Liberals try and get back in the game

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Rebuilding is the name of the game for the Bob “the builder” Rae and the Federal Liberal party of Canada.

“The last election was a surprising tough result, the worst result we’ve had since Confederation,” said Rae during a press conference before his speech.  “We’ve had a lot of rebuilding to do and I’m glad to have played my part.”

Boasting more than 25,000 new supporters joining the party, Rae, the interim leader, spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of supporters at the Prince Edward-Hastings Federal Liberal Association Bridge Forum Speaker series last Thursday, 7:30 p.m. at Capers Brasserie and Wine Bar in downtown Belleville.

The fundraising event was an opportunity for local Liberals, and those interested in the Liberal party, to come out and hear Rae speak about both his and the party’s future since. During the federal election where the Liberals lost 43 seats in the House of Commons and now only 34 seats.

With many anticipating the official leadership bid announcement from Justin Trudeau this week, Rae said he wasn’t backing any particular candidate. “The party will choose its next leader,” Rae said.  “We’re really trying to create a sense that we want the public to be involved.”

Lenore Begley, president of federal Liberal local riding, said she felt let down after the last election.  She added she came to hear Rae because she wanted to be re-energized, and to “have our spines straightened.” 

“It’s a very hopeful situation, at the same time, if we work together.”

Asked why he chose not to run for the next leadership,Rae said he was just following the agreement that was set out when he was chosen as interim leader.  “I’m happy to give all my skills and whatever I’ve learned and hand over something stronger and better to the next leader.”

Even though he will be stepping back, Rae will still remain involved with the Liberal party and as the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre.

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