Forget the Federal Election coming - eventually - later this year, the real contest is going on now is the race to see who will become the new Liberal candidate in Guelph after Frank Valeriote announced his retirement last fall. Former Ward 5 councillor Lise Burcher will officially launch her campaign tonight at the Green Room at the Bookshelf. In an already busy campaign for the Liberal nom, Burcher is banking that it's not to late to make her case.
"I have a strong foundation for inspired leadership as Guelph’s Liberal MP. This role is about more than representation," says Burcher in a press release. "Guelph is a leader in many areas and my commitment is to continue to pursue innovation locally, nationally and internationally. I am proud to have contributed to Guelph’s success and want to share that knowledge with other communities and draw on their success to maintain our trajectory of progress. I will work towards a collaborative federalism model where all three orders of government are at the table."
Burcher already knows something about working across the various levels of government. While a member of Guelph's city council, Burcher was also a director on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, an organization that lobbies the federal government on behalf of over 2,000 local governments across Canada. Locally though, Burcher is a professor at the University of Guelph's School of Environmental Design & Rural Development, and served three terms on city council between 2003 and 2014. She stepped down from council, deciding not to run for re-election last summer.
"Guelph is a shining example of how community engagement and innovation especially in the areas of energy and sustainability create a community that is recognized throughout Canada as progressive, prosperous and worthy of business investment due to our high quality of life," Burcher explains. "Not only will I work for you to bring funding and resources to our riding, I will champion Guelph to the rest of Canada as a proven example of how other communities can improve quality of life through innovation and collaboration.
"I am election ready and will work hard to draw support across party lines to secure and build the Liberal vote in Guelph,” she adds.
There may be some disagreement on that last point however. Former Chamber of Commerce President Lloyd Longfield is also in the running to succeed Valeriote as Guelph's Liberal nominee, so too is scientist and author Wendy Powell. No date has been set for the vote nominate the eventual Liberal candidate.
Lise Burcher Liberal Nomination Campaign Launch will take place tonight from 5 pm to 8 pm at the Green Room, 41 Quebec St.