Celebrate work by playing all day!


One year ago today I went to the annual Labour Day picnic in Charlottetown's prime harbourfront Victoria Park. It is hosted each year by the Canadian Federation of Labour. Candendish Farms provides their awesome chip truck, the BBQs, corn on the cob and soft drinks.

At that picnic I was introduced to the leader of the provincial NDP, James Rodd, by the man who ran federally in my riding; I had convassed for him and sat as the sole scrutineer for the polling and to the end of the count.

I left the picnic last year with the vague nagging feeling that I'd just had a job interview.

The next month I was asked to run in the provincial election.

Our leader announced in February he was not reoffering. Party members started assessing leadership candidates. Before public narrative could start suggesting no one wanted to lead what is at present the fourth place party, I announced my willingness to step forward (as I did in my contest against Premier Ghiz). Then when it appeared I would become interim leader unopposed I withdrew and we restarted the race for this October. This would preclude any narrative of a party settling for its only choice.

In the interim, I became President of our largest federal riding association (one of 4) (the majority of provincial members are part of the charlottetown riding.

We attracted some new mmbers from other parties. One has offered for the leadership of ours (putting me in the position of having to fulfill my pledge to re-enter the race when someone elswe did - to guarantee a contested election). I like him and he would be a fine leader too. So I will be very content with the outcome of this - whomever emerges leading the Party on October 13.


Today - one year after being ushered into politics - I attend the picnic again - this time hosting the Charlottetown NDP presence.

Where previously there was no prominent coordinated NDP presence at the
This year we drop a white stage in the park, flanked by speakers. Across the back stretched between the speaker uprights is the NDP banner

stage left is the mixing board (accessible from both sides (on stage and the side of the stage) Centre stage is a mic stand.

Orange ballons on the spakers, and on the attention grabbing display table. (shiny objects on a sunny day) Thre is a "theme" to the NDP presence there today:

"NDP - WE ARE YOU"

Hence the mirrors and shiny objects.

I have my campaign literature.

There are all sorts of family activities and prizes (always in the orange motif)

From 4:00 - 5:00 there is an open mic speaker's corner on our stage and then I get to host the games (wearing a headset mic)

At 5:00 the PEI Hip Hop Association has five acts on the NDP stage dong a "clean" set.

our featured performer is a orange-headed rapper who has now done a couple of our events - to great popularity. He has a great sense of humour at being kidded for his orange hair. It is rather distinctive in the hiphop world here.


Because this is also a broader party event, My rival for the leadership will get equal stage time as me if he wants it. (This entire picnic was organized by the federation of Labour, but the NDP stage was done by the Charlottetown Association - just as we did the Tribute to Jack Layton.

I am going to be hosting and working all day. icon_biggrin.gif