New candidate in Mississauga-Streetsville
A statement from former MPP Bob Delaney (2003 – 2018)
After some time, more time than I expected due to COVID-19, to reflect on my own wishes and aspirations within the Ontario Liberal Party, and for the northwest Mississauga community I served for 15 years in the Ontario Legislature, Andrea and I came to the conclusion that I would not stand again for nomination as the Ontario Liberal Party’s candidate in Mississauga-Streetsville.
This decision was made easier by two events:
- During the summer, I met with, and was impressed by, Jill Promoli, who was interested in seeking the Liberal nomination in Mississauga-Streetsville;
- The Ontario Liberal Party was willing to consider Jill’s appointment as our Candidate for the next election, a decision announced on December 17, 2020.
I agree with this Party decision to appoint Jill, who will have my endorsement and assistance in waging her first election. She is a strong, honest, hard-working, articulate Candidate who will earn the loyalty and friendship of our northwest Mississauga Liberal family. Jill is a generational change who will bring some new people and new ideas into our Liberal circle.
My journey with the Mississauga-Streetsville Provincial Liberal Association (then “Mississauga North”) began at the Riding Association’s 1996 Annual General Meeting, when a recommended list for the Riding Association’s Executive was acclaimed. Nearly 25 years later, and through three riding redistributions, six elections, four consecutive victories, and 15 years as the Member of Provincial Parliament, now is the time to pass the baton. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment, and would not have missed a day of my adventure in provincial politics. Simply put, it is enough of a good thing.
Andrea and I have discussed this decision through much of 2020, a process extended by COVID-19’s stay-home regime. The time since the 2018 election for us, like so many other Members who had the privilege of serving in four consecutive Liberal governments, was a time to re-learn the simple pleasures of life, and to look at the other horizons that beckoned beyond provincial politics. I neither submitted nor requested nomination papers from the Party for the next election.
I’d like to acknowledge and thank some exceptional people who were instrumental in my own journey in representing our neighbourhoods of Lisgar, Meadowvale and Streetsville, and in my first term Erin Mills.
Thank you many times over to our Riding Presidents: Joe Pathyil, Krystyna Peever, Guna Deivendran, Brian Ellis, Tom Lewis and my last Riding President, Sabrina Ahmed. Along with a regularly-renewed group of directors, we have enjoyed a well-run Riding Association that was active within the Ontario Liberal Party. Most importantly, we kept our required filings current, and raised the money we needed to contest six elections: 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2014 and 2018. We leave behind no lingering election debt.
A very special mention needs to include our Riding Association Treasurer of many years, Rob Bezaire. Rob is the standard by which superb money management in the Ontario Liberal Party is measured. He was the best there was throughout his long tenure, before passing the books to our current Treasurer, Shiraz Noor.
As well, we should acknowledge our campaign managers, especially Andrzej Hoffmann in 2007, 2011 and 2014; and Tom Lewis in 2018. We had a Constituency Office with remarkably low turnover during the years. In addition to Executive Assistant Andrzej Hoffmann, I want to thank some key staff over the years: Constituency Assistant Monika Duggal, Legislative Assistants Jessica MacInnis and Manraj Furmah, and to remember and commemorate Humaira Hamayun and Magnolia Ma, my Constituency staff for many of my years in government. Both have passed away of cancer.
A legacy to build upon
Politics being often defined as ‘the art of the possible,’ you can never be certain where the process will take you. An election campaign is about learning something new all the time. In realizing how morning traffic jams along our west-to-east roads were caused by commuters flocking to crowded GO trains at Meadowvale and Streetsville, I learned about railroad management and lobbied the daylights out of our government ministers, GO Transit and the Ministry of Transportation and Highways. Together with Ward 9 Councillor Pat Saito’s efforts in Peel Region, we got the Lisgar GO station build. Indeed, it came in seven weeks ahead of schedule and under budget, partly because Pat and I watched the project so closely, and resolved issues before they could become show-stoppers.
Over the years I was elected, five trains of eight cars each morning and evening became ten trains of 12 cars each. Each of our GO stations was upgraded and new parking added over the years the Liberals were in government.
Coming home from Queen’s Park on the train, sometimes Andrea would pick me up at Lisgar. I always got a personal thrill hearing the train staff call out, “Lisgar next stop, Lisgar!” I’d think to myself, “I did that!”
We needed a hospital expansion at Credit Valley. Then hospital president Wayne Fyffe invested time and effort in teaching me hospital issues, financing and administration. He introduced me to the doctors and nurses who regularly took me on the floor to learn how a hospital worked. When I got to announce the Credit Valley Hospital Phase 2 expansion, on a day that was coincidentally my birthday in August of 2005, I needed to step back as the capacity crowd that was present cheered the announcement because it literally took my own breath away. Together, we got Phase 2 and Phase 3 built, and increased base funding, bought new beds, put in an ambulatory surgery centre and much more.
After my first election in 2003, I had no Constituency Office to inherit. The first people to come and see me in my cold ex-campaign office that we used for the first few weeks were families of autistic children. It was an issue I knew little about, and visited ErinoakKids to know more. In 2007, I promised that “so help me God,” we would get a new ErinoakKids facility built. I didn’t know exactly how we would do that when we set out on this quarter-billion-dollar quest. It took longer than I thought, and again when I got to address the folks present in 2018, when the new ErinoakKids facility opened in Mississauga, I felt the emotion it took in the years-long quest to get the funding and mandate for ErinoakKids to open its state-of-the-art facility.
We will reflect more on what we have done, and where we ought to go, as we raise money and build the organization to support Jill Promoli in the next election. We won’t be confined to our homes forever. I wanted to pass my candidacy to an outstanding successor with an idea of what you can do with the office once you marry it with the passion of a committed person, the work ethic that Jill shares with me, and the vision of a Party that has delivered a bright future and a compassionate today to so many Ontarians in the past, and will do so in governments of the future.
Thanks for the memories, and for the solid foundation for the next steps in life.