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December 30, 2006

Betsy McGregor's Kitchen Table Campaign Hits the Peterborough Examiner

Today's Peterborough Examiner has a story about the "meet and greet" I hosted for Betsy McGregor yesterday. (No, it's not that I'm such a society belle that the coffee parties I throw rate coverage in the local newspaper. When the most exciting thing on the "menu" was store-bought cookies? As if!)

The article reported on a recent item in my other blog when I noted that the actions taken by my local MP had turned me -- a lifelong political spectator -- into a passionate participant in the political process.

The article then went on to describe "The Tim Horton's Summit" -- when Betsy and I met for coffee at the Tim Horton's on George Street in Peterborough and spent about two hours talking about the issues that matter most to both of us when it comes to the future of Peterborough and Canada -- and how I subsequently decided to become a member of her campaign team.

The article concluded by summarizing some of Betsy's background and experience -- she first taught at St. Peter's High School, became a veterinarian; worked for two years overseas with the United Nations; then returned to work in the civil service in Ottawa (Industry Canada, Agriculture Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Co-ordinator of the Task Force on Science and Technology for the Prosperity Initiative, Secretariat of the National Biotechnology Advisory Committee, etc.); and how she is working currently as a senior associate researcher at Trent University and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The article didn't state this, but one thing that really impressed me about Betsy is how much experience she has had in representing Canada on the international stage -- experience that would allow her to advocate for Peterborough, should she be successful in obtaining the Liberal nomination for this riding, and should she be successful in winning the next general election.

After receiving the "Head of Canada's Public Service Award" in 1998, Betsy was supported by the Canadian government  as she coordinated a two year International Working Group on Ethics, Science and Public Policy at Harvard Medical School. Just prior to leaving, Betsy designed Canada's Meech Lake Conference on Ethics, Science and Governance with top world leaders in theology, ethics, science, public policy in preparation for the Harvard think tank.

She is also clearly committed to youth leadership. Her training as a well-known motivational speaker on value-centered leadership was obvious from the way she offered encouraging words to two of my teenagers who are considering careers in science and technology. (I think this is pretty instinctive for Betsy. She has been recognized for being among the leading mentors of girls in science in Canada and part of Betsy's work at Trent is in the area of youth leadership in science and ethics. And she has served on youth leadership boards including Shad.ca, Canadian Association of Girls in Science (CAGIS), and as an advisor to Young  Inventors International.)

As you can imagine, I had a lot of information to absorb during that initial meeting at Tim Horton's. It's a good thing we swapped resumes! It didn't take me long at all to decide that Betsy's training and experience are an excellent fit for the unique challenges faced by Peterborough riding.

The Peterborough Strategic Plan (2006-2010) notes that the future of Peterborough in terms of primary target markets for business attraction, startup, retention, and expansion will be found in the following areas:

Food  processing/agri-food (35%): Betsy is a Doctor  of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the Ontario Veterinary College and  has helped to draft policy during her time on staff at Agriculture Canada;  Biotech and Life Sciences/DNA (25%): Betsy  was a member of the Canadian Delegation and government expert team  negotiating the UNESCO Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human  Rights and  served several years as a member of the Joint Centre  of Bioethics, Program for Applied Ethics & Biotechnology, at the University of Toronto. Advanced Manufacturing (20%): Betsy worked at  Industry Canada where her focus was on science and technology  competitiveness, emerging markets, and ethics.
Tourism Infrastructure Development (20%):  Betsy grew up on the Kawartha Lakes and understands its importance as a  tourist destination. She is committed to fostering the tourist industry while protecting the natural environment.

Reporter Brendan Wedley did a great job with the story. I only wish the entire story was available  online so that you could read the entire piece. (The headline and the snippet that are available online don't do the story justice.)

BTW -- If you  didn't make it to my "meet and greet" (perhaps because you guessed that I'd  be serving store bought cookies or you'd heard rumors about the clutter Chez  Douglas), but you'd like to meet Betsy in a relaxed, informal setting, she's  going to be hosting "meet and greets" this Sunday afternoon (December 31st) and every Sunday throughout the month of January at 549 Homewood Avenue.  Bring your ideas, questions, and concerns about the future of Peterborough Riding.


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Wow, Ann, you are really getting into it and proving that one Woman can make a difference. Keep up the great work. I wonder if I can make a difference here in our much larger city?

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