Young Liberals lending support out west

Members helping campaign for upcoming byelection in Toronto

Mitch MacDonald
Published on June 22, 2014
Members of the Young Liberals of Prince Edward Island, from right, Julia O’Hanley, Ronnie McPhee and Dunja Stajic make phone calls to voters in the Trinity-Spadina riding of downtown Toronto on Saturday night. McPhee is president of the Young Liberals of P.E.I. while O’Hanley is vice president of policy and the election readiness chair. Stajic is the vice president of communications for the Young Liberals of Canada.
Guardian photo by Mitch MacDonald

Members of the Young Liberals of Prince Edward Island are lending some support out west for an upcoming federal byelection in Ontario.

Members of the Young Liberals were making phone calls from Charlottetown on Saturday to potential voters in the Trinity—Spadina riding on candidate Adam Vaughan’s behalf.

Ronnie McPhee, president of the Young Liberals, was one of five members who spent part of Saturday making calls to the downtown Toronto district.

“We had a pretty good success rate,” said McPhee, who had met Vaughan earlier this winter. “Most of the conversations I had were with people who voted NDP last election and they were Olivia Chow fans, not necessarily NDP fans.”

“We expect a lot who voted NDP will be voting Liberal.”

The riding was previously held by Chow, who is well-known as a former Toronto city councillor and the widow of former NDP leader Jack Layton.

Chow resigned from the seat in March to run in Toronto’s mayoral election this fall. While she held the Trinity-Spadina seat since 2006, the riding itself switched from NDP to Liberal provincially during Ontario’s election earlier this month.

McPhee, who has been a member of the Young Liberals for nearly three years, said there has been a push on to participate at the federal level as well as provincially.

“A lot of it is from the fact that Justin (Trudeau) is the leader and he’s a big advocate for youth,” said McPhee.

Part of the increased effort has included a lot of travelling, including to Nova Scotia for the provincial election last October.

“This is kind of our way of helping (Vaughan) without going on feet,” said McPhee. “When it’s closer to home, like with New Brunswick having their election in September, we’ll be there helping on the ground.”

The Trinity-Spadina byelection is being held on Monday, June 30. There will also be one other Toronto riding and two Alberta ridings holding byelections on the same day.