Andrew Drummond: It wasn't quite the way he felt the campaign was going to work out.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 30th, 2018



Andrew Drummond, the NDP candidate for Burlington, had no idea that things were going to work out the way they have.

He has been one of those behind the scenes political workers for the Burlington New Democrats – worked diligently and hoped that maybe at some point his political party would form a government for the province.
Early in his political life Drummond was a Young Progressive Conservative. Now he is a parent with two children edging into the teen years. Works as marketing type in Toronto and does the necessary trying to just keep up.

Drummon in campagn office

It is a busier campaign office now.

He felt he was ready for his first campaign but wasn’t able to take time off and devote himself to the campaign. The objective for the NDP in Burlington has been to keep the name before the public; showing the flag as it were.

Drummond attended the Bfast Transit Forum, which was the first truly public event; wearing the orange T-shirt sitting beside Walter Mulkewich who looked like a proud grandfather.

Drummond brought a lot more credibility to the race than past candidates.

The campaign team is small – but Drummond says he has knocked on more than 4000 doors and is at the point where he has had to order more signs.

Will Andrea be in the riding? Probably not said Drummond.

Burlington has never been seen as prime NDP territory – that stuff is in Hamilton.

His Dad went to Queen’s University and worked on the election campaigns that put the late Flora Macdonald into the House of Commons. “As a young man I worked on Conservative campaigns with my parents” said Drummond.

He went to the University of Waterloo and got a job with Rodgers where he now works on enterprise strategy – which means working out the details and the discounts for a client that buys 500 cell phones.

It was while he was at Waterloo that he got a look at the damage a government can do – the Mike Harris government was a political awakening for Drummond. His days at handing out campaign literature for the Conservative cause came to an end.

Drummond moved to Burlington in 2004, his children have grown up here – this is the kind of family community he likes.

He made is clear during the information session on Monday that his concern for community goes far beyond his own neighbourhood. He told that audience that he doesn’t understand how a developer can come in and raze an established community and more than triple the population through intensification; which is what is happening in the Warwick Surrey community in Aldershot. Many of the policies and regulations that make that kind of development possible are provincially based. Words like that should keep the “responsible development” people very happy.

McKenna + Drummond

Andrew Drummond and Jane McKenna – the body language tells it all. He could be first – she might be last.

His issues are family issues – school, health and safe streets.

He wants to see major changes in the wait time at the hospital. “If you have to take your child to the hospital in the evening – take a sleeping bag – you are going to be there a long time.”, said Drummond.

The decision to close Bateman high school is something he wants to see revisited. “I can save that school if I am elected,” said Drummond.

His views on transit are not as strong – Burlington was built for the car – a reality Drummond doesn’t see changing all that much. However he does want the municipalities to have sound funding and as much as 50% of their operational costs.

Educational funding is a major focus for him – he sees a situation where school boards create a program but are not assured consistent funding going forward. “It is difficult to plan a program without knowing if the operational funding is going to be there.”

Drummond doesn’t have any problems with the tax increases that will be needed to pay for the Pharmacare and the dental care. He feels that a 1% or 2% increase is more than manageable for those in the $220,000 household income levels.

Walter and Drummond NDP

Andrew Drummond at his first public event with former mayor Walter Mulkewich in a supporting role.

During our discussion with Drummond there wasn’t any of that always coming back to the role the unions play. His focus was on the quality of the lives people live and more sharing of the wealth we have. He understands that the NDP has deep union roots but he does not see himself as a “union man”. The only time he was a member of a union was when he was 17 working as a dishwasher.

He understands that hydro is an issue and believes there is a solution to the problem.

Not any mention of the plight of the indigenous community.

What Drummond isn’t is one of those “radical activists” that Doug Ford goes on about. Drummond is quiet by nature with the capacity to think through an issue.

His concern is people and the lives they get to live.

He is aware of the impact provincial policy is having on the need for Burlington to intensify

There are times when the pace of the election and the volatility of the change taking place seem to overwhelm Drummond.

Our interview took place before the Canadian Federation of University Women held their information night for all the candidates. During the evening one could begin to see the character and depth of the man – he not only handled himself very well – he exuded a level of confidence that was refreshing.

Andrew Drummond

Andrew Drummond talking to a supporter during the CFUW event on Monday.

He is out 4 of the 5 weekday evenings  and all weekend knocking on doors. The campaign has eaten up the vacation time he had coming to him. Securing the traditional NDP vote and coping with the people who now want to take a longer look at the New Democrats keeps him moving.

The Monday CFUW event was followed by a Chamber of Commerce event the next morning. Drummond reports that he was the only person that got a strong round of applause when he made his closing remarks.

NDP vote map

The original objective was to keep the traditional NDP vote – that vote has grown requiring additional lawn signs.

What does all this mean to Andrew Drummond? Will he find himself sitting in the provincial Legislature in the fall? It is now something he thinks and wonders about.

He ran as the NDP candidate this time because he wanted to see the party get back to its traditional 19% share of the vote in Burlington. It was 14% in 2014.

What will it take to get that number high enough to take the seat?

That is something everyone in Burlington is thinking about.


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3 comments to Andrew Drummond: It wasn’t quite the way he felt the campaign was going to work out.

  • Paul & Adrienne Winslow


  • Susan L.

    Voting for the Party of your choice is never a waste of your vote. All parties who received at least two per cent of the popular vote in the last election are getting an annual allowance of $2.71 per vote. It means the three official parties and the Green Party of Ontario get the following amounts in 2017:
    Liberal: $5.06 million
    PC: $4.09 million
    NDP: $3.1 million
    Green: $630,000
    In 2018, the parties’ annual subsidies will be about 6 per cent less.

    Every vote counts!

  • Stephen White

    I had the pleasure of meeting and hearing Andrew Drummond yesterday at the Burlington Chamber’s Candidates event. I was genuinely impressed. He is by far the best NDP candidate I have seen in a long time….and as a Tory supporter I’m not easily impressed. He is articulate, pragmatic, well read, sincere and a very, very good public speaker. The fact that he has genuine business experience is a definite plus, and helps the New Democrats broaden their base from its traditional labour support. If the NDP ever hope to make gains then they have to project a more centrist perspective similar to what the NDP reflects in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

    I hope whatever the outcome on June 7th that he remains active in local area politics. He would make a great Councillor (hint, hint). When I see credible individuals such as him, along with a number of excellent new candidates running in the municipal election, it gives me hope that things in this city can and will get better.