The federal Liberals have made mistakes, according to Martha Hall Findlay. And those mistakes have cost the party the trust of Canadians and it's time to change that.
Hall Findlay was in Sudbury on Feb. 17, speaking to Liberal party supporters at Hardrock 42. The leadership candidate spoke to a small crowd of about 15 people about what she plans to bring to the table and how she feels the Grits can earn that trust back.
“We can't keep saying the same things over and over,” she said. “We can't go half-assed at this anymore. People want us to do things.”
The former MP for Willowdale has held several shadow cabinet positions. On top of her political involvement, Hall Findlay has worked as a lawyer, business woman and entrepreneur with experience in both large and small business, as well as major multi-national corporations. She is the chief legal officer at EnStream LP and an executive fellow at the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy. She prides herself on achieving results — something she said will never change.
“You think I'm going to stop getting things done because I'm a Liberal leader?” she said. “We have to have substance and experience. I'm proud of what I've done and how I've done it.”
Taking a break from speaking to the crowd, Hall Findlay said she believes her varied background is what makes her a strong candidate to revitalize the federal Libereals. Her professional and political accomplishments are only part of it — her personal experiences are what make her so easy to relate to for the average Canadian, she said Sunday.
The 53-year-old mother of three adult children said she juggled her own schooling, competing nationally as a skier and parenting, so she knows the trials Canadians face. She retired to pursue a formal education, but picked up part time work as a waitress and in construction to pay her own bills.
“I get it — the challenges parents face, the challenges students face,” she said. “I've lived it.”
During the campaign launch in Calgary, Hall Findlay said “Canada should once again be leading by example.”
“And to do what’s right for Canada, we need the Liberal Party to lead by example. And for that, the Liberal Party needs a leader who does the same. Every couple of weeks during this campaign I will set out a detailed policy position for discussion and engagement – much of which will be focused, of course, on the economy. And you all know that there will be plenty of substance.”
The first policy she released back in November 2012 called for a national energy strategy for energy infrastructure.
Besides the details of policies, Hall Findlay made her priority of regaining the country's trust clear.
“I don't think we have a lot of chances left in the bucket,” she said. “That's the challenge we have.”
This is not Hall Findlay's first kick at the leadership can. She ran for leader of the party back in 2006, though she garnered the lowest support and eventually threw what she did have behind the eventual winner, Stephane Dion.
She lost her seat in Willowdale in 2011 to Conservative, Chungsen Leung.
Although Justin Trudeau is widely considered the frontrunner in the race to lead the Liberals, both in term of overall support and in fundraising power, Hall Findlay is holding her own, at least when it comes to amassing a war chest. As of the end of January, Trudeau had generated $673,156 toward his leadership bid, more than all other candidates combined.
Hall Findlay is second — albeit a distant second, at least in terms of the size of her war chest, with $149,877. This puts her ahead of another high profile candidate, astronaut-turned-politician, Marc Garneau.