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4th Annual FREE Brantford Youth Leadership Conference this Friday


For Immediate Release:

The Federal Brant NDP are hosting their 4rd Annual FREE Brantford Youth Leadership Conference. This non-partisan conference will build on the success of the last 3 years of events with the goal of helping young people in the area learn the skills needed to lead in their communities. 

This year's conference will take place at the Counterpoint Church (an extension of Grace Anglican Church) located at 4 Pearl St. in Brantford, On on Friday April 25th, 2014 from 9:00am until 3:00pm. 

The free conference is trying something new this year.  Aimed at high school students the morning will feature guest speakers including US professional speaker Bill Johnson.  The afternoon will consist of workshops with local experts on a variety of topics including poverty, mental health, business, inclusion and the environment.  During these workshops the students will build presentations for a local idea they believe will help the community.  The winning idea (as picked by the youth attending) will receive $500 in seed money towards implementation in the next 12 months. 

The lunch will be a networking lunch with local politicians of all stripes and levels invited to attend and connect with the youth in an informal way.  The lunch is free and provided this year by the generosity of the Brantford District Labour Centre. 

Follow and use #BTFDyLEAD on Twitter to spread the news about this event.


More about our Keynote Speaker:

Bill Johnson (http://speakerbill.com):

Different from most other speakers, Bill's presentations don't focus on what "leaders" or "the best" do or don't do. He presents what everyone can do and how to do them. The interaction provided, examples and personal stories shared all help to support what the message really is: "Before you do something great, you must DO SOMETHING!"

Bill Johnson has both speaking and leadership experience that stretches over a decade and his messages have reached people all across North America. He has helped out with groups such as the North Dakota Association of Student Councils (NDASC) ,North Dakota Association of National Honor Societies (NDANHS), Massachusetts HOBY, Ontario Student Leadership Conference (OSLC), National Student Leadership Camps (NSLC), and many others in addition to being a student himself studying Education Administration.

Video from last year's conference:


EVENT NOTICE: Tom Mulcair in Brantford Tuesday March 18th, 2014 

Brant Riding voters don't have to be political insiders with deep pockets to have access to the leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. 

Tom Mulcair, the leader of the federal New Democrats is coming to Brantford next Tuesday, March 18th for his third town hall style meeting in the community and he wants to hear your thoughts. 

The event brought to you by the Brant NDP Federal Electoral District Association is free of charge and will take place at the Sanderson Centre in the heart of Downtown Brantford.  Doors open at 7 p.m. and a question and answer period will begin at 7:30 p.m.

In contrast to the last time Prime Minister Stephen Harper came to town Tom Mulcair's visit will be quite different.

"For some reason the PM refused to take questions from the local press. We heard from a great many people that they were disappointed in that style of politics, where message control trumps public good - we're happy to do things differently and will be fielding questions from the press and the general public," said Brant NDP Federal President Neil Macdonald.

Mulcair and Brant NDP federal candidate of record Marc Laferriere will be listening for residents thoughts on local issues related to federal policy and answering questions from the audience as well. 

"I'd really like to extend an invite to everyone - especially those who normally vote Conservative, Liberal or Green to come and hear what we have to offer," said Laferriere.  "There is so much information out there to sort through, so many opinions online and in the media but it is great when people have an opportunity to kick the tires of a party leader and create their own opinion."

"Town halls like this are the very definition of grassroots political community building. It's not about controlling the message, it's about learning and getting to know the community and answering questions about the hopes and frustrations of local residents," Laferriere said. "And all of this consultation helps us build our Federal policy platform in 2015."

New Democrats have also been organizing Pan-Canadian consultations on Bill C-23 - something the governing Conservatives have refused to do. New Democrats have dubbed the bill the "Unfair" Elections Act.  Mulcair is planning to address this issue at the town hall as well as issues related to everything from jobs and health care to international trade and the economy.

Mulcair will also speak to the NDP's plan to rein in gas prices and other affordability issues of local importance.


Tuesday March 18th Join Us for An Evening With Tom Mulcair and Marc Laferriere at The Sanderson Centre

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Brant NDP Federal Candidate of Record Marc Laferriere are hosting a special town hall in Brantford -- and you’re invited.

Tom will speak about the NDP campaign to make life more affordable for everyday Canadians. You’ll also get the chance to ask questions in a special Q&A session.

Don't miss out! Click “Join” now on our Facebook Event Page and add this event to your calendar today.

Free event. All welcome to attend.



March 5, 2014

For Immediate Release:

OTTAWA – New Democrats will be moving forward with pan-Canadian consultations on the Conservatives’ Unfair Elections Act, Bill C-23, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair announced today.

“Conservatives do not want to hear from Canadians and have been blocking every attempt by the NDP to hold cross country public consultations. Canadians deserve better,” said Mr. Mulcair.

Hundreds of thousands of Canadians will be prevented from exercising their right to vote if Bill C-23 is adopted. The Chief Electoral Officer’s powers will be severely curtailed and he will even be forbidden from educating and engaging Canadians about the importance of voting.

“The Conservatives’ refusal to hear from Canadians is a slap in the face. Stephen Harper is trying to skew the rules unilaterally to benefit his own party, a dangerous and unprecedented move in our democracy,” said NDP Deputy Leader David Christopherson.

For three weeks, Christopherson has led the fight on behalf of Canadians at committee and was able to secure the appearance of Chief Electoral Officer Mark Mayrand before a parliamentary committee on Thursday.

“There is a groundswell of opposition to this bill and we believe Canadians should be allowed to express themselves – and as elected officials, it is our duty to make sure they are heard¸” concluded Mulcair.

The NDP will hold public consultations across the country as well as encourage Canadians to express themselves online through a dedicated web site.

A petition is available at http://petition.ndp.ca/stand-up-for-canadian-democracy.


Bill C-23 a detriment to democracy

Letter originally appearing in the March 6th, 2014 edition of the Brant News:



Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have a bad record when it comes to respecting our elections laws. Now, they want to skew the next election in their favour using voter suppression tactics straight out of the U.S. Republican playbook.

The so-called “Fair Elections Act” will block tens of thousands of students, seniors, First Nations persons and low-income Canadians from proving their right to vote by eliminating the long-standing practice of vouching and the expanded use of voter ID cards.

These are all groups who tend not to vote Conservative. I – like a great number of Canadians – am very doubtful this is simply a coincidence. In the last federal election, my office received many calls from voters belonging to each group mentioned above, who already had difficulties accessing their democratic right to vote. We were able to help in those cases, but it will be much harder to do so in the future if this bill passes. 

The logic behind making it more difficult for these already-marginalized populations to vote makes very little sense. Voter turnout is something we all lament needs to be increased.

 At the same time, it muzzles the Chief Electoral Officer and bans Elections Canada from even promoting the right to vote. Popular, successful and inexpensive programs designed to help students register to vote, for example, will no longer be allowed. While the bill makes it harder for ordinary Canadians to vote, it will actually make it easier for big-money interests to influence our elections. The proposed legislation raises the donation limit to $1,500 and introduces loopholes to party fundraising spending – including increasing the amount candidates can spend on their own campaigns.

This move is a boon for rich candidates, but may limit access to middle and working-class Canadians, who have an equal right to represent their communities in Parliament.

After widespread voter suppression and fraud during the 2011 election, this long-awaited legislation was supposed to offer tools to crack down on abuse.  Instead, Conservatives refused to enact the most effective measure to enhance investigation – giving Elections Canada the power to compel testimony. What a farce. I am thankful that NDP leader Tom Mulcair is doing his job in the House of Commons by exposing this Conservative policy for exactly what it is.

The Harper government is also refusing an NDP recommendation to hold town hall consultations on this contentious issue across Canada. What are they afraid of?

Will our local MP Phil McColeman stand up to his party and hold an open town hall on this issue? If not, then I will be happy to address it in a town hall setting. Canadians and members of our community should be heard on something as important as this. Canadians deserve better. They deserve genuine electoral reform to stop fraud, prevent big money from distorting elections and to ensure every Canadian can exercise their right to vote. Unfortunately, Stephen Harper and his team of MPs have given us the opposite. It is simply shameful.


-Marc Laferriere

Brant NDP Federal Candidate of Record