During the 1957 World Series between the defending champions, the New York Yankees, playing against the Milwaukee Braves, there was a home plate encounter between Yogi BERRA and a 23-year-old batter, that would become part of baseball lore.
Yogi BERRA needled players with his endless wit from behind the plate.
So, Yogi started talking noise, trying to distract Henry AARON, the National League batting champ of 1956, he said: “Hank, you’re holding your bat wrong. You’re supposed to hold it so you can read the insignia.”
For you folks who know baseball, you know the writing is supposed to face the batter. Because if the writing is not facing the batter, the bat can break, or reverberate painfully in the hand of the hitter.
AARON said nothing, instead of concentrating on the pitcher – and when the first pitch came – he hit it into the left-field bleachers. After rounding the bases and touching home plate – he made sure to tell Yogi BERRA: “I came here to hit baseballs – not to read.”
Ladies and Gentlemen –
This campaign will be built upon the values of Individual Freedom, Personal Responsibility, Fairness and Respect. These fundamental values are the bedrock of the People’s Party of Canada.
“Our founders – The Fathers of Confederation – were not just pragmatists – they had principles and ideals.”
Like Hank AARON at bat, this campaign will be focused, and not distracted by noise. It will be laser-focused. When others resort to labels, we will talk about values.
Beginning with the quote you see on the banner about community as a mosaic, in the banner behind you. That is what our life in community is about.
This image embodies these values.
Since 1988, the Liberals have come to view this riding as “Safe Liberal”. As their fortress.
“What then is a fortress?” In this instance, it has come to mean – ‘a negative pattern of thought which has been burned into our minds over the last 31 years creating as a mindset a situation as unchangeable.’
But as with all fortresses, masonry crumbles.
Many Kingstonians are now saying that the Liberals have overstayed their welcome. But I have listened as some have shared, a feeling of hopelessness: “We can’t change it.” – they confide.
To anyone who thinks their vote doesn’t matter – Nothing happens no matter what. People make choices.
Choice exists because freedom exists. Your yesterday doesn’t control your tomorrow.
I don’t want anyone thinking that what I am saying here will throw the Liberals into conniptions. It won’t.
The Liberals are feeling too comfortable for that.
Tonight, our trumpets have only begun to sound …
The last line of the 19th Century African-American spiritual, “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho”, says it well: “And the walls came tumblin’ down.”
This, too, will be the last line of the Liberal song in Kingston.
I believe too much caution and timidity in politics is a pathway to perdition. Where others won’t, this campaign will dare.
This campaign will be attracted by ideas.
It will be a place for you to share your voice. I want YOU to see and hear yourself reflected in this campaign.
In other parties, candidates are shackled, even gagged. The People’s Party of Canada stands in stark contrast – its candidates are empowered.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Maxime for not only being here with us but also for placing his confidence and trust in me as the PPC standard-bearer for Kingston and the Islands.
“Maxime, you have entrusted me with all the freedom and latitude to be reflective of the concerns of this community. Thank you!”
“What do people expect from their Member of Parliament?”
They don’t want someone who just occupies a seat. There is an obligation to be accountable. They do NOT want a “Bobblehead”.
Kingstonians have grown weary of the trivial being elevated.
They have grown tired of the outdated “catchpenny” politics of the Liberals – with its cheap policy ornaments.
People also expect their representative to have the emotional intelligence not to seek conflict – to neither provoke nor be drawn into Twitter fights and pointless Facebook exchanges.
They don’t want drama; they want decency. They want depth, not superficiality. In short, they desire competence.
As a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, I learned firsthand the importance of accepting people where they are. I have seen the fragility of life, I understand the solemnity of being thoughtful and measured, respectful and kind. Of being compassionate.
I believe: ‘Every problem has a solution.’
Marshall McLUHAN, a Canadian sociologist, said: “I wouldn’t have seen it, if I hadn’t believed it.”
Michaelangelo described it, as a sculptor: “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” I firmly believe that every issue has its answer already within it.
I believe a Member of Parliament must be ACCESSIBLE.
ACCESSIBILITY means both availability and approachability. For me, this will begin by working closely with the Mayor and each City Councillor, because so much actual problem-solving happens at the local level.
I sincerely look forward to working alongside our Member of Provincial Parliament.
To truly know the public mind, I will hold town hall meetings – not on occasion, but regularly. For it is here that one finds an honest kind of every-day logic.
I believe a Member of Parliament must have a VOICE.
You’re betraying your whole life if you don’t say what you think. And you don’t say it honestly and unabashedly. An MP is of no real value if they won’t vigorously stand up for those who they represent.
I believe a Member of Parliament must be girded with INTEGRITY.
While it has been often misused, integrity is not outmoded. For me, simply said: “It’s a willingness to be truthful.”
A leader must be prepared to “not only triumph with his principles but even to suffer for his principles.”
As the SNC-Lavalin scandal unfolded, the Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands chose to say nothing. His silence was as disappointing, as it was deafening … and he doesn’t get to escape accountability.
In the Liberal party, to seek to be well thought of – or, if you fear to be criticized – it is safer to say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.
Watching the Liberal caucus expel two respected and principled women of integrity – without just cause – deeply shocked and distressed me. And then to watch as they triumphantly stood and applauded their leader AND themselves. I was sickened by the display.
The People’s Party of Canada is the principled alternative.
It has been said, “Future events cast their shadows before them.”
Given all that Canada faces, both at home and in this world of increasing geopolitical instability, your decision in this election will be vitally important. The issues are too big to ignore.
Campaigns have acted as mirrors of their times. I believe 2019 will be defining, in the truest sense of the term.
As I endeavour to earn your support and your vote, I look forward to meeting you over the coming 5 ½ months. If you give me this opportunity, I will owe this seat to no one but the people of Kingston and the Frontenac Islands.
No donor, no corporation, no special interest will own my campaign, or later buy my vote.
Let there be no mistake, I will fight for Kingston and the Islands.
I’ll go to the mat for this riding!
Going forward, let’s remember Hank’s words to Yogi: ‘We are here to hit baseballs – not to read.’
Let’s hit this baseball into the bleachers, I humbly ask the people of Kingston and the Frontenac Islands – Wolfe, Howe and Simcoe – to help deliver this ball to Ottawa on October 22nd, … where we will begin the reshaping of Canada’s political culture.
It’s only 174 days away.
Let’s Play Ball!