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Canvassing in Whitby-Oshawa with Celina Caesar-Chavannes

IMG_0363This past Saturday, I had the privilege to be part of a small group to travel to Whitby-Oshawa and visit Celina Caesar-Chavannes campaign office (there was a bit of pre-travel angst on how I was getting there, but it worked out, thanks to a couple of understanding people).  Celina is the Liberal candidate in the Oshawa-Whitby byelection that is being held on next Monday, November 17, that was called with the untimely passing of Jim Flaherty, former Finance Minister.

I was there with Danielle Takacs, my friend and of course the Liberal candidate in Brantford-Brant, as well as one other volunteer (Brian, pictured here with Celina, who I thank for letting me catch a ride with him). The purpose of our trip was to essentially observe how Celina’s campaign office was organizing and running things,  and also to get some knowledge on the campaign canvassing tools they are using here, which will be fine-tuned for every riding when the general election is called next year.  I’m not obviously going to be specifically saying what the Liberals are using for easier canvassing tools, but I’ll say that our small team was able to actually go out and test it first hand as we were assigned a section of streets to canvass for Celina.  It was a good opportunity for everyone – myself and our other volunteer to get the hang of what was being used, and for Danielle to do some talking to people at the door, which she is doing in her own riding and will be doing a lot more of.

My judgement on it after the canvassing was done is that the tools being used are  very convenient and fairly easy to operate once you get used to it. It also helps to have some good people to easily explain how to access it/use it, and we did in the person of Brandon Sage, the newly acclaimed VP of Organization at LPC (Ontario). His approach was not to get into the theory behind their tools, but to just give visuals on what you needed to do to access it and what to click/slide/press to do it correctly.. and I liked that approach.

As for the by-election itself, Celina is still going to be the underdog here to win in a riding that gave Jim Flaherty 60%+ in 2011, but in our limited canvass, we found a lot of people who were undecided yet as to how to vote (I  heard a couple of other canvass teams saying they had heard the same things at doors), and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing for Celina’s chances.  I also believe if she doesn’t win but gives a credible showing, it will set her up well in the riding for the 2015 general election, but as with all byelections, “get out the vote” will be very crucial here.

I will say this as well; if Celina doesn’t pull it out next Monday, it won’t be due to poor organization or lack of enthusiasm there, as both were excellent as far as I could see (and it’s likely I will be going back with Danielle along with some others to observe how they run things on e-day, again for observation/tips  as well as to help where we can)

Below the fold are some pictures I and a couple of others took while there, including a nice group shot of myself with Danielle and Celina. My thanks to their team for their hospitality and their help, and to Danielle for inviting me along to observe and participate.

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2 comments to Canvassing in Whitby-Oshawa with Celina Caesar-Chavannes

  • rockfish

    Great to hear — and I’m pulling for Celina, as I’m certain are all Liberals here in BC. That riding is, as they often say, the Conservatives to lose; but with a great candidate and a grassroots campaign, along with a strong message of hope, great things come.

  • Brian McLean

    Great day cool and drizzle Thanks to all involved in training etc. thanks to Scott & Danielle for allowing me to be part of the day. What a great candidate Celina is. Whitby-Oshawa should be proud.

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