Meghan Lipka seeks Lib­eral nom­i­na­tion

The Sun Times (Owen Sound) - - FRONT PAGE - ROB GOWAN SUN TIMES STAFF

Meghan Lipka says fu­ture gen­er­a­tions will be most im­pacted by the de­ci­sions made by politi­cians to­day.

As a mother of two young sons, that is one of the ma­jor rea­sons why she has de­cided to seek the Lib­eral nom­i­na­tion in the rid­ing of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.

“To me it has never been about me. It is about the rid­ing and it is about the fu­ture be­cause what we are voting for now, it doesn’t re­ally im­pact us right now. It im­pacts the fu­ture,” said Lipka, whose sons are six and three. “I have two young boys and I want to make sure their fu­ture is se­cure and safe and they have some­where that is beau­ti­ful that they can call home.”

Lipka said she wants to get young peo­ple en­gaged in pol­i­tics as much as pos­si­ble, some­thing that can be dif­fi­cult.

“When I go out and speak to young peo­ple they re­ally un­der­stand my pas­sion about it and they re­ally value what I bring to the ta­ble,” said Lipka.

Among the is­sues im­por­tant to Lipka are cli­mate change, In­dige­nous is­sues, women’s is­sues, farm­ing and small busi­nesses.

“We see more and more small busi­nesses strug­gling and need­ing a bit more help,” said Lipka. “There is a lot of fo­cus on larger cor­po­ra­tions, but it is time to help out more peo­ple than who we are al­ready help­ing out.”

Lipka is one of three peo­ple vy­ing for the Lib­eral nom­i­na­tion in the rid­ing along with Tober­mory hy­per­baric med­i­cal tech­ni­cian Rod An­der­son and for­mer Sun Times man­ag­ing edi­tor Michael Den Tandt. A date and lo­ca­tion for a nom­i­na­tion meet­ing has yet to be de­ter­mined.

Lipka’s first ma­jor foray into pol­i­tics was as cam­paign man­ager for Ian Boddy in his first cam­paign for the mayor’s chair in Owen Sound in 2014. She said from then on she has been hooked.

“I love it and I think it is re­ally im­por­tant,” said Lipka, 37. “I think in this day and age we need a re­ally strong voice to com­mu­ni­cate the is­sues in our rid­ing be­cause they are dif­fer­ent through­out.”

She said a lot of peo­ple in Hanover are con­cerned about a lack of hous­ing, while in Owen Sound some peo­ple want the har­bour dredged while oth­ers don’t. There are en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists who are con­cerned about the fu­ture, and then farm­ers have their own con­cerns as well.

“We have a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing in this rid­ing,” said Lipka. “That is some­thing a don’t feel like has re­ally been paid enough at­ten­tion to.”

Lipka has also be­come in­volved with the Lib­eral party lo­cally, serv­ing as cam­paign man­ager for Kim­ber­ley Love in the 2015 fed­eral elec­tion. She is cur­rently vice-chair of the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Fed­eral Lib­eral As­so­ci­a­tion.

Lipka, who has been a dry­waller for 15 years, said one of the things she has taken away from talk­ing to peo­ple in the rid­ing is that there aren’t a lot of peo­ple in Ot­tawa who are in small busi­ness, or even in the trades.

“To have good opin­ions in Ot­tawa you need to have as many dif­fer­ent jobs rep­re­sented as pos­si­ble so you can get the views of ev­ery­one,” said Lipka. “It would be nice to have some­body from a small busi­ness in Ot­tawa.”

Lipka said cur­rent Con­ser­va­tive MP Larry Miller, who is a farmer, has done his job over the past 14 years in of­fice and it is time for a change.

“It would be nice to have some­body in a dif­fer­ent in­dus­try, and have a new voice over there,” she said, ad­ding the right per­son can de­feat Miller in this fall’s elec­tion.

The de­ci­sion to run for the nom­i­na­tion came af­ter a lot of dis­cus­sion with her fam­ily, who are ready to sup­port her, Lipka said.

“I have a young fam­ily and they are not as in­volved in the com­mu­nity as they would be at an older age,” said Lipka. “Now is the time in­stead of wait­ing un­til later.”

Lipka said see­ing oth­ers in­ter­ested in the nom­i­na­tion is great for the process and the party.

“I think it is im­por­tant for a healthy vote to have a few dif­fer­ent peo­ple,” said Lipka. “You can re­ally see who is will­ing to work the hard­est, you can see who has put in the most effort in al­ready and it gives our lo­cal as­so­ci­a­tion some en­ergy and ex­cite­ment.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Meghan Lipka with her sons Finn and Alex. Lipka is seek­ing the Lib­eral nom­i­na­tion in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.

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