It was an all-star Zoom affair on Monday night as Guelph Liberals acclaimed their candidate and launched their new election campaign. To be precise, this is for the Provincial election next year when voters decide the next government at Queen’s Park. As expected, Guelph Community Health Centre CEO Raechelle Devereaux will carry the baton for the Ontario Liberals in 2022, and the expectations of her colleagues are very high.
“When you look at who Raechelle is, what she stands for, and what she’s accomplished already, and it becomes abundantly clear that she’s going to be the kind of champion that the hard working families of Guelph desperately need at Queen’s Park,” said Liberal leader Stephen Del Duca.
“She’s a woman who will truly represent the interests of the local community in all of the decision-making that will take place, whether it’s in transit, housing, universal public health care, a publicly-funded education system, the fight against the climate crisis and the list goes on,” Del Duca added. “There is so much work that we need to do on the other side of this pandemic to get Ontario back on track and back on a course towards delivering real progress for the people who so desperately need it.”
Devereaux was also praised by her new colleague in the Ontario Liberal caucus, Kate Graham. Graham ran for the Liberal leadership against Del Duca, and is now the candidate for London North Centre, and she was won over by Devereaux’s commitment to community while also sharing a lot in common as politically-engaged mothers of young children.
“What I was immediately struck by when talking to Raechelle was how deeply committed she was to making systemic change in our province, particularly for the people who need it the most,” Graham said. “She is someone who has long been a champion of equity, she understands the challenges that people in Guelph – and all across the province – are facing, and she has a very deep expertise in the kinds of things that the Provincial government can do to support people who need it most.”
As she accepted the nomination, Devereaux didn’t talk as much about politics, who she’s running against, and what they’re doing wrong, but she did talk a lot about the value of community, and her experiences helping to build it.
“In Guelph, I’ve had the opportunity to lead, to bring community ideas to life, and share visions to reality. I’ve had the opportunity to lead action, the opportunity to listen to community residents, and to co-create responses to things that seemed like unsolvable challenges,” Devereaux said.
“Now is the time for courageous leadership that brings real lasting change. Now more than ever, we need a leader who helps the voices of Guelph to be heard, and to create impact,” she added. “As we lead this movement, we continually stand strong with one another and remind each other to keep going. I am so proud to be here with you tonight; the right leadership for right now and the right leadership for Guelph.”
Green Party leader Mike Schreiner is so far the only other candidate acclaimed by their party to run in Guelph in next year’s Provincial election.