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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Monday 31 March 2014

Community Matters

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Humanization.  Understanding.  Grabbing a pint, connecting as people, not functionaries.
That was the whole purpose behind Brownell Night.
When MPP Jim Brownell retired and chose not to run in the 2011 election, I got a lovely signed picture of Jim and Premier McGuinty, who attended the last Brownell Night, together with the intent of giving it to the Duke of York as a commemorative piece.  At the same time, I went around to a number of Liberal MPPs and asked if any of them would be willing to host, co-host or rotate hosting duties around an institutionalized Brownell Night - an ongoing, once-a-month opportunity for Provincial Liberals, friends and event political opponents to get together and just socialize. 
There were a couple of folk who expressed interest but, when it came to actually committing, faded into the woodwork.  More than a couple expressed concern that being associated with a bar night would harm their chances of Cabinet Posts down the road.
So it never happened.  I went on to join the Why Should I Care team and continue to support community and engagement at the Duke in a different capacity.
If there had been an internal community and engagement between the ranks within the OLP from 2011 on, would that have changed any of the shorter-sighted decisions that got made?  Probably not, but I wonder.
When it's really about supporting the community - moving forward together, as it were - it's hard to focus on choosing who to leave behind, isn't it?

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