Vacation.

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I am slowly coming to the end of my vacation – a serene two weeks of respite and quiet. And the first in seven years.

Between university, politics, work, and campaigns, it has been a bit of a whirlwind. Graduating from university, two national blogging awards, to Judy Hehr’s CBE win (67%), working for Kent Hehr in his role as a provincial representative, and then Kent’s run for federal office (46.5%) – it has been quite the journey. Now, if you believe the papers, Kent is a cabinet minister. Huh.

Definitely a bit of a whirlwind.

Anyways, these past two weeks I’ve taken time to think about the people I’ve met, the work that has enriched both my life and others’, and I’ve begun to look a little more about future projects. And there are some amazing things happening in the next couple of years. I am excited for what is to come.

I’ve also taken the last two weeks to spend some time on myself.

First, I went to Chicago for a conference on digital campaign tools – learning and confirming lessons that I can apply to these new projects.

Next, I did something I’ve thought about for a while: correcting my eyesight with Lasik surgery. I’m going to be off of antibiotics in the next day or so, and the procedure seems to have taken wonderfully. I can see things without my glasses, and better than with my specs. To boot, it’s likely to even get better as the swelling goes down.

All in all, I spent time with friends, went abroad, and spent some time recouping post-surgery. It was a good rest.

That one time Justin Trudeau read my blog…

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Just after the 2011 election I penned a blog post. It was in the darkest days after the worst election the Liberals fought in modern history. It was just after Michael Ignatieff resigned, and at a time the once proud Liberal caucus was whittled down to a 30-member rump. Pundits across Canada were declaring the party over, the fate of its organizers sealed, and widely trumpeting the death of the Liberal Party of Canada.

 

Here is the post below that I wrote in response to some of the criticism I received on another blog post talking about how to rebuild the party. If there’s interest I’ll post that as well.

Here is that second post that Prime Minister Trudeau was kind enough to share. Continue reading

Advocates for Mental Health

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One of the coolest things I have seen this year was when two advocates — from polar opposites in lifestyle and reach — spoke out on mental health. The first is Brett Rothery, a student at Crescent Heights High School, and the second is billionaire Brett Wilson.

In January I was able to watch a Calgary youth rock local and national media with his efforts as a leader in his school about mental health and ending stigma towards it. It was roughly around 1 am one fateful morning as I flipped between different twitter accounts that I saw Brett Rothery and his school council executive retweeting a hashtag (#CHHSLetsTalk), where every RT would lead to an additional $0.05 donated to the local Canadian Mental Health Association.

By the time they finished the donated pool of funds from their school’s principal, well, I simply had to support them. From about 5 am to 11 am they were without a sponsor and, having three siblings with mental health issues, I felt compelled to help.

Now the neat thing I forgot to tell Brett was that I also pushed his outreach effort with about 15 or 16 of the accounts I manage on twitter — like then MLA Kent Hehr’s or the provincial Liberal Party — and also forwarded it to the local press. After all, what’s the purpose of having a voice other than to use it for good causes just like this? Continue reading