Pam Damoff opens her campaign office - passes the hat to pay for a second run of election signs.

Fed election logoBy Pepper Parr

September 14, 2015


It was a good healthy crowd.

All the right people said all the right things and when it was over Pam Damoff had a campaign office that was open and ready to take her campaign to the next level.

The campaign was close to running out of signs – a good omen? Depends on how many signs they printed up the first time around.

Damoff - Ed Mcmahon - camp manager

Campaign chair Ed McMahon and campaign manager Keri Schoonderwoerd go over the agenda for a full campaign office opening.

Fund raising is always a challenge – the Liberals fell back on a tried and true approach – pass the hat. It soon filled with $20 biils
Damoff is the Liberal candidate for Oakville Burlington North,(ONB) a new riding which makes it appealing to everyone.

ONB federal boundaries

The western boundary of the Oakville North Burlington constituency is Burloak and Bell School line. With candidates in three different constituencies – voters are going to be confused on where they are supposed to vote. Messy re-distribution.

This riding had quite an early history. Last summer, former Conservative MP Eve Adams and local chiropractor Natalia Lishchyna abandoned their bids for the Tory nomination amid allegations of wrongdoing.

Damoff with LiberaL sign

Liberal candidate and Oakville Town Councillor Pam Damoff opened her campaign office in Burlington on the weekend.

Ward 6 Councillor for Oakville, Max Khan was the party’s original nominee. Mr Khan died in September, 2014. Oakville Town Councillor and longtime community volunteer Pam Damoff was acclaimed as the Liberal candidate on May 26, 2015.

There are five candidate: A Liberal, a Conservative, a Green candidate; a Libertarian candidate and a New Democrat.

The race in this riding, ONB, is between the Liberal and the Conservative. The eventual winner will probably be decided by the strength of the coat tails of Stephen Harper or Justin Trudeau.

The NDP candidate brings little to the race, the Greens hope for a strong showing so they have something to build on – and the Libertarian is there because the democratic process allows him to be a candidate.

The Conservative candidate has a very strong pedigree, impressive as well but it is going to be difficulty to see her in action.

Effie Triantafilopoulos is the Conservative candidate for Oakville North-Burlington. Prior to her candidacy, Effie held key roles in Ottawa as a Chief of Staff to Ministers responsible for three important departments: including, External Affairs and International Trade, Industry Canada and the Treasury Board of Canada. In these jobs, she provided strategic advice to the federal government on how to increase trade and economic growth.

She has also served as Deputy Director and Senior Advisor at the Summits Management Office of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada for the G20 Summit in 2010.

In the private sector, Effie specialized in corporate, international trade and immigration law while working closely with Canadian companies to create jobs, attract investment and find markets for Canadian products. She served as a director at leading business associations, including Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, Ontario Exports Inc. and the Forum for International Trade Training.

In the not-for-profit sector, Effie served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Canada. In this role, she promoted programs focused on improving the health and education of children in Canada and in countries across the world.

Effie received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Toronto, followed by a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Ottawa and a Master of Laws in International Trade and Competition Law from Osgoode Hall.

Effie is committed to public service and volunteerism, and has played an active role in community and national not-for-profit organizations for more than 25 years, including the Hellenic Heritage Foundation and Accessible Media Inc.

The Gazette sent in a request to be added to the ONB media list – and were told we would be added – nothing so far – but then it is early in the campaign.
The Green Party nominated Adnan Shahbaz an educator working in the Curriculum Support Services division of a local school board as an Instructional Coach.

Libertarian Party of Canada nominated David Clement. David is a local entrepreneur in the consulting field.
On March 22, 2015 members from the ONB NDP nominated Rebecca Rajcak,an OSSTF member and high school teacher in Oakville. She later resigned the candidacy and Janice Best, a local union official, replaced her as the NDP candidate.

The Conservatives have reportedly told their candidates to keep their heads down – don’t take part in any debates; focus on the core vote, those died in the wool Tories who will take their ballot to the grave with them. The objective will be to get the Tory vote out and hope that the tide does not turn on Mr. Harper.

The first candidate campaign for Burlington had candidates from both Burlington proper and Oakville North Burlington (ONB) meeting in the Burlington library answering questions from youth.

3 things - Randy Minaker

Candidates from both the Burlington and Oakville North Burlington constituencies take part in the first federal election event in the area.

Wallace took part and managed to get out a statement on the Old Age Supplement – there were some seniors in the room – that is his target market. If he can keep them – and they do like him – he could be safe.

They appear to be depending on the solid Conservative vote in this part of the province. Effie Triantafilopoulos does not have a local profile but the party membership thought she was a better candidate than Blair Lancaster who was prepared to give up her ward six Burlington council seat and sit in the House of Commons.

We are now into the thick of the campaign that pollsters are calling a dead heat between the Liberals and the New Democrats nationally with the Conservatives losing a bit of the lead they had

Damoff Liberal passing the hat

Pam Damoff campaign manager Keri Schoonderwoerd passes the hat to raise funds for another print run of campaign signs.

The focus of the campaign appears to be shifting from one scare tactic – that the terrorists are going to arrive on our shores in droves to a new scare – the economy is not safe in the hands of either Liberal Justin Trudeau or God forbid the socialists.

If the Conservatives can scare enough people – they might get themselves returned to office.

Damoff has local experience – she serves on the Oakville town council; she is personable, knows the issues and understands Ottawa where she worked in a number of administrative capacities for a Cabinet Minister.

She is certainly visible and has an active, committed, focused campaign team.

Burlington residents are now part of one of three different constituencies and will now be represented by three different people: all three could be female.

Going to be tough to get anything out of Ottawa with that kind of representation.  The municipalities and the Region will have to scurry to get someone to listen to them.

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5 comments to Pam Damoff opens her campaign office – passes the hat to pay for a second run of election signs.

  • Walter Muklkewich

    Re my earlier comment and the Editor’s response to my comment – my political background is not the issue, I was suggesting some substantiation to the opinion in the original article.

  • Mr.Bean

    NDP for me!

  • John

    “If the Conservatives can scare enough people – they might get themselves returned to office.” Come on. Can you not just say that perhaps the voters might prefer the Conservatives? Saying the the economy is not safe in the hands of either the Liberals or the NDP is a perfectly normal political opinion/argument, not a scare tactic.

  • Reggie

    The NDP are new, fresh, and under Mulcair can take us into the place where we need to be as a country. These Liberals are dangerous. This city could use some NDP.

  • Walter Muklkewich

    An unfortunately biased opinion article says Janice Best “brings little to the race” without any substantiation where in the real world she brings the real alternative to the Conservatives, the Tom Mulcair New Democrats.

    Editor’s note. We stood in the room, we listened, what more can a reader ask a reporter to do. She mumbled and left the impression she didn’t want to be there. All we do is report what we see.
    The commenter is a life long supporter of the NDP