Welcome to Tracey’s Campaign Headquarters! Things moved pretty fast after I decided in September that it was time to get a little more active locally. First of all, I discovered just how much was involved in running for office. I have to get 100 residents of Milborough North and South-West Scarborough to sign my nomination papers, which will take a lot of time and effort once I’ve exhausted the lists of friends and extended family! Except…
Rod Harvey still hasn’t officially left office; rumour has it he has been asked by his party to wait until the general election is called so a special by-election isn’t necessary. That’s the first thing.
The second is the re-drawing of the district boundaries so South-West Scarborough, Milborough North, South-East Scarborough and Milborough-Eastgate are distributed using some common sense (for a change!). It made sense historically when Eastgate was developed as a suburb of Scarborough, but everything grew into a giant conglomeration which I’m sure left many people confused about the city’s actual name and where it began and ended.
The construction of the Sharon Valley Parkway in the late 90s formed a natural boundary separating Milborough and Scarborough, prompting this boundary review, which began a few years ago to ensure a thorough consultation. I have to admit complete and total ignorance of what was going on; my sense of civic responsibility never went beyond the occasional campaign contribution and going to vote, so I didn’t often read the leaflets we’d get in the mail. If there isn’t a general election, there will be two by-elections, one for each of the new districts of Scarborough South and Milborough. Jessica Forbes (NDP) is the sitting MP for South-East Scarborough and Milborough-Eastgate (even though she doesn’t live in Milborough or Scarborough). Will she run in Milborough or Scarborough? Who will run for the other parties?
So that’s the technical side of things. Before I made anything official, we had a family meeting to discuss the implications of my standing for office, because we want the kids to understand what is involved. I know that, as an independent, I won’t rate very highly in election coverage unless I make a big fuss (or screw up royally), but there’s still the chance that the kids will be teased at school. We don’t believe that there are any skeletons in our closet. Yes, Gord’s parents drank and yes, his dad was a violent drunk, but they have been sober for over a decade and are not shy to talk about what they’ve overcome, and to offer their help to those who want to get better, not that I want to say too much about this – the second A is for Anonymous, after all.
Both kids are supportive. Rosie has come with me to the Survivors, the local support group for those who are struggling to get recognition for their health and physical problems. Dave Kenflozz is their de facto spokesman, but he’s pretty blunt about his own electoral chances in an image-obsessed society and says that he prefers to fade into the background and let someone else be the public contact. He says he has developed a sense of humour about the whole “mutant” thing, a defence against the taunts he received as a child and the strange looks he still gets on the street. Over his desk is a Jessica Rabbit poster with the motto “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.”
We’ve had enough polite letters from the Department of Natural Resources to know that they’re starting to realize that we aren’t going to go away quietly, although we still can’t get an appointment with the Minister. The closest we’ve had is an update on their website which includes the statement: “[Low-Level Radioactive Waste] that was managed in the past in a manner no longer considered acceptable but for which the owner cannot reasonably be held responsible. The federal government has accepted responsibility for this waste”, but they are being vague on what they consider the radiation sources in the Milborough experiences to be. I say it should be considered Historic LLRW under their own definition: “Examples of LLRW are contaminated materials, rags and protective clothing. It also includes contaminated soils and related wastes resulting from the very early operations of Canada’s radium industry.”
Dave is helping me launch a website and develop an internet presence: Facebook, Twitter – the works – and this is right up Paul’s alley. I don’t think my son has ever met a computer he didn’t love and he was quick to pick up the CMS Dave designed and has positioned himself as my online campaign manager. Unpaid, of course, unless you count his allowance!
It’s our turn to host Thanksgiving dinner this year, which is OK because it means Christmas will be at my parents’ place instead. Gord dropped by the Farmers’ Market last week to pick up some pumpkins and said he saw John Patterson there, but John seemed to think he was a farmer and tried to give him some money. We invited Mike to join us this weekend, but he’d already accepted an invitation from Mira and Wilf – now there’s something I wouldn’t have imagined happening a few years ago!