NDP candidate Joe Byrne gives salsa dance lessons at election rally

Mitch MacDonald
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Door-to-door mail delivery, salsa music and striking blood collection workers found themselves mixed together in a political cocktail during an NDP rally in Charlottetown this weekend.

The rally, appropriately titled “Joe Byrne’s Dance Party,” saw the Charlottetown candidate teach a room of 150 supporters a little about his campaign platform, as well as how to dance the salsa.

The event largely served as a feel-good rally leading to the election, with a room of dancers and Byrne recounting his experiences on the campaign trail before giving supporters a salsa dance lesson.

However, Byrne’s key message wasn’t as upbeat as the music performance by local group “The Count and the Cuban Cocktail.”

He said a main pledge in his campaign would be to reverse a federal Conservative policy of eliminating Canada’s door-to-door postal delivery, which Byrne described as an essential piece of the country’s social fabric.

“We’ve been watching as our communities see little pieces of turf ripped up and replaced with concrete and boxes,” said Byrne. “Canada Post is making enough money to do it door-to-door. I’m absolutely committed to that.”

Byrne also criticized the Liberal position of reviewing Canada Post and pointed to the party’s last term in government, which he said saw a process of “privatizing Canada.”

Supporter Bruce MacIsaac said the issue is “one of the silliest ideas” in the history of Canada Post.

“The taxpayers have paid for this all along, they’re entitled to it,” said MacIsaac. “What if you’re in a wheelchair? What if you’re a senior and can’t get to it? They’ve taken away our rights.”

MacIsaac was also a long-time Liberal supporter, who criticized the party as having lost touch with its grassroots base.

The 2011 election’s “Orange Wave” saw a large number of disillusioned Liberal and Bloc Quebecois voters put their support behind the NDP.

While recent polls have seen the NDP losing ground nationally, MacIsaac said he feels there are many like him in Charlottetown.

“I’m a Liberal who supports Joe because Joe is a good man, he’s a man of his word,” said MacIsaac. “I’ve had more Liberals who have said ‘I’m not voting for the NDP but I’m going to vote for Joe.’ I’ve never seen that before.”

newsroom@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/PEIGuardian

Organizations: NDP, Canada Post, Dance Party Orange Wave Bloc Quebecois

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Canada

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Recent comments

  • Ella
    October 10, 2015 - 08:39

    There were more than 300 people at the event which speaks volumes of NDP support...

  • Ella
    October 10, 2015 - 08:38

    There were more than 300 people at the event which speaks volumes of NDP support...

  • Citizen
    October 09, 2015 - 11:24

    The NDP vote is 100% whipped, and as much as Joe would like you to forget that it's a fact. Mulcair keeps an even firmer grip on his MP's than Harper does. The only MP who is not just permitted but required to vote for her constituents is Becka Viau. I'm voting for the best Candidate to represent me in Ottawa and that is without a doubt, Becka.

  • Truth Seeker
    Truth Seeker
    October 07, 2015 - 08:28

    The NDP seems like less of a political party and more like a travelling circus. I've witnessed many cringeworthy moments by the party members and supporters. I'm terrified at the prospect of this party having any amount of control.

  • Backwards thinking
    October 06, 2015 - 15:26

    This is exactly the problem with voters in general. Voting for 'billy bob' next door because he's a nice guy is just not a good idea.

  • Deal with the reality of GOVT
    October 06, 2015 - 14:14

    3/4's of Canada is on the postal box system now,to reverse this decision(I do not like it either)will cost millions and millions,that would be a waste of money just to get a few votes..that is money taken from healthcare,social programs ,defence,Veterans you name it.It is just not practical.Joe may be a nice guy but Mulciar and the rest of the party are going backwards and even farther for turning down TPP and they have not even read it yet. and are just speculating and fear mongering during an election...I am not going to elect someone because he is a good man or a good guy ...there are lots out there .I want someone from the Govt side to promote my interests and get some help into this riding..... not an opposition member with a social agenda who needs a job.