Santos (Dad) and Jaime García at Sask NDP #Policy11 Convention
The Saskatchewan NDP Convention was held this past weekend and it was a great success. The Party revealed its policy review report: A Rooted and Growing Vision; presented the New NDP Team of Candidates for the Provincial Election; had amazing pre and post convention events; and #Policy11 was the talk of Facebook and Twitter all weekend long, despite the writ dropping on a Federal Election.
There is no question that there is a renewed sense of energy and enthusiasm. We are excited about our policies and our positive ideas that offer meaningful change to all the people of Saskatchewan. We have solid positions that restate our democratic tradition, but that also moves Saskatchewan into a model 21st Century modern and compassionate society. A win-win set of policies that benefit industry and businesses, working people, children, First Nations and Métis, the environment and ensures a prosperous and progressive future, all based on sound fiscal responsibility. I am truly excited!
At the end of convention, my Dad and I posed for a photograph and held up the signs “Positive Change” and “New NDP Team.” At that moment, I felt a strange mixture of emotions: pride, excitment, happiness, a bit of sadness, love, determination and I am sure there were many others that I couldn’t quite explain. Despite what I was feeling, I could also sense my Dad’s happiness.
In Link’s #Policy11 speech, he told a story about how his Dad had inspired him. Here is mine …
My Dad has truly shaped my political views. I don’t remember el Viejo sitting me down and telling me to think one-way or another. What I do remember is going to community outreach programs with him. I remember helping my Dad distribute pamphlets and then reading them to illiterate people on health issues. I remember going with my Dad on UNICEF campaigns in the most impoverished parts of San Salvador and watching him show people how boiling water prevented the spread of disease. Those were the things that I remember.
I also remember his unwavering commitment to democracy, participating in entrepreneur clubs and community board elections. I remember him acting on issues and fundraising for numerous causes like new streetlights and public hospital equipment. With every action, he unknowingly was influencing me politically.
Perhaps his altruism is what made him a vulnerable individual in a country torn by civil war. My father was shot for his beliefs and became a paraplegic. When all the odds were against him, he decided to work even harder to rehabilitate himself and provide a better life for our family.
When our family moved to Canada, my Dad decided to learn English and start his own business. He continued to be involved in the community and helping his fellow citizen.
Santos did share with me a piece of advice, that of all the unlikely places, he borrowed from his entrepreneur club creed: service to humanity is the best work of life. This made a lot of sense to me.
I now have my own family and I am committed to model behaviour that promotes hard work, compassion, advocacy and genuine concern for humanity. I know that passing that progressive compassion will serve my children well.
My Dad is proud to be part of a team that promotes the values he has always lived by. And he is without question one of my inspirations.
I don’t know when it became unfashionable to advocate for the vulnerable in our society. I don’t know when it became an “old and tired idea” to stand up for the middle class and those hard working people in our society. I don’t know why it is perceived to be a “negative” thing to question governments on transparency, democracy and accountability.
My belief is that the New NDP Team is guided by solid principles and that we offer a true and meaningful Positive Change!