Burgers, Banter & Big Red Tents; It must be a Liberal BBQ!

By James Smith.

BURLINGTON, ON.  July 20-2013.  On a very warm evening, the Burlington Federal Liberals gathered to burn a few burgers and broil the present government at their annual BBQ in Aldershot. About 35-40 of the party faithful gathered to catch-up, and talk about everything from l’affair  Duffy, to the latest in the soap opera that is the Toronto Subway saga, to the cabinet shuffle that sees Burlington’s Ms Raitt as minister of Transportation. With little surprise few held out hope that Ms Raitt was going to use her new job to fix the Airpark mess anytime soon.

The Hon Judy Sgro, former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration speaks to Burlington federal Liberals at a recent BBQ.

The guest for the evening was the Hon Judy Sgro, MP for York West Liberal critic for Seniors and Pensions, and the former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration in Paul Martin’s Cabinet. Ms Sgro is a natural and very relaxed politician, she and husband Sam seemed to be in their element as they easily chatted and mingled for most of the evening. When it came time for a speech, Ms Sgro spoke directly about how she had not supported Justin Trudeau for leader, (can you even imagine Mike Wallace saying something like that?) but as Liberal leader, she noted she’s impressed  both with his commitment, his grasp of issues and his leadership ability in caucus. One gets the impression from her comments, that Mr Trudeau runs a pretty tight ship.

Ms Sgro also took the present government to task on a number of issues from immigration to pensions and had an interesting observation on the scandal plagued Senate. In contrast to the comments made by our MP Mike Wallace ,Ms Sgro suggested most of the good work reviewing bills is being done by Senators of both parties. The reason for this observation is legislation is often part of omnibus bills, crafted in rush, with often as little as three or four hours of review. Ms Sgro claims that closure (time limits on debate) has been used by the present government more than at any other in the past. In her opinion, this makes for sloppy legislation, and often mistakes and unintended consequences that are not caught until a bill becomes law.

In conclusion she urged her audience to keep involved in the process and to get ready for the next election, as she feels the election in 2015 will be critical to the future existence of a federal liberal party. Given the turnout on the hottest day of the year, it seems the Liberal faithful in Burlington are anxious to heed her call.

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