Liberal candidate getting to work

[attach]5468[/attach]First-time political hopeful Grant Gordon walks the talk when he expresses support for shops.

Interim federal Liberal leader Bob Rae introduced Gordon on Feb. 13 as the party’s candidate in the upcoming Toronto-Danforth byelection to replace former MP and NDP leader Jack Layton.

Gordon, who founded a communications company that boasts clients such as the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, said assisting small businesses would be a focal point of his campaign.

“I’m a small business person and I know the small businesses in this riding need help,” he said before hitting Danforth Avenue to canvass local stores. “I really want to help the small businesses, especially on this strip and on Queen Street.”

Both Gordon and Rae know the strip well. Gordon lives in the riding with his wife and three children. Rae was the riding’s MP from 1978 to 1982 when he was a member of the NDP and the riding was called Broadview and later Broadview-Greenwood.

“I learned how to canvass many, many years ago in this riding,” Rae said.

Rae offered Gordon and his campaign team advice on canvassing before heading out of the constituency office at Broadview and Danforth to demonstrate. Although he said it would not be an easy election, he did say the Liberals have the best candidate in Gordon.

[attach]5469[/attach]“(He is) somebody who believes in going green and knows what that means and how that can get done, somebody who lives in the riding, who understands the riding and can build the riding,” Rae said. “That’s how and why Grant won the nomination and that’s how and why he’s going to win the riding.”

The riding was left without a representative after Layton’s death this past August. The Liberals had held the riding from 1988 until Layton’s election in 2004, but for the riding to turn red again Gordon will have to get past NDP candidate Craig Scott.

“I think what’s really interesting is that it’s really an NDP versus Liberal contest,” Gordon said. “That’s when people will be able to judge the substance of the ideas of both parties very carefully.”