Today I attended a standing room only, nomination meeting of the Victoria Liberal Riding Association to select Anne Park Shannon as the Liberal candidate for the next Federal Election. Anne ran for the position unopposed and was the only candidate to file nomination papers.
Anne expressed dismay with the federal budget. From her personal experience as ADM in the Ministry of Finance, she believes its important to think like a taxpayer when your dealing with other people’s money and this budget fails that test miserably. Anne describes the federal budget as having the highest level of spending on record. The largest chunk went towards equalization payments for Quebec, which Jean Charest promptly turned around and gave back to Quebecors as a tax cut. She indicated that BC was in good company as we were not the only province that lost out in this budget. Many other groups/issues were also passed over including: the homeless, First Nations, students, women and the environment.
Anne slammed the Conservatives neglect of BC’s important international trading and business partners including China and India; noting that it was only last week that a ministerial representative was finally sent to India. She emphasized the importance of diversifying our economic activity beyond the United States and highlighted BC’s Pacific Corridor as Canada’s ringside seat to Asian markets. Canada will be a big loser if we do not take advantage of opportunities now.
Anne describes herself as a Calgary liberal with strong family ties to Victoria through family connections. Her grandfather owned a hardware store in downtown Victoria. Anne’s professional experiences include: Assistant Deputy Minister-Economic Development in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Head of Canadian Delegation to the UN Commission on Human Rights and to the World Conference on Human Rights, Senior Economic Advisor to the Secretary General, 2nd UN conference on Environment and Development, led Canada US negotiations on Acid Rain and Associate in the Centre of Asia Pacific Initiatives at UVic.
Blair Wilson, Liberal MP representing West Vancouver, kick-started the nomination meeting indicating there is a strong possibility an election will be called soon and Liberals have to get ready to throw the machine into high gear. David Anderson(see left pic), former Liberal MP for Victoria, closed the meeting with a few digs at the NDP, noting that it is the Party of Labour, under Jack Layton’s guidance, that has delivered and continues to prop-up a neo-conservative government for Canadians. For most centre and centre-left Canadians this support has been difficult to understand.
PS: Update-Briony Penn is now running unopposed now for the Saanich-Gulf Islands nomination next weekend. Kit Spence is currently in Afghanistan and has undertaken work that will continue for the foreseeable future. He has graciously withdrawn from the nomination process.