GODERICH, Ontario (Aug. 22, 2018) – Surrounded by more than 150 friends and political supporters jammed onto the front lawn of his home in Goderich, Allan Thompson launched his campaign to be the federal Liberal candidate in Huron-Bruce for the upcoming election.
“Here, on the steps of our home in Goderich, I am pleased to announce that I am going to seek the nomination for the federal Liberal party in Huron-Bruce,” Thompson told the crowd, who were later treated to a pig roast and corn on the cob.
Thompson has made it a cornerstone of his campaign to work hard and stand up for rural communities.
“I firmly believe that Huron-Bruce needs and deserves a stronger voice in Ottawa, an MP who is ambitious, proactive and effective and ready to stand up for the people who live in rural communities,” Thompson said, to a round of applause.
“There are not enough people at the table in Ottawa, where decisions are being made, asking a simple question: ‘what does this mean for the people who live in rural communities?’ That’s my pledge, that will be my singular mission.”
Thompson, 54, was born and raised on a farm in the village of Glammis, in southern Bruce County. He is a former political reporter for the Toronto Star newspaper and most recently has been a journalism professor at Carleton University. He is now on a sabbatical from the university and recently launched a strategic communications firm based in Goderich, called Market Street Strategies.
Thompson was the federal Liberal candidate in Huron-Bruce in the 2015 election that brought the Justin Trudeau Liberal government to power. In Huron-Bruce, Thompson raised Liberal support by more than 23 percentage points and with more than 23,000 votes, placed a close second to the incumbent.
“Now we’ve got to finish what we started in 2015,” Thompson told his supporters.
“This will be a tough campaign, I make no assumptions and I take nothing for granted,” Thompson said. “But I am confident that the Trudeau Liberal government will be re-elected and will form a government in Ottawa and I think it makes absolute sense for a riding like Huron-Bruce to have a Liberal MP on the government side standing up for people who live in rural communities.”
But he also cautioned that Liberals should take nothing for granted and should brace themselves for a bitter campaign.
“This will be a hard-fought, tough election and part of this is because we know we will be facing an opponent who will use the politics of fear, division and identity to try to turn people against each other.
“I think we all thought that all the fear and division and negativity had gone away with Stephen Harper. But apparently, it didn’t. I’m not so sure that Stephen Harper went away actually,” Thompson joked.
But he pledged to stick to a positive campaign, even if political opponents use nasty, American-style tactics.
“What do you do when you face negative, nasty tweets and politics sometimes borrowed from south of the border? You rise above it. When they go low, we go high,’’ Thompson said to applause.
“People in Huron-Bruce deserve a politics that is positive, optimistic, ambitious and just rises above and that is the kind of campaign that I plan to run.”
Thompson said the Conservatives essentially take the voters of Huron-Bruce for granted, and act as if they are the only party that speaks for rural Canadians.
“Don’t let anyone tell you that one political party has some kind of monopoly on rural Canada,’’ Thompson said. “Liberal values are rural values.”
Thompson harkened back to the pioneers who settled in Huron-Bruce in the 1800s and the values of caring and sharing that helped them to survive.
“We have always been a caring society. Nowhere is this truer than in the coffee shops and around the kitchen tables in Huron-Bruce.
“Rural Ontario has been a caring society since its early settlement. In fact, we would not have survived without people helping people get through the tough times: epidemics, droughts, vicious winter storms, tough economic cycles – helping, sharing and caring values are the values of the people in this riding.”
“Liberal values, the values of this Liberal government, should be a natural fit for rural Canada.
“Liberal values are rural values, and don’t let anyone tell you any different.”
As if to prove the point, the audience at the launch event included four Liberal politicians who cumulatively represented Huron-Bruce for decades: former MPPs Jack Riddell, Carol Mitchell and Murray Elston and former MP Paul Steckle.
Thompson was introduced by friend Laura Herman, who works as a realtor in Goderich and helped Allan and his family to find their Goderich home earlier this year.
“I am an Allan Thompson supporter in his campaign to win the nomination for the Huron-Bruce Liberals,” Herman told the crowd. “Allan, your continuous commitment to this riding has not stopped or slowed down since the last election. You are genuine, hard-working and dedicated,’’ Herman said.
Thompson thanked his wife Roula and son Laith as well as his mother Eleanor Thompson and siblings Gord Thompson, Tom Thompson and Nancy Alexander.
“Roula and Laith have essentially lent me out to the Liberal Party of Canada and have made a lot of sacrifices and have helped establish this home base here in Goderich,” Thompson said. “I have to thank them. I couldn’t do this without them.”
He also invoked the memory of his father Ron Thompson, a farmer from Glammis who passed away in 2011.
“Those of you who knew my Dad would be very much aware, Dad was not a Liberal. Dad was a staunch Conservative. But I am very confident that Dad would be proud of an election campaign built on a simple promise of hope and hard work, because he was the hardest working person that I met in my life.”
Thompson identified working to create opportunity and build the rural economy in Huron-Bruce as a top priority and vowed he would be a voice for farmers and all those who live in the riding’s small towns and on its country roads.
He also said the needs of seniors, access to healthcare and the challenges posed by mental health issues and youth drug addiction in rural communities are particular concerns.
Thompson recently took up residence in downtown Goderich but was born and raised on a farm just outside the Glammis. He went to school at Bruce Township Central Public and Walkerton District Secondary School and began his journalism career as a reporter with the Kincardine Independent and Teeswater News.
Working to create opportunity and build the rural economy in Huron-Bruce is a top priority and Thompson would be a voice for farmers and all those who live in the riding’s small towns and countryside. Thompson says the needs of seniors, access to healthcare and the challenges posed by mental health issues and youth drug addiction in rural communities are particular concerns. And he wants to look for ways to make settling down in the region a viable option for those young people who are increasingly drawn away by schooling and job opportunities.
While reaching out to potential supporters face-to-face, Thompson also plans to make extensive use of social media in his campaign. The main vehicle will be his website, www.allanthompson.cabut you can also follow his campaign at www.facebook.com/allanthompson2019, at www.twitter.com/electallantand at www.Instagram.com/electallant.
He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org by phone at 613-799-1791
To view a video of the event, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk4O9EzQaSE