Press Release: Kate Graham Makes First Ontario Liberal Party Leadership Rally stop in Southwestern Ontario, Confirms 20 Local Endorsements

October 29 2019, LONDON, ONTARIO  – On Tuesday, October 29, Ontario Liberal Party (OLP) leadership candidate Kate Graham held a campaign rally at Goodwill Industries in London. The rally is the first of three taking place across the province over the next month to officially kick-off Graham’s OLP leadership campaign. Graham was joined by a crowd of supporters from London and the surrounding areas.

Kate Graham launched her campaign to be the next leader of the OLP in September and has been on a seven-week-long, province-wide listening tour.

“Over these past weeks I’ve had hundreds of people, many who are completely new to politics, ask me, ‘How can I help?’ There is a hunger among people in this province, whether they are Liberals, progressives, conservatives or nonpartisans, for a movement that engages them, and empowers people to shape the decisions that affect their lives,” said Graham. 

At the rally, Graham outlined a future for the province where government focuses on Ontarians’ well-being as its primary metric of success. 

“GDP growth is important and necessary, but it doesn’t tell our story. It doesn’t measure the sense of powerlessness that people are feeling right across this province or their concerns for their future,” Graham told the crowd. “We need to concentrate less on politics as usual, and more on people and their quality of life. We need to guarantee that Ontarians will have the means to not only get by, but to live the lives they aspire to live.” 

Graham outlined four priority areas of well-being her campaign will focus on: empowering local communities, making life more affordable, creating better jobs, and fighting climate change.

She has been endorsed by current and former MPs, MPPs and local community leaders in London and the surrounding area.

The impressive list of local endorsers is:

1) Kate Young, London West Member of Parliament 

2) Deb Matthews, Former Deputy Premier and Former MPP, London North Centre

3) Zach Armstrong, PLA President, London North Centre 

4) Ben Charlebois, PLA President, London West 

5) Walt Rogers, Former PLA President, London North Centre 

6) Carlie Forsythe, 2018 OLP Candidate in Elgin-Middlesex-London

7) James Howard, 2018 OLP Candidate in Oxford 

8) Neil Wereley, 2018 OLP Candidate in Sarnia-Lambton 

9) Leslee White-Eye, Former Chief, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation

10) Joni Baechler, Former Mayor, City of London 

11) Matt Brown, Former Mayor, City of London

12) Pam Armstrong, 2019 LPC Candidate in Elgin-Middlesex-London

13) Kelly Elliott, Deputy Mayor, Thames Centre 

14) Todd Case, Former Lambton County Warden & Mayor of Warwick 

15) Arielle Kayabaga, City Councillor, City of London

16) Jesse Helmer, Deputy Mayor, City of London (Kate’s husband)

17) Doug Ferguson, Former President of the Liberal Party of Canada

18) Mike Moffatt, Economist & Ivey Business School Professor 

19) Tiffany Gooch, Long time Liberal activist from Windsor

20) Josh Monk, OYL Southwest Regional Coordinator & Former President, Western Young Liberals

 

Quick Facts About the Kate Graham campaign:

• Kate has received over 250 donations to her campaign, and has the third highest fundraising total of all campaigns. Over 69% of donors have given $100 or less.

• Kate is an active member of the London community, and has served as Chair of the Pillar Nonprofit Network Board and on the Board of ReForest London. Kate was named one of London’s Top 20 Under 40 in 2015

• Kate holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario. Her dissertation, called Leading Canada’s Cities: A Study of Urban Mayors, became what is known as “The Mayor’s Project”  and can be found at www.mayorsproject.ca

• Kate lives in the Old East Village neighbourhood of London, Ontario with her husband Jesse Helmer