of the
                                                                                               worth of new limits on fundraising.
                                              the go-to place for political advertising in                                                     taxpayer subsidy to political parties —
McGrath insists, though, that the NDP
                                              the not-so-distant future.                       In the fall of 2013, Ken Whyte stood at         officially phased out to zero earlier this year
message remains consistent — that the
                                                                                               the back of a hall at the Conservatives’        — you can’t ignore the effect the subsidy’s
party is not saying different things to       “Facebook is on the cusp — and I suspect
                                                                                               annual convention in Calgary, listening to      elimination has had on the idea of mass-
different audiences.                          2016 will be the year this becomes clear
                                                                                               a speech by the party’s chief fundraiser,       market politics in this country. As long as                                                                                                       Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau
                                              — of replacing television advertising as the                                                                                                                                                                                                       greets spectators during the
"The NDP campaign has a strong message                                                         Senator Irving Gerstein. Whyte, a former        parties were getting a dollar or 75 cents for
                                              place where American elections are fought                                                                                                                                                                                                          Calgary Stampede parade in
focused on principled leadership and                                                           columnist and editor-in-chief who has           each ballot cast for them, they had a strong                                                                                                      Calgary, Friday, July 3, 2015.
                                              and won,” Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of
concrete proposals to help the middle                                                          attended dozens of party conventions in         financial incentive to go looking for as many
                                              BuzzFeed, wrote late in 2014.                                                                                                                         THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
class. That message is the same across all                                                     his long journalistic career, had a moment      votes as possible, in all regions of the country.
audiences and all platforms,” McGrath said    Could we beat the U.S. to that goal? Here        of revelation while listening to Gerstein —
                                                                                                                                               Now, however, it’s far more efficient and
in an email, when asked about the potential   in Canada, Facebook and the CTV network          specifically, on how the party fundraising                                                          Where is the national strategy to fight                                 and donations, in the midst of a permanent,
                                                                                                                                               lucrative for parties to form policies and
conflict between micro-targeting and          have formed a partnership already to cover       rules in Canada have fundamentally altered                                                          climate change? Why can’t we have a                                     polarizing campaign, during and between
                                                                                                                                               legislation around the opinions and wishes
                                                                                               the way power works in this country.                                                                pharmacare program? Where is the nation                                 elections, there is little incentive for
                                                                                                                                               of the people Whyte calls the “hotheads.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                   that is greater than the sum of its parts —                             Canadian politicians to seek out the centre.
                                                                                               Thanks to the ban on corporate donations,       It also makes more sense now for parties
“We all need to get used to national parties more                                              Whyte later wrote in Maclean’s magazine,        to play to their bases — whipping up
                                                                                                                                                                                                   or at least a community of communities?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           So while this election campaign may see
                                                                                               governments and political parties don’t         emotions and donations in some segments             The answer to those questions might well                                plenty of politicians passing by Landmark,
 interested in capitalizing on problems than in fixing them.                                   really have to court big business anymore       of the population, even if they come at the         lie in the fact that while our problems —                               Man., and its geographical milepost, don't
 Get used to reams of government policy inexplicable but                                       — or even care about getting on the bad         expense of other people or regions.                 from environmental degradation to income                                expect to see any party leaders striding into
                                                                                               side of Bay Street. He cited the Harper                                                             inequality — are growing in scope and                                   the middle of the road. These days, that’s a
 for its ability to grease the bagman’s gears.”                                                government’s self-declared war on the
                                                                                                                                               It’s almost a Canadian political cliché now
                                                                                                                                               to lament our lack of a national vision, of
                                                                                                                                                                                                   complexity, our politics seems to be getting                            good way to get run over. p
                                                                                               telecom business — which prompted                                                                   smaller. In the quest for electoral victory
                                                                                                                                               ambitious ideas for pan-Canadian projects.

   I  
10   SAGE FALL 2015 VOL. 7                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               FALL 2015 VOL. 7 SAGE  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               I  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 11
THE ELECTION ISSUE SHATTERED: National Association of Federal Retirees
FEATURE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            FEATURE

                                                                                                                                                                                                SOUTH SHORE—ST. MARGARETS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 BRIDGETOWN
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   MI
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        101                                                                                                                                             NA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          101                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 S C HA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             three-way race. Keddy's replacement,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               MIDDLETON                                                                 N NEL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              CLARE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        340
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DIGBY, M.D.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     DIGBY                                                                                                                                                                              BERWICK

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                WEST NOVA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             23-year old party activist Richard Clark,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   PARADISE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     LAKE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                NOVA-OUEST                                                AN NA POLIS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              KEJIMKUJIK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           YARMOUTH, M.D.                                                                                   NATIONAL PARK                                                                                                                                                           KENTVILLE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              OF CANADA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         LAKE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            KING S

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             faces New Democrat Alex Godbold, a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            PARC NATIONAL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       VAUGHAN                                                                                                                                                                                                                        GASPEREAU
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DU CANADA
                                                                                                                                                                                                       YARMOUTH                                                                                                              KEJIMKUJIK                                                                                                                  LAKE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           203
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     WOLFVILLE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 ARGYLE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             KINGS—HANTS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             teacher at a local French high school, and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       KEJIMKUJIK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      YA R M O U T H
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LAKE                                                                                                                                                                      GLOOSCAP 35
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          TUPPER
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           LAKE                                                                                                    NEW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ROSS 20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    SHERBROOKE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       CALEDONIA                                                                       LAKE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              208                                                                                                        WINDSOR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Liberal Bernadette Jordan, a long-time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  JORDAN                 LAKE                                                                                NEW GERMANY                 NEW ROSS                PENNAL 19
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          GREAT PUBNICO
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   LAKE                ROSSIGNOL          PONHOOK     WILDCAT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LAKE                                                                                                                       12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LAKE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                MOLEGA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            10                                                                                          WEST HANTS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       QUEENS                    LAKE                                                                                12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    103                                  ER                                                                                                                                  LUNENBURG, M.D.                                           CHESTER

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             community activist.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        PANUKE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   RIV                        SHELBURNE, M.D.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   HA NTS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       PONHOOK                                                                                                                                    14                     LAKE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          YD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               E
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              SHELBUR NE                                                LAKE 10                                                                              LU NE NB URG
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     GREENFIELD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    CL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   GOLD
                                                                                                                                                                                                           3
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BARRINGTON                                        SOUTH SHORE — ST. MARGARETS                                                                                                                               RIVER 21

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      SHELBURNE                                        QU EE NS                                     BRIDGEWATER                                                WESTERN                                                                           EAST HANTS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               JORDAN FALLS                                               8                                                                                     SHORE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   POCKWOCK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  CLYDE RIVER                                                                                                                                       103                          MAHONE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               MARTINS                                                                               LAKE
                                                                                                                                                                                                 CLARK'S                                                                                                                                                                                                           BAY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Godbold said voters in the district are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                RIVER                                                                BOUTILIERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                HARBOUR                                                       SANDY                                                                                                     PLEASANTVILLE                                                                                FOX                               POINT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              POINT                           SABLE                                                                                                                                       MAHONE                    POINT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  HALIFAX-OUEST
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  HALIFAX WEST
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              RIVER
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                MIDDLEWOOD                                                                  BAY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MILTON                                                             LUNENBURG
                                                                                                                                                                                                       BARRINGTON                                                                                              PORT                                                                                                                                                       ST. MARGARETS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     PORT                                                                                                                         PORT                                                                                                                          BAY
                                                                                                                                                                                                           BAY      LA TOUR                                                           3                       MOUTON       LIVERPOOL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 MEDWAY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    331
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    BROOKLYN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             looking for better and more affordable
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           LOCKEPORT                                                                                                          RIVERPORT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  HACKETTS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    COVE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          HALIFAX

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       333

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     TERENCE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       BAY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             childcare in rural areas. "Women in rural
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        HALIFAX

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             areas of a riding, and men too, are not
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ATLANTIC CANADA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             PENNANT                               HALIFAX
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               BAY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   HARBOUR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     ATLANTIC OCEAN
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OCÉAN ATLANTIQUE                                                                                                                                                                         only concerned with access to affordable
                                                                                                                                                                                                   0           10    20 km
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             childcare but to access to childcare at all,
                                                                                                                                                                                                               The Conservatives have lost a lot of                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Representation Order of 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Décret de représentation électorale de 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             full stop,” he said.
                                                                                                                                                                                                               incumbents in Nova Scotia and are now
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Health care and aging infrastructure are
                                                                                                                                                                                                               defending such seats as Central Nova,

                             2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             important issues for Liberal Bernadette

   ELECTION
                          R
                                                                                                                                                                                                               South Shore-St. Margaret's and West Nova

                    B B E
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Jordan, but the big issue remains

                  U
                                                                                                                                                                                                               with new candidates.

              E R
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             employment and a greying population: "In

     WHERE T H
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Atlantic Canada has long viewed the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           our riding we have a huge problem of out-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               federal government as a key source of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         migration. We’re losing our young people."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ALFRED-PELLAN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     EDEY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 117

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    B O UL VARD NOTRE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          E
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LAVAL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     IDES
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -DAME

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 E CH
                                                                                                                                                                                                               economic support, particularly through
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   LAVAL—LES ÎLES

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             LAURENT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ROUT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    VIMY

                              D

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                            A

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      RD DES
                          O
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Employment Insurance. The Harper

                        R

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    BOULEVA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    PIERREFONDS—
                   H E

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       DOLLARD
                                                                                                                                                                                                               government’s aggressive cuts to public

               S T
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            BO

        MEET
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 U

                                                                                                                                                                                                               spending have hurt it politically in the

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 LE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            BOULE VA

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     RD

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               IES
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               CANA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    BO U LE TIE N
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    L A U REN
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               UIN      RI

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        BOULEVARD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DI                                                                                                                                                                                                               PR AIR                                                                                                                                  RASS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         EN                                                                                                                                                                                VIÈ                                  IES
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            AL                                                                                                                                                          E

                                                                                                                                                                                                               region. The Liberals have been the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 (CN)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ST
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     RUE DE SALABERRY                                                                                                                                                                                     ULE
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               BOULEVARD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      15

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 O'BRIEN
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            AHUNTSIC-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               principal beneficiaries of that slide; up

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          PINEA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             RU
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           CARTIERVILLE

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    (C N)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ST

                                                                                                                                                                                                               an average of 11 percentage points over

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         OUE                                                                                                                                 IE N
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                                                                                                                                                                                                               2011, the Liberals could take as many
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ST

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    E-C
                                                                                                                                                                                                               as two-thirds of Atlantic seats, while the

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  13

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                                                                                                                                                                                                               NDP's recent gains suggest the party now

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                                                                                                                                                                                                               has an excellent chance of retaining seats
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                                                      ve ridin                                                                                                                                                 and gaining new ones.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   PAPINEAU

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                        ational polls

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                                                                                                                                                                                                               Keep an eye on South Shore-
  Forget the n
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       0              0.5           1 km                                                                                                                                              MOUNT ROYAL                                                                                                                                                  ROSEMONT—
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 LA PETITE-PATRIE
                                                                                                                                                                                                               St. Margaret's, which runs along the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Orange Wave is back. As of late July
                                                                                                                                                                                                               coast south of Halifax and includes                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           the NDP appeared to have enough support
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Peggy's Cove and Lunenburg. Incumbent                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         to win back most of the seats they won in
                                                                                                                                                                                                               long-time Conservative MP Gerald Keddy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2011. At the same time, Justin Trudeau's
                                                                                                                                                                                                               is retiring and this contest looks like a                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Liberals had re-asserted their dominance
Back in the spring, the Globe                           boss — using words like "controlling,"       Manitoba and Saskatchewan, 10 points        and quickly. The party in third place can
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             in anglophone Quebec and among
                                                        "arrogant" and "tyrant" to describe          in Ontario and 15 points in Atlantic        leapfrog into top spot because of factors
and Mail sent a reporter to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Montreal's immigrant voters.
Peter MacKay's Central Nova
                                                        Prime Minister Stephen Harper.               Canada. (There had been little change
                                                                                                     in Tory fortunes in Quebec, the province
                                                                                                                                                 playing out at the regional level. A party
                                                                                                                                                 might be much stronger on the ground
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              South Shore-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The wild card here is the Bloc Québécois,
                                                        The problem with tracking federal
riding after the cabinet minister                       politics in a country as big and
                                                                                                     where the party saw its weakest results     than the polls suggest because (for                                          St. Margaret's                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 once again under the leadership of Gilles
                                                                                                     in 2011.)                                   example) it’s better at mobilizing the vote.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Duceppe — who can expect a struggle
announced his retirement from                           diverse as Canada is one of focus;
                                                                                                                                                 So don’t expect to learn much from the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Three way race
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             winning back NDP votes from Tom Mulcair,
                                                        elections happen nationally but they’re      The Conservatives’ shortfalls have been
federal politics.                                                                                                                                national numbers this time.                                                  • Mainly small town and rural                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the most popular leader in Quebec.
                                                        fought on the ground, riding by riding.      partly offset by a tight split in support
Voters in the riding gave the Globe                     By mid-July the Harper Conservatives         between the New Democrats and Liberals.     Instead, here are a handful of key ridings                                   • 97% English-speaking                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The riding to watch here is Ahuntsic-
a slightly confusing impression of                      had seen their national support drop         After New Democrat Rachel Notley won        that bear watching in October — places                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cartierville in north-central Montreal,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • 95% non-immigrant
their voting plans; while a lot of them                 significantly — but not consistently         the Alberta provincial election in early    where the results reflect regional trends                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   where the 2011 results in the new
said they still admired MacKay, a lot                   — from 2011 levels, losing on average        May, the federal NDP surged to a narrow     and can offer hints about who’s got the                                      • 7% employed in farming,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      boundaries suggest a close three-way
also said they weren’t wild about his                   about seven points in their strongholds      lead in a three-way race. But in such a     best shot at moving into 24 Sussex.                                            forestry and fishing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         race. Bloc MP turned New Democrat
                                                        of B.C. and Alberta, 14 points in            close campaign, anything can happen —                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Maria Mourani is running. As of late

Stephen Harper on the campaign trail in 2006.   THE CANADIAN PRESS//Tom Hanson
12  I  SAGE FALL 2015 VOL. 7                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           FALL 2015 VOL. 7 SAGE  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             I  
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THE ELECTION ISSUE SHATTERED: National Association of Federal Retirees
FEATURE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      FEATURE
                                                      AJAX

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            WANUSKEWIN ROAD
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                                                                                                                                                                                                     CONCESSION ROAD 5                                                                                                                                                                                                     NO. 344                                                                                                                                                                                                                            CARLTON TRAIL—EAGLE CREEK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             SENTIER CARLTON—EAGLE CREEK
July it appeared probable that the Liberal                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Brampton, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Ajax,         Holland has been reaching out to Muslim                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            issues such as child care and child benefits.

                                                                                                            SIDELINE 16

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            (CN)
candidate would be Melanie Joly, who                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Whitby, Durham and Pickering in 2011,          voters in the riding; over the summer he                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           His principal opponent, New Democrat

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finished a surprising second in the 2013                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   winning all but a couple of seats. Harper's    was fasting for a charity called Give 30,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          veterinarian Claire Card, agrees child care

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   RANGE ROAD 3050
                                                                                                                                                     CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY (CPR)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               16

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Montreal mayoral race.                                                    PICKERING                                                                                                                                                                                                                        WHITBY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           polling losses in Ontario have been smaller    which fundraises for food banks during                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             matters in the riding — but so does the

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                                                                       UXBRIDGE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           than elsewhere — but he risks losing           Ramadan. "And I’ve had a lot of local                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              track record of the Harper government

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Mourani's replacement as Bloc candidate,

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           seats in 905 along with the eight the party    Muslim families ask me to break my fast                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            itself. "I think you’ll find that among the

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activist and Cégep teacher Nicolas Bourdon,
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           captured in Toronto.                           with them in the evenings,” he said.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               educated and the younger voters, the

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will face a stiff test repeating Bloc success
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             environment and climate change inaction

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             CENTRAL AVENUE
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here, one of just four constituencies won by                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               A key 905 electoral confrontation will occur   Alexander, whose constituency office is
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             are discussed quite a bit."

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the Bloc in 2011. (Mourani was expelled from                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               in the riding of Ajax, where Citizenship       adjacent to the Ajax GO train station, is

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the Bloc over her vocal opposition to the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander       sometimes seen there greeting potential                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Other likely NDP targets in Saskatchewan

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former PQ government's ‘charter of values’.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               faces a return match with Mark Holland,        voters and handing out granola bars.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               include the other two Saskatoon seats

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      401                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           16                                                                                                                                                                                   NO. 344

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           the three-time Liberal MP he defeated in                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          — Saskatoon West and Saskatoon
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Quebec is the province where                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              One key government initiative that

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           2011. The NDP banner is being carried by                                                                   Saskatchewan remains a Conservative                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Grasswood. New Democrats also have
                                                                                                                                                                            BAYLY STREET W                         BAYLY STREET E
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dissatisfaction with the Harper government                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                could help Alexander is the commitment
                                                                               SQUIRES BEACH ROAD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Stephanie Brown, a political science and                                                                   stronghold despite some loss of support.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               hopes of winning two Regina constituencies
is strongest. The Conservatives believed                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  announced in July to double the federal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           philosophy student at the University of                                                                    However, a radical re-drawing of electoral                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             and the northern riding of Desnethé—
they could strengthen their foothold here                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 contribution to the nearby Rouge National
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Toronto. Holland had a reputation as an                                                                    boundaries gives the NDP opportunities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Missinippi—Churchill River.
by tapping into fears about terrorism. The                                                                            FRISCO
                                                                                                                       ROAD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Urban Park. For Alexander, the project to use
party did jump in the polls in rural Quebec                           ONTARIO                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              effective opposition member, leading the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          the expropriated lands for a park rectified "a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      in Regina and Saskatoon. Before 2015,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Globe and Mail to claim he had the "status
                                                                      0        0.75                                              1.5 km                                                           LAKE ONTARIO
                                                                                                                                                                                                   LAC ONTARIO                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the constituencies in the two cities were
and the Quebec City area following the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    breach of faith and trust for the taxpayers,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Representation Order of 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           of most-hated Liberal MP among Stephen                                                                     partly urban, partly rural — combining                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ALBERTA
attacks in Paris in January, but Conservative          For the Conservatives, Ontario presents the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        for property owners, with communities."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Décret de représentation électorale de 2013

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Harper’s Conservatives."                                                                                   rural areas dominated by the Conservatives
support in the province has since faded.               greatest opportunities for both success and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      with the cities, where the New Democrats                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Notley’s win opened doors for the NDP
                                                       failure. The party has been doing relatively                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Alexander’s cabinet status makes Ajax a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             here, particularly in Edmonton. Already,
                                                       well here. Its problem is that it must repeat                                                                                                                                                                                                                       high-value target for both the Conservatives     MANITOBA                                                  are stronger. This, combined with a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             three Edmonton-area Conservative MPs,
    Ahuntsic-Cartierville                              the 19-point lead it achieved in 2011, which                                                                                                                                                                                                                        their rivals. It’s suburban — Highway 401
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      majority vote province-wide for the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Conservatives, has helped shut out the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 representing areas swept provincially by the
                                                       was key to capturing scores of seats.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               and the GO Train are vital links to downtown   Provincial politics is casting a long
    • Key Liberal target                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  shadow over the federal race here. The                      NDP in Saskatchewan since 2006.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NDP, say they are not running for re-election.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Toronto — and like all of southern Ontario
                                                       Ontario was hard hit by the economic                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Alberta's political history includes at least
    • Multi-cultural and multilingual                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the riding is ethnically diverse.              NDP provincial government is suffering                      Redistribution created exclusively urban
                                                       slowdown post-2008, with GDP growth                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   two instances where provincial success was
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          in the polls because of a sales tax hike                    ridings that could fall to the NDP. One
    • 40% immigrant including                          declining despite a pickup in 2014 and a                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              later echoed federally.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick             and divisions within the party over the                     example is Saskatoon—University,
      Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Greek,                 weaker dollar. Manufacturing, particularly in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          leadership of Premier Greg Selinger.                        covering southeastern Saskatoon.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       There’s a key difference between the
      Armenian                                         southwestern Ontario, has been struggling.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Meanwhile, Manitobans have been                             Population growth there has been rapid,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                federal and provincial scenes, however. The
                                                       Having sold themselves as responsible
    • Half have French as mother                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          unhappy with the Harper government                          reflecting strong growth in the economy.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Alberta New Democrats could exploit vote-
                                                       managers of the economy, the Harper
      tongue                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              over issues such as the termination of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             splitting on the right between the provincial
                                                       Conservatives may be forced to take some of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Conservative candidate MP Brad Trost
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          the Canadian Wheat Board’s marketing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Conservatives and Wildrose; that’s not
    • 90% speak French, 56% are                        the blame for Ontario's economic setbacks                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      estimates that one home in six in the riding
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          monopoly and lagging federal assistance                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            an option for their federal cousins. The
      bilingual                                        — unless, as Premier Kathleen Wynne was                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        is less than 10 years old. The relatively
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          for flooding compensation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Conservative party remains strong enough
                                                       able to do in last year's provincial election,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 young population drives up the value of
    • 55% speak non-official languages                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       to win most of Alberta’s seats.
                                                       they can cast doubt on the alternatives.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The Liberals have been the principal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ajax Liberal candidate Mark Holland.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          beneficiaries of anti-Harper feelings here                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The drop in oil prices has led to economic
                                                       Expect some overlap in Ontario between
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          and look to be in a good position to pick                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          decline in Alberta, so the opposition parties
                        NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair
                                                       federal and provincial party brands. Premier
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          up Conservative-held ridings in south
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Saskatoon University                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  could take away a handful of Tory seats in
                        announces the candidacy        Wynne’s provincial Liberal government has
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Winnipeg, including St. Boniface, Winnipeg                                   • New all urban riding and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Calgary and Edmonton. At the moment the
                        of Maria Mourani, right, in
                        Ahuntsic-Cartierville.
                                                       suffered setbacks to its popularity over
                                                       issues like the privatization of electrical
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ajax                                      South and Winnipeg South Centre. Despite                                       NDP target                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NDP holds one, Edmonton Strathcona.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          its difficulties, the NDP has a good chance
                                                       utility Hydro One. If Ontario voters aren’t                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key 905 Liberal-Conservative                                                                                         • 17% Ukrainian, 6% Aboriginal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          to win back Elmwood-Transcona.
                                                       happy with Wynne, they may decide to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       battleground
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Many languages spoken
                                                       punish Trudeau for it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Culturally diverse, many recent                                                                                        including Dutch, German,
                                                       The Harper Conservatives have enjoyed                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      immigrants                                                                                                             Ukrainian, Arabic, Hindi,
                                                       some success in Ontario in targeting middle                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Urdu, Chinese, Tagalog
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Languages spoken include
                                                       class suburban immigrants. The 905 belt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Italian, Spanish, Hindi, Urdu,                                                                                       • University of Saskatchewan
                                                       around Toronto was key to the party’s 2011
                                                       performance in Ontario; the Conservatives
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Farsi, Tagalog, Tamil, Sinhalese                                                                                       located here
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
                                                       swept the suburbs of Mississauga,

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THE ELECTION ISSUE SHATTERED: National Association of Federal Retirees
FEATURE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      FEATURE
BURNABY NORTH—SEYMOUR                                                                                                                                                                                                       BURNABY-NORD—SEYMOUR

                                        GREATER VANCOUVER A

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  PORT COQUITLAM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   THE

                                                                                                                                                                                                             EL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 SA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   COQUITLAM—
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Y
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   A poll done in May gave the NDP a big lead                          environmental issues such as the Kinder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           EK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   CR E

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   here, reflecting the party's overall surge                          Morgan pipeline, as well as repealing

                                                                                                                                                                                                       CO
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       POLITICS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  C RE E K

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      L
                                                                                                    GREATER VANCOUVER                                                                                                                                                                              in support in B.C. Opponents scoffed at                             some of the more controversial laws
  NORTH VANCOUVER
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   the results. "What I think is interesting is                        of the Harper Conservative era, such

                                                                                                                                                                                                         SH
                                                                                                                                                                                                         ON
                                                                                        E
                                                                                    R

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 E
                                                                                  RIV
                                                                                                                                                                                                 PE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   that there’s a sitting NDP MP in this riding                        as Bill C-51.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             CR E E
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       K

                                                                                                                                                                                                  RC
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Y
                                                                                        BURNABY NORTH — SEYMOUR
                             LY
                                N

                                                                                         BURNABY-NORD—SEYMOUR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   who has chosen to run in another riding
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           ANMORE
                               N

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Local Green candidate Lynne Quarmby
                                                                                                                                                                                                             CRE E
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  K
                                          CR
                                                    EE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   and a Conservative MP from what’s now
                                                    K

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               M
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            AR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       made news last fall when she was
              HI GHWAY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   this riding that chose to run in another,”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     OF
                                                                                    NORTH VANCOUVER                                                                                                                   RACOON
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       arrested for civil disobedience while
                                                                           OU R

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ISLAND

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   said Liberal candidate Terry Beech. “They
                                                                AD
             MOUNTAIN

                                                                         SE Y M
                                                            RO

                                                                                                                                                                                                         N
                                                                                                                                                                                                      IA
                                                         ET

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       protesting the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    D
                                                         OO

                                                                                                                                                                                                 IN
                                                     LILL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   have access to all of the same numbers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       RETIREMENT
                                                                                                                                                                                                      BELCARRA

                                                                                                                                                                                                       PORT MOODY—COQUITLAM                                                                                                                                            “I felt like my voice just wasn’t being
                                                                         UR
                                                                              PARKWAY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   we did and I think that does something to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       heard as a citizen.”
                                                                     O
                                                                 M
                                                               EY
                                                     MO U N T S                             BURRARD INLET 3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   highlight the Liberal opportunity here, that
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                                    SEYMOUR                                       VANCOUVER
                                    CREEK 2                                        HARBOUR
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                                                                                                                                                                           BURRARD
                                                                                                                                                                            INLET                                                                                PORT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                MOODY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   two MPs from other parties have made the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   decision in other, likely safer ridings.”
                                    BOUNDARY ROAD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           HWA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          BAR NET   H IG      Y

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         SO, WHAT DOES IT
 VANCOUVER EAST
  VANCOUVER-EST

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 BAR NET
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 RO A D

                                                                                                           HASTINGS STREET                              BURNAB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   First-time NDP candidate and retired judge
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ALL MEAN?
                                                                                                                                                             Y
                                                                                                HOLDOM AVENUE

                                                                                                                                                                 M
                                                                                                                                      SPERLING AVENUE

                                                                                                                                                                     UN
                                                                                                                                                                  O

                         1                                                                                                                                                TA
                                                                                                                                                                             IN   P A RKW
                                                                                                                                                                                            AY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             NORTH ROAD

                                                            7                                                                                                            BURNABY
                                                                                                                                                                                                             G
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 AG
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                           RDI
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 WA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Y
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Carol Baird Ellan has some experience
                                                                                                                                                            LO
                                                                                                                                                                 UG
                                                                                                                                                                    H
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    COQUITLAM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   in doorstepping voters. "My first job was
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       As the population ages, voters worry
                                                                                                                                                                        EE
                                                                                                                                                                           D
 VANCOUVER                                                                                                                                                                         HIGHWAY

VANCOUVER
                                                                                                                          BURNABY SOUTH
                                                                                                                           BURNABY-SUD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           AUSTIN AVENUE                           door-to-door sales, selling brushes for the                         What few people understood about the
 KINGSWAY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  0                1           2 km

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Fuller Brush Company when I was 15,                                 Harper government’s majority win in 2011
           BRITISH COLUMBIA                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Representation Order of 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Décret de représentation électorale de 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   so knocking on doors is pretty natural                              was its fragility; any number of factors        more and more about how they'll live in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   for me." She said she will campaign on                              could have left Harper with another
 B.C. is big and very diverse politically —                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            minority. Another factor weighing against       retirement. We spoke to representatives
 and this is the province where the Harper                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             the Conservatives this time could be the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       of the major federal parties to find out
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

 Conservatives have seen their deepest                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 impact of strategic voting as Canadians
 regional erosion in support levels, having
 lost about a third of their 2011 vote.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       cast ballots for their second-choice            how they plan to tackle the problem.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       candidates to prevent Conservative wins.
 The province is critical to the Liberals, who                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Over the past two years, most poll              Interviews conducted by:
 made big gains here early in Trudeau's                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                results would have produced a House             BJ SIEKIERSKI, JAMES MUNSON, JANICE DICKSON
 leadership. B.C. is home to the western                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               of Commons controlled by the NDP
 side of Trudeau's family and Pierre Trudeau                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           and ALICE MUSABENDE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       and the Liberals combined. Most of the
 made a major breakthrough here in 1968.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               polls going into the writ period suggest
 The environment competes with resource                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                that no single party will have more than
 development for voter attention. A relatively                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Former provincial court chief judge         fifty per cent of the seats. Much depends
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           and NDP candidate Carol Baird Ellan         on the campaign, of course — but how
 minor oil spill created a controversy that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           (Burnaby North-Seymour).                                                                  Please note these interviews have been edited for length.
 highlighted federal cuts to the Coast Guard                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           to make the 42nd Parliament work could
 and triggered widespread media coverage.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              turn out to be the critical question on the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       morning after. p                              EMPLOYMENT MINISTER                             S: The late Finance minister Jim Flaherty        S: If the problem is that people aren’t
 The NDP did well here last time and is on                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           PIERRE POILIEVRE:                               rejected the idea of a voluntary CPP             saving enough, how will this help?
 track to do well again in 2015. With the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Burnaby North-                                                                   ‘I think a dollar for dollar is very fair.’     enhancement approach a few years ago.            P: Well, what’s ironic is that the Liberals say
 Liberals’ strength and the Conservatives’                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Seymour                                                                                                                          Why are you considering it now?                  that people can’t afford to contribute more
 slide in support, expect competitive                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                P: I think, at the time, Minister Flaherty saw   to their Tax-Free Savings Accounts, yet they
 races in suburban Vancouver ridings like                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           • Key suburban Vancouver                                                         Sage: In the last budget you said you’re        some logistical challenges which we have         say that people can afford to pay a new
 Burnaby North-Seymour, one of six new                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                battleground                                                                   assessing a voluntary target benefit plan       since been advised … can be overcome.            tax for a government pension scheme. Our
 ridings in the province. Its importance                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             for Crown corporations and federally-           There’s no question that we should retain        approach has always been to give people
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Multilingual, multi-ethnic
 to the government was highlighted                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   regulated private sector plans. Where           the existing mandatory CPP ... However,          options and let them choose.
 by Harper’s visit in April to announce                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             • 24% have Chinese origins                                                       does that stand?                                if people believe they’re best served by
 expansion of the Canada Student Grants                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Poilievre: That is ongoing. I don’t think       voluntarily expanding their contribution         S: If you had a choice between offering
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Nearly half speak non-official
 program. In attendance was Conservative                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             you’ll see anything announced (before           to the CPP in exchange for an enhanced           voluntary CPP enhancement and giving
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      languages
 candidate Mike Little.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              the election), but that would be under          retirement benefit, then we want to look         more TFSA contribution room, what
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Riding includes working                                                        the purview of … probably the Treasury          at ways for them to do that.                     would you prefer?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      harbour on Burrard Inlet                                                       Board president.

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THE ELECTION ISSUE SHATTERED: National Association of Federal Retirees
FEATURE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            FEATURE

                                               S: Your government has introduced                  TOM MULCAIR:                                     S: Would you tie health transfers to the          M: Again, this is something that was
                                               several measures for long-term care —              ‘You have to respect the deal.’                  number of seniors in a province?                  done unilaterally. When you’re changing
                                               the extension of compassionate care                                                                                                                   the conditions unilaterally, that is not
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   "Changes … to be
                                                                                                                                                   M: That’s exactly the type of argument that
                                               EI benefits, for example. Might we see                                                              some provinces will make, while another           good faith.                                    made by the government
                                               more for long-term care?                           Sage: Ottawa wants a “voluntary target
                                                                                                                                                   province will make a different one. That’s why
                                               P: Well, my belief has always been
                                                                                                  benefit option” for some employees.
                                                                                                                                                   you have to sit down and do the hard work.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     S: But will you reverse the decision?          need to be negotiated in
                                                                                                  Should the federal government honour
                                               that family is the greatest social safety
                                                                                                  the terms of pension agreements?
                                                                                                                                                   We will seek to incorporate things like
                                                                                                                                                                                                     M: The NDP will always act in good
                                                                                                                                                                                                     faith in these issues. The wages that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    good faith."
                                               net we have. The expansion of the                                                                   catastrophic medical coverage for the
                                               compassionate leave under EI to six                Mulcair: The important thing is you have                                                           are being deferred and that come out in
                                                                                                                                                   cost of pharmaceuticals, and look at
                                               months from six weeks — it allows family           to understand that this type of benefit is a                                                       the form of a pension and other benefits
                                                                                                                                                   how we can make sure that we can
                                               members to take care of each other in              deferred wage. When you have a deal, you                                                           are not to be tinkered with unilaterally
                                                                                                                                                   integrate newer drugs while the system
                                               those last painful months of irreversible          have to respect the deal.                                                                          and retroactively.
                                                                                                                                                   remains sustainable.
                                               illness. That’s also consistent with our
                                                                                                  S: Is a voluntary target benefit option
                                               approach on (the) Registered Disability                                                             S: What would you do about home care
                                                                                                  a good idea?
                                               Savings Plan … why not allow parents                                                                and long term care?
                                               a tool where they can set aside money              M: All Canadians should have access to
                                                                                                                                                   M: That would be included in talks with the
                                                                                                                                                                                                     JUSTIN TRUDEAU:
                                               and prepare a nice stable nest egg so              a pension with a defined benefit. (Prime                                                           ‘Changing the rules retroactively
                                                                                                                                                   provinces. Fifty years ago, if you were talking
                                                                                                                                                                                                     … is unacceptable.’
"Our approach has                              that … their disabled child can live a             Minister Stephen) Harper tries to take away
                                                                                                  benefits to create a level playing field. I’m
                                                                                                                                                   about medical care, that was synonymous
                                               dignified life?                                                                                     with hospital care. Today you can get better
 always been to give                                                                              going to try to add benefits to create a level
                                                                                                                                                   results by keeping people at home.                Sage: The federal government intends
                                               S: Your government tied the Canada                 playing field.
 people options and                            Health Transfer to average GDP                                                                      We want the next round of health accords          to study a “voluntary target benefit
                                                                                                                                                   to be a serious, substantive discussion           option” for employees of federally
 let them choose."                             growth starting in 2017, with a floor              S: Why is an expanded Canadian
                                                                                                  Pension Plan (CPP) the best way to               with all the provinces and territories so         regulated entities. What’s your position
                                               of 3 per cent. The (Parliamentary
                                                                                                  close the gap between savings and                that we can look at this with a very modern       on accumulated benefits?
                                               Budget Officer) suggests the costs                                                                                                                                                                  S: The government is open to voluntary
                                               will be shifted to the provinces and               retirement needs?                                sort of eyes and try to find a solution for the   Trudeau: I was relieved the government        enhanced CPP/QPP contributions. Are
                                               that could lead to a shortage of                   M: Given the number of people who are            next generation.                                  didn’t move ahead on this. They probably
P: I think we can do both. That’s what we                                                                                                                                                                                                          voluntary savings options enough?
                                               resources in the system.                           arriving at retirement without enough to                                                           made a smart calculation that taking
said we’ll do.                                                                                                                                     S: Would you reverse Ottawa’s decision                                                          T: I don’t believe voluntary savings programs
                                                                                                  live on, increasing the CPP is the most                                                            away benefits from seniors that had
                                               P: The irony is that nominal GDP — that’s                                                           to increase premiums for the Public                                                             are enough. The government’s own study
S: Some people say the decision in                                                                effective way of getting a result.                                                                 been earned and accrued over years,
                                               inflation and GDP combined — let’s say                                                              Service Health Care Plan?                                                                       concluded it wouldn’t be enough.
2012 to increase the eligibility age                                                                                                                                                                 retroactively, is unacceptable, would
                                               that on average it’ll be four per cent. That’s
for OAS and GIS will increase the                                                                 S: Why would you reverse the                                                                       cost them too high politically, and it’s
                                               pretty reasonable. The federal transfer is                                                                                                                                                          S: The government says it is open
number of seniors living in poverty.                                                              government’s decision to increase                                                                  wrong in principle.
                                               growing at twice the rate as the growth                                                                                                                                                             to consultation on voluntary
And yet, there’s money for things              in Ontario’s health care spending. The
                                                                                                  the eligibility age for Old Age Security
                                                                                                  (OAS) from 65 to 67?
                                                                                                                                                   "I’m going to try to add                          S: Do you believe that governments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   contributions to the CPP/QPP. What’s
like income-splitting?                         problem isn’t that the provinces don’t have                                                                                                                                                         your position on this?
P: Every government in the OECD is             enough federal money. It’s that many of            M: I’ve never been able to find this              benefits to create a level                       should honour the terms they agreed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   T: Ontario, for example, has made it clear
                                                                                                                                                                                                     to in pension plans?
making changes to the age of eligibility       them are not spending it on health care.           statement where (Harper) told Canadians
                                                                                                  that he was seeking a mandate to increase
                                                                                                                                                    playing field."                                  T: Changing the rules retroactively, unless
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   they don’t want to move forward with an
for income security programs. When OAS         I mean, in Ontario, the Liberal government                                                                                                                                                          Ontario Pension Plan. In my conversations
                                                                                                  the retirement age by two years.                                                                   there’s a grievous error or unforeseen
came into place in the 50s, the average        is just squandering it on every cockamamie                                                                                                                                                          with Kathleen Wynne and other premiers,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     consequences, is unacceptable.
person lived to 69 and OAS was available       scheme that comes along.                                                                                                                                                                            I’ve seen a very clear desire to move
                                                                                                  S: Will you reverse the increased
at 70. So the average person didn’t get                                                                                                                                                              S: Do you see a role for target benefit       forward on an expanded CPP.
                                               S: The 2014 budget increased                       share of health care costs falling
any OAS. Now eligibility is 65, and people                                                                                                                                                           plans beyond the employers mentioned
                                               premiums for retirees in the public                on the provinces?
live to about 81-and-a-half years. What the                                                                                                                                                                                                        S: The increase in the age of eligibility
                                                                                                                                                                                                     in the budget?
prime minister proposed is a very gradual      service health care plan. Could we                 M: Mr. Harper has yet to attend a single                                                                                                         for OAS from 65 to 67, and the decline in
                                               see further changes?                               meeting of the Council of the Federation.                                                          T: One of the things we’ve seen this          overall pension coverage, could increase
and mild increase in the age of eligibility,
                                                                                                  We will go back to the six per cent (increase                                                      government do too much in the past is         the number of seniors living in poverty.
from 65 to 67. So anybody who is currently     P: I think a dollar for dollar is very fair. And
                                                                                                  in the Canada Health Transfer to the                                                               make unilateral decisions about employees     What’s your position?
over the age, of say 57-58, will not notice    if you go into the private sector and ask
                                                                                                  provinces per year) until such time as we                                                          under its domain. Changes … to be made
any difference.                                people — you tell people that they could                                                                                                                                                            T: On top of that, it’s another form of
                                                                                                  sit down with the provinces for a new long-                                                        by the government need to be negotiated
                                               get a dollar for dollar supplementary health                                                                                                                                                        downloading onto the provinces. We are
                                                                                                  term health care accord.                                                                           in good faith.
                                               plan — they would be ecstatic.                                                                                                                                                                      unequivocally opposed to raising the age on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   OAS eligibility retirement from 65 to 67.

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