Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Leaving Ontario

I hope you will excuse this mostly personal post; I thought it was appropriate given its impact on the future of this blog. On Friday I board a plane to begin my new life in the Northwest Territories. Over the last couple of months while I have prepared to make the big move I have had to cut my commitments and change plans. It has been a difficult process, but one that required doing.

For anyone reading this blog the biggest change may be to this blog itself. I will be working for the government of the Northwest Territories. As a member of the public service I may be restricted in the type of political activities and public comments I can make. I have read the relevant sections of the Code of Conduct, but ultimately personal discretion and the direction of my employers will be important. So, it is possible that this will have to change focus and content. It that turns out to be the case I will be sure to post about it.

As I have written about on this blog my participation in the federal NDP and Ontario NDP have been important tasks I have taken on in recent years. I have greatly enjoyed getting involved in partisan politics, despite the partisanship. As I have advocated, I think being a member of a political party is critical for people interested in shaping how our politics/government operates. In addition it has been very rewarding meeting and engaging with people passionate about issues and politics.

A couple of weeks ago I put in my resignation for my positions on the Brampton West NDP executives. I worked as the Social Media Secretary for my local riding association for about seven months. It was a very exciting process. Working with dedicated and passionate people it definitely felt like we were starting to get the riding association off in the right direction. I am disappointed to be leaving the BWNDP behind, but I am confident they will continue to make progress.

I also had to resign my position on the Central West NDP. The provincial party created regional bodies to help coordinate and offer support to riding associations. A lot of hard work went into making it work. Funny enough on the drive home from the provincial council where I was elected I heard about the job that has me moving north of 60. It was terribly embarrassing to have to resign at our first official meeting.

While I’m sure I will be able to continue to do work for people, such as Samara, in the Northwest Territories, I will definitely miss traveling into Toronto and speaking to their wonderful staff in person. I am very grateful for the opportunities they have given me and the platform for my writing.

Obviously, leaving behind family and friends may be the most challenging part. I have tried diligently over the last two months to squeeze in everyone I could. I even travelled to Newfoundland to visit family out there. However, despite my efforts it looks like there is a list of people I simply did not get time to see. It is always the case, but hopefully our paths will cross again soon. My friends and family have been incredibly generous with their time, their kindness and even gifts as we say goodbye and I am honoured by that.

Taking this job and new opportunity is a tremendous step towards my greater ambitions. I will be working in a field I am interested in, doing work that feels important to me and serving a community. However, pursing this path means that I won’t be pursuing others. It is my life goal to one day stand for election. Given where my interests lay and issues within my community I was planning to run for City Council in Brampton in 2014. I harbour no illusions that I was likely to win, but this was one of the goals of my life. Now I am not certain I will ever return to live in my hometown, which is poignant in and of itself.

As the date of my flight approaches I am filled mostly with excitement for new opportunities and challenges, and frankly, I am excited to start living my life like a real grown-up. I hope I can pursue other projects, such as finishing the book I was working on, or working on other writing projects. I honestly do not know what the future holds, but at the moment I cannot help but feel optimistic.

No comments: