Horwath speaks at local nomination meeting

An air of excitement could be felt at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex Wednesday evening, as the New Democratic Party nomination meeting for local member of provincial parliament (MPP) candidates was held. Since the defeat of the Liberals by the NDP federally this spring, pushing the Liberals into third place for the first time in years, NDPers everywhere seem a little more excited about the future.

Cameron Dearlove was nominated as candidate for Kitchener Centre and Isabel Cisterna was nominated to represent the NDP for the riding of Kitchener-Waterloo in the looming provincial election Oct. 6 – both in support of Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath who spoke at the meeting.

“It’s such an exciting time,” Horwath said to the audience. “This election is going to change the lives of the people in this province.”

“Do you want the status quo?” she demanded. “Or do you want to put change first?” Horwath emphasized the hardships of working class people in Ontario and what her platform will focus on to, in her words, “Make this province a better province, a fair province and to create real change.” Such items on her agenda include senior health care, post-graduate study, bringing back better jobs and focusing on a more green energy initiatives.

“Did you know,” Horwath said, “[That] though wages have gone up, people haven’t seen an actual increase in their wages in over 20 years because of tax cuts? How is that fair? Most people are having to get by with less.”

“But I say most people,” Horwath continued. “I don’t mean CEOs. They’re doing better than anyone. By the time you start work and have your first coffee break, the CEO of that company has made half your year’s salary in one morning.” She laughed, “We need some serious change in this province.”

After she had finished speaking and the applause and cheers had died down Dearlove and Cisterna accepted their nominations and made their respective speeches.

Dearlove made his quick and to the point, describing a different version of the working class life, putting the audience in the place of the hypothetical working Canadian. “You want to go to school,” Dearlove said, “but you can’t afford it and you can’t even imagine paying off a loan. You work full time but at a minimum wage job. The words you’re most familiar with are ‘foreclosure’, ‘loans’, ‘bills’ and ‘cost of living’.”

“The NDP doesn’t promise to make life simple,” Dearlove said, “but they do plan on making life a little easier.”

Kitchener-Waterloo nominee Isabel Cisterna gave a slightly longer speech which seemed to resonate with the crowd. “I have passion, I have enthusiasm, I am so ready for this job,” she declared.

“Someone once came up to me and said that the NDP were just dreamers,” she continued. “As if that was a bad thing. But I’m proud to be a part of a party that can dream a better future for us.”

Editor’s note: This article has been changed since its original publishing date.

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