Charlie is an Authentic Leader Who Puts People First
Open letter by Christine Moore, MP, Abitibi—Témiscamingue (QC)

 

Our work as MPs is closely scrutinized, and the details of our decisions and actions are in the public eye. But often, our pasts, the things that brought us to politics, remain unknown to most people.

Because I was first elected in the Orange Wave, people often forget that my history with the NDP did not start in 2011. When the 2004 election was on the horizon, I took the time to read the different parties’ platforms and to learn more about them. That’s when I discovered the NDP and Jack Layton, and when my own involvement with the party started. What I liked about Jack was his way of speaking simply and clearly, and his real concern for people. Putting people first, before your own interests, has always been the only way to do politics right.

Too often, we see professional politicians who transform into professional acrobats when it comes to time to respond clearly to a question. People are tired of this. They want politicians who are passionate, authentic, and a little colourful.

After 2004, I continued to follow the work the NDP was doing. I was serving in the military at the time, so it was hard to participate directly in politics. In 2005, when I was nearly finished with my service and discouraged by the way the government was managing the military, I decided that the time had come to start being directly involved in the campaign that was on its way. I had initially planned to volunteer, but I ended up as the candidate for Abitibi—Témiscamingue in the 2006 election. After that, I went to multiple national conventions and events and met inspiring people from all over the country.

Charlie was one of the people who inspired me and made me feel like I had a place in the NDP. He showed me that you didn’t have to be a lawyer or an academic to be involved in politics, that you can be an excellent public servant even if you are not coming from the ‘traditional’ paths into political life – perhaps even a better one. What Charlie showed me was that by working hard day after day, by being close to our constituents we can accomplish great things. He taught me to always be there for the people we represent, particularly for people who are forgotten all too often.

After the 2011 election, Charlie was my mentor. My staff spent days in his office learning the ropes, and he was always there for me when I needed help and advice. We represent neighbouring ridings, and have often had joint events where I have seen his leadership qualities come to the fore time and time again.

I believe that Charlie is the kind of leader that the vast majority of Canadians would like as Prime Minister. He is an authentic leader who puts people first. He is capable of bringing out the best in the people around him, of mobilizing volunteers and attracting new members. Thanks in part to Charlie’s tireless work, we are more present than ever in Indigenous communities. Charlie has modelled what a real collaborative partnership looks like, and paved the way for the relationship of respect that Canada’s first NDP government will have with Indigenous people.

Charlie is also capable of listening to people who aren’t natural New Democrats. He knows that when it comes to representing his riding, he can’t only be there for the people who voted for him. He’s a bridge builder and a unifier.

As a Quebecer, I had initial concerns about his mastery of French. I’ve seen the constant progress he’s made over the course of this campaign. I also know the work he’s done with the Franco-Ontarian community in his riding, and how he’s always made sure that his office and public presence in the North was welcoming to Francophones.

I’ve had conversations with him (in French!) about this. He’s aware that he is going to have to keep working at it - but he’s ready to put in the work it takes. With a team of fantastic Quebec MPs at his back, I have no doubt that he will be ready for 2019.

Every day, people from my riding, typically francophone Quebecers , cross over to Ontario to work in the mines in Charlie’s riding. Many of his constituents previously lived in or are originally from Quebec. Northern Quebec and Northern Ontario are closely tied together, they live the same realities. I have no doubt that Quebecers will see themselves and their values in a party led by Charlie.

Because of all this, I’ve decided to endorse and support Charlie. He represents the kind of politics I want to do every day. It’s time that we brought back good, NDP common sense to government. We have to put Canadians in the driver’s seat and stop leaving people behind. It’s possible with a lot of hard work, and Charlie is ready for it.

 

Christine Moore, MP,
Abitibi—Témiscamingue (QC)