Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Hallowe'en!

Happy Hallowe'en everyone! Just a reminder to everyone to stop by the Bonfire in Esquimalt. As usual, the Lions will be working all night to serve up some tasty treats for the kids! These folks make me proud to be from Esquimalt - volunteers build community! All the fun happens behind the Archie Browning Sports Centre! See you there!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Times Colonist Election Notes

More info on the municipal elections is available on the web. The Times Colonist website is running "Election Notes" You can find it here:

They've just posted an article on candidate websites. My website is even mentioned! Just a reminder that if you ever need someone to build a website for you Louise from Dreaming in Colour is absolutely amazing. I don't think you'll find someone nicer or more talented!

Monday, October 27, 2008

All Candidate Meeting

There will be one All candidate meeting in Esquimalt. Its next Wednesday from 7-9pm at Esquimalt High School.

Thanks to the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce, the West Bay Residents Association and the Esquimalt Residents Association for hosting this event.

Hope to see everyone there!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Updated Links

I've added some new links. Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has posted a questionnaire that they sent to all municipal candidates. Plan Victoria has a spot for all municipal candidates to post their platforms and their bios. Citizen Canine also sent a questionnaire out to all the municipal candidates and will be publishing thier results shortly.

Victoria Vision is a great spot to gather info too.

In addition to those...I've had several from interested members of the community. Another one today! Don't hesitate to send me your questions...I love it!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gratitude Tree

Each year around Thanksgiving, since my oldest was really little, we've drawn a bare branched tree on a big piece of paper. Then we write something we are grateful for and glue on it on a branch. The last couple of years, we've shared this tradition at the Beans and Greens storytime.

It is always a surprising, humorous and touching experience to hear what the children have to say. This year we had leaves that said, "superheroes" "hugs" "mum" "peace" "daddy being home" "clothes" and even "pink monkeys"

My own personal tree "runneth over" with leaves. The health and happiness of my children, the strength of my marriage, the love of my family and friends.... I am so grateful for you all.

There are also things to be grateful for that I never imagined this time last year: the kindness of strangers who volunteer to put my signs up on their lawn. The incredible opportunity to meet so many new people in my community - residents and other candidates for Council. The incredible team of volunteers that are keeping me on track...

Although it has been stressful at times...I know that this experience of running for Council has already enriched my life. Thank you Esquimalt - I am so grateful!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Q and A

I am suddenly inundated with email questionnaires...and I LOVE it! Several groups are sending out surveys of the local candidates and posting them online. The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Citizen Canine and Plan Victoria to name a few. I've also received some email from individuals and I LOVE answering their questions and getting to know them a little bit better.

If you have questions send them my way! LOVE it!

I'll post links to all the published results soon.


We have a waitlist for signs! Can you believe it?

Keep the requests coming though and we'll get them to you as soon as we can! We were holding some back for the post Hallowe'en time period....but let's get as many on lawns as possible!

Thanks everyone!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sign Sign Everywhere a Sign....

My wonderful husband has been driving all over Esquimalt this week putting up my election signs! I think that they look great! Boualay has created another gorgeous design. I am so lucky to have such talented people on Team Ali.

One of the things that I love best about my signs is that they are recycled. I hate to see all the coroplast from political signs head to the landfill after each election. I'm also operating from a tight budget. Recycling makes good environmental and good fiscal sense. Unfortunately, it can be a real challenge. I had to call a lot of places before I found one that would screen print on the back of old signs. Cheers to CREST for agreeing to do it and doing a really nice job.

In addition to that, each sign is a little unique. The lovely design stays the same but the wooden stakes are all bits of wood previously used on other projects. I am very fortunate that a really kind neighbour volunteered to put the signs together with wood he salvaged.

If you'd like one of these for your home please let me know! I'll send Andy over!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Every Vote Counts

68 votes.

That's what Dr. Keith Martin won by on Tuesday.

Just 68 votes.

I know at least 68 people who didn't make it to the polls. I have met at least 68 people who don't vote because they say it doesn't matter.

EVERY vote matters.

In the last Esquimalt municipal election, the person who came in 7th, and therefore didn't get a seat on Council, lost by approximately 25 votes.

This November 15th, please make sure you get out to the polls. Every vote counts!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Son's Thoughts on the Federal Election

Earlier this evening, I was a little surprised that my 5 year old son responded with so much enthusiasm when I called out, "Time to Vote!"

He put on his boots and he raced to the front door.

My heart swelled with pride that he was taking such a keen interest in the democratic process.

Moments later, we arrived at the polling station. "Where's the ocean?" he said. "Where's the ocean? I wanna boat!"

Hurray for all the people who didn't boat tonight and managed to vote instead. It counts.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Advice From My Daughter

Yesterday I confronted one of my biggest fears. The shopping Mall.

I don't mind public speaking. I'm happy to scuba dive to 100ft. One day I will most definitely jump from a plane. I absolutely hate shopping for clothes.

I need to have some sort of outfit for the All Candidates meetings. Apparently my yoga pants/oversized hoodie combo won't be appropriate.

I brought my 7 year old daughter with me. She LOVES shopping. It worries me a little. She not only knows the difference between taffeta and tulle; she cares.

I kept picking out plain outfits in basic neutrals from the sale rack. She kept picking out items with sparkle, colour and expensive price tags.

"That's not the kind of outfit people are expected to wear to this kind of meeting" I said to her as she pointed out a particularly flashy number.

"Mom" she sighed, clearly exasperated. "You're not LIKE everyone else. Why do you want to LOOK like everyone else?"

Maybe I shouldn't be so worried about her after all?

Saturday, October 11, 2008


We just got home from our annual early Thanksgiving dinner. My husband's family is quite large, so this one holiday meal we all take a break from cooking and cleaning. More than 3 generations of Esquimalt families gather to celebrate and that takes up quite a bit of room. So...we have our Thanksgiving at the Archie Browning Sports Centre.

Yup. Dinner at the rink. You might think I'm just using my blog as yet another shameless plug for ABSC. I am...but its absolutely true that ABSC is a great place to have an event.

For a number of years now we have rented the Crow's Nest and had them cater a big buffet dinner. Its reasonably priced, the food is great and the staff are amazing. Best of all, we can watch live sports and the the kids can play in a way that is just not possible at a typical restaurant. If you are thinking of hosting an event - consider ABSC in Esquimalt. I highly recommend it.

Happy Thanksgiving every one!

Time for a Change

Nominations for the municipal elections closed yesterday. As of 4pm, there were 2 people running for Mayor in Esquimalt and 14 people running for the 6 Council seats.

Clearly, its time for a change here in Esquimalt. I am so impressed that 14 people feel strongly enough about our township that they are willing to step up and work hard on Council. Even more impressive is the fact that 6 of these people are categorized as "under 40."

I'm looking forward to getting to know some of the people I haven't met yet.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Women In History Month

In the mid '90s, I clipped out the back page of an Utne Reader magazine. It had a black and white photo of an infant crying and these words:

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature,
nor do the children of men
as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer
in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
To keep our faces toward change and
behave like free spirits
in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.

Helen Keller

I kept that clipping with me through University, through different relationships, through job changes... I took a moment to read it again today. Then I walked up to Municipal Hall and handed in my nomination papers.

These words from Helen Keller are rich enough to have meaning on their own. Many will find them even more stirring because Helen Keller overcame her disabilities to learn to read and write and speak. In the '90s, when I first read this quote, I was inspired to learn more about this remarkable woman.

Like many, I had read stories and seen The Miracle Worker. What I hadn't realized, was that this represented only a fraction of her remarkable life.

Helen Keller was an activist for social justice.

She was outspoken about peace and changing the economy to better support the poor.

She was a suffragette. She campaigned hard so that women could have the right to vote.

She travelled around the world raising funds for the blind.

She donated funds to the NAACP and worked to promote social equality.

She spoke out against Child Labour practices and spoke out in favour of working people organizing unions.

In 1912 she advocated for women to have access to birth control.

In 1918 she helped found the American Civil Liberties Union to fight for freedom of speech.

Much of her time was spent working on political campaigns, publishing her writing and leading protest marches and rallies.

Helen Keller did a whole lot more than just learn to read, write and speak. Helen Keller was a well known public figure who angered some and inspired others. She was a political woman who spoke passionately for what she believed in.

I find her absolutely fascinating.

October is Women in History Month. I think I'll head down to the library and see if there is anything on Helen Keller I haven't read yet.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Novice Curling Program at Archie Browning Sports Centre

Here are the details on the Novice curling program that starts next Tuesday Oct 14th.

9 sessions, Tuesday nights 8:30-10:30, $35 with pizza and beverage at the last session.

Players register and pay at the rec or sports centre.

This is an incredibly good deal! I'm pretty sure I can eat $35 dollars worth of get 9 weeks of curling with lessons too is amazing!

Esquimalt Village Project

Lately I've had a number of people ask me, "What happened to the Esquimalt Village Project?" The timeline called for another public consultation in June 2008 and Sept-November 2008 was supposed to be implementation. The last we heard from the consultants was May 22nd 2008.

Last night, in the question and comment period in the Council meeting I asked this question. "Has work stopped on the Esquimalt Village Project (EVP) or have discussions moved outside the public view?" The Mayor responded that work on the EVP has paused until the new Council is elected. He assured me publicly that no work has been done outside the public view.

Bonspiel Promise

OK. I've been inundated with emails since Sunday. I hereby promise that I will organize a yearly novice bonspiel. First, let's elect a Council that is willing and ready to make a commitment to ABSC. Then, let's raise some funds for the facility! Let's keep building on the goodwill and community that exists here! Consider it a personal promise. Whether or not I'm elected November 15th, I will do what I can to raise funds to keep ABSC for the next generation!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Curling Bonspiel

I am still a little overcome with this will be only a short message. I have so many to thank for tonight...and for helping me on this campaign.

Lorie is amazing. She could open a party planning business from her house. I am grateful beyond words. Buying the house next door to the Halls was the smartest move we ever made.

Krisna and Boualay are two of the most talented people I know. The photo above is their "surprise" for me tonight. Its a cloth banner with the logo for my lawn signs painted on it. Its been signed with great messages of support from friends. It will be hanging in my kitchen, cheering me on for the duration of this campaign. It will be treasured forever.

Ed and Dave once again were incredible teachers out there on the ice. Patient, kind and good humoured. They are a credit to the sport and to Esquimalt.

Everyone who came tonight brought their great sense of humour and adventure. It made it an exceptionally fun night for all! I promise that I'll post some info for people who are looking to learn to curl this week.

What a great group of people! Some of my oldest friends and some new ones too. Each of you added something and I am so glad that you came!

We didn't keep score tonight but there was one SPECIAL award that simply must be mentioned.... Best Team Name goes to: Team Gaulstones!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Esquimalt Website Improvement

I just came back from Municipal Hall and I have some good news. It looks like I won't have to stop by there on Friday afternoons anymore. The Agenda packages are available online! Check out: Sometimes these packages are more than 200 pages this is a really positive way for the township to reduce paper as well.

Thanks to our Esquimalt staff who worked hard to make this happen!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


"Not determined or influenced by someone or something else" is one of the definitions I found for "independent". Also not committed to a political party.

Both describe me.

I have been asked several times this week, "which party are you?" Often, the question is followed with "..but I saw you having coffee with so and so!" or "aren't you friends with..."

I have friends that are members in a number of different political parties. There are great minds and good people in every camp. My life is more full for knowing them. Conversations are more lively and rich with differences of opinion around the table.