The Ottawa West-Nepean NDP held our first ever virtual AGM on Wednesday, November 25. Many members from the riding as well as several guests were in (virtual) attendance.
Guests were greeted by Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, who provided a video update on the work the Official Opposition are doing in the Legislature. Party President Mary Rita Holland was our special guest. She shared the work that the party is doing to build towards the 2022 elections.
OWN President Chandra Pasma provided a report on a successful year, despite the challenges of the pandemic. Provincial CFO (Jim Patterson) and Federal CFO (Dan O'Hagan) updated members on the finances of the riding association. While elections are not scheduled until 2022 (Provincial) and 2023 (Federal), the reality is an election could be called at any time. The Federal government is in a minority position, and the Provincial party in power has been dropping hints for some time that they might want to extend their mandate through a snap election. The riding association is working hard to build up our financial position so as to run strong campaigns whenever the elections take place.
The final order of official business was to elect an executive for the upcoming year. Provincial Treasurer Oliver Kent served as balloting chair. Chandra Pasma is to continue on as president, with Christina Doyle as Vice President. The Provincial and Federal CFO roles also continue as before. Debra Mair will be continuing on as Secretary. We want to welcome our new Membership Organizer, Tarnjit Kaur Johal, along with our new disability rep and LGBTQ rep. A number of new members-at-large were also elected.
Our Ottawa West-Nepean NDP riding executive was kept busy Saturday night serving a spaghetti dinner to a packed hall of NDP supporters to raise funds for two by-elections in Ottawa-Vanier and Orléans. Those seats were vacated by their Liberal MPPs since the 2018 provincial election.
Both ONDP candidates, Manon Parrot in Orléans and Myriam Djilane in Ottawa-Vanier, were special guests at the event. We were also privileged to have Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath and Ottawa-Centre MPP Joel Harden on hand to address the many NDP supporters in the room. People came out in the snowy weather not only from across Ottawa but from as far away as Leeds-Grenville and Kingston-and-the-Islands.
Our event is just one of many to ensure that these two candidates will be able to wage a strong campaign in the upcoming by-elections and join the Official Opposition at Queens Park this year.
The Ottawa West-Nepean NDP held its Annual General Meeting Wednesday night at the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Gardens. The event was well attended by NDP members from the riding and beyond.
Alex Cullen, our outgoing president, led the proceedings. He reviewed the many things our association has done over the past 15 months since our 2018 AGM, including a number of successful community events, a renewed focus on outreach and fundraising, and the hard work of the federal election campaign.
On Election Day (October 21) our hard work paid off as the NDP increased our vote by 5,000 votes, to reach 19% of votes cast in Ottawa West-Nepean.
Our federal candidate Angella MacEwen and her campaign manager Chandra Pasma were both on hand to talk about this fall's federal campaign and what lessons we learned.
The meeting also heard financial reports from our Federal Financial Agent Dan O'Hagan and Provincial CFO Jim Patterson.
The executive presented thank you gifts to outgoing members Alex Cullen and Laura Lozanski.
The last order of business was to elect a new executive for the upcoming year, giving us a new and reinvigorated executive to help us prepare for a Provincial Election in spring of 2022 and a Federal Election that could happen within a year or two.