Oakville Liberals Make Bold Move: Op-Ed

Oakville Liberals
Oakville Liberals Make Bold Move: Op-Ed
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Chris Stoate

Chris Stoate

Chris Stoate holds degrees from Cambridge University and the University of Toronto. He founded and operated LaserNetworks, an international IT services firm in the print space with a significant environmental contribution. Chris has an interest in public education and served on the Halton Learning Foundation Board and the United Way Board, chairing the Oakville United Way campaign in 2012. He has also been an Oakville Town Councillor.

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Hundreds of Oakville Liberals convened on the Le Dome Banquet Hall on Wednesday night to choose their candidate in the upcoming Federal Election: and they chose Anita Anand.

The obvious alternative was long-time Oakville public servant Kevin Flynn, most recently Minister of Labour, Oakville MPP, and previously Town and Regional Councillor. Kevin Flynn is widely respected and trusted. He stood up against his own party on the gas plant controversy, and he leveraged his electability in Oakville to get our Town its new hospital. His defeat in the recent Provincial election is widely viewed as an anti-Wynne vote, not an anti-Flynn vote. As a potential candidate, his positive name recognition is an asset that is very hard to ignore, and he has earned the loyalty of many he has advised and helped. If what you care about is keeping Oakville Liberal, these were strong arguments. All these factors, including my personal relationship with Kevin, led this Liberal to support him as our candidate.

I am however truly delighted that my fellow Oakville Liberals chose the bolder route, and did so resoundingly, giving Anita Anand a solid majority of the votes. Anita Anand maybe “Anita who?” to most Oakvilleans now, but she is an amazingly accomplished woman. The child of visible minority immigrants who landed in ethnically homogeneous Nova Scotia, she is a professor of law at the University of Toronto, and has taught law at Yale University and been a visiting scholar at the Bank of Canada and the Herbert Smith Visitor at the University of Cambridge (full disclosure, my alma mater). She has served on numerous boards and since 2010 has been Academic Director of the Centre for the Legal Profession and its Program on Ethics in Law and Business. In Oakville, she has been on the board of the Lighthouse for Grieving Children and of Oakville Hydro, but this is only the tip of the iceberg of her accomplishments.

What greater proof could there be of the commitment to diversity and gender equality of the Trudeau Liberals than that such a candidate should seek to run under their banner? And how fortunate can Oakville be? Clearly, Anita Anand is Cabinet material, a potential Minister of Justice. A study of her resume makes it eminently clear that she will be well-informed on what constitutes good governance, judicial independence, and what is or is not appropriate. A Liberal government with Anita Anand in the caucus, potentially even as Minister of Justice, will be held to account on all these issues by someone who really has the credentials to deliver credible judgements. The fact that Anita Anand has chosen to seek public office under the Liberal standard cannot help but strengthen the Party’s reputation for integrity and its commitment to respect for our institutions.

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I am very proud of my fellow Oakville Liberals for choosing Anita Anand and moving past the straightforward choice. It is the decision of a Party wanting to ensure it has the best qualified possible representatives. It is a decision that reflects a desire to hold itself to the highest standards. It is a decision that shows a commitment to an equal voice for women and minorities. It shows that not only the end matters, but the means matter too.

It is the decision of a Party embracing Canada’s future.

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