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Friday, September 29, 2006

A leader for our times

Dear Member of the Liberal Party of Canada,

In a country of two official languages, 10 provinces, three territories, Aboriginal peoples and immigrants from around the globe, we need leaders who can bring us together and, more importantly, bridge what divides us, build common cause and find solutions to whatever problems we face. In a country as complex as ours we ask a great deal of those who govern on our behalf. We believe Bob Rae is one of the few who can meet that challenge.

Some of us are long-time Liberals, others simply Canadians who care deeply about the direction and unity of our country. We are united in believing that Bob Rae is someone whose experience, qualifications and character set him apart in electoral politics and they are among the reasons why we are supporting him to become the next Liberal leader and Prime Minister and are urging you to vote for him on Super Weekend.

Anyone who enters political life faces onerous demands. Wherever politics is played there is harsh criticism and in the modern political arena of twenty-four hour news the responsibility is unrelenting. There are few enough among us who have what it takes to be a Canadian Prime Minister, and fewer still who are willing to make the necessary personal sacrifices. Fortunately, Bob Rae is willing to take on that burden and we know he is up to the task.

Bob has always put the public interest first and been a true public servant in that respect. His guiding beliefs and vision are in keeping with the best Canadian traditions of decency, the common good and an independent, principled foreign policy. But he also understands that government is more than just about vision or ideas: it must deliver on fundamental obligations, manage core services, resolve disputes and respond to crises. This requires the kind of knowledge and acumen that only comes from experience. Bob understands the challenges and dilemmas incumbent in leadership and he is prepared for the range of challenges that may arise and test our leaders.

Since leaving office, Bob went on to do so much more in other fields: in mediation, in trade law, in domestic and international conflict resolution, as a champion of the arts, in his commitment to a united Canada and to federalism. He has been a leader in every sense of the term. It is no wonder he has been the "go-to guy" for premiers, prime ministers, industry and the non-profit sector in resolving tough issues and reviewing important files. His experience is remarkable and his understanding of the issues and the peoples of Canada profound.

We are people from all parts of Canada who have come to know and respect Bob. What we realize above all is that he truly understands our country. He knows our past and those values that have bound us as a nation. He is a leader for our times and it is our hope that Liberals and Canadians have the opportunity to have a statesman such as him as a leader in our national government.


Tony Abbott
Herb Dhaliwal
Gar Knutson
Jacques Saada
Phillippe Angers
Jack Diamond
Leo Kolber
Andy Savoy
Margaret Atwood
Jan Donio
Pascal Lépine
Raymond Setlawke
Chris Axworthy
Arthur Donner
Mason Loh
Gerri Sinclair
Lloyd Axworthy
Frank Dottori
Dr. Fred Lowy
Gerald Sheff
Suresh Bhala
Donald Duprey
Colin MacDonald
Lionel Schipper
Monique Bégin
Sheldon Ehrenworth
Allan J. MacEachen
Eric Simard
John Kim Bell
René Fontaine
Kathleen Mahoney
Don Smith
Charles Bird
John Fraser
Deepa Mehta
David Staines
May Brown
Eileen Gelowitz
Michael Mendelson
Jane Stewart
Elmer Buchanan
Rose Ellen Ghiz
Robert Nixon
Paul Summerville
Barry R. Campbell
Alastair Gillespie
Walter Noel
Clive Tanner
David M. Campbell
Ira Gluskin
Betty Notar
Don Tapscott
Martin Cauchon
Dr. Richard Goldbloom
Peter Oliver
Nick Taylor
Ronald F. Caza
Scott Griffin
Ratna Omidvar
Julia Turnbull
John Cordeau
David Gray
Charles Pachter
David Warrack
Gordon Cressey
Scott Griffin
Lata Pada
John Watson
Barney Danson
André Harvey
Louise Pitre
John Webster
Michael Decter
Paul Hoffert
Jack Rabinovitch
Dr. Joseph Y. K. Wong
Michael de Pencier
Alan Hudson
Lola Rasminsky
Carol Young
Dr. Brian Desbiens
Hal Jackman
Jean Therese Riley
And I, John Lennard, affix my name to this letter as well.