Fox ready for the hard work ahead

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January 20, 2015 9:08 AM

Four-term North Battleford city Coun. Ray Fox was acclaimed as the Liberal candidate in the riding of Battlefords- Lloydminster, on Saturday. Fox will now go up against Conservative MP Gerry Ritz in the fall election. - Christopher W. Brown Photo

Team Trudeau has grown by one more candidate after this past weekends meeting of the Battlefords- Lloydminster Liberal Riding Association in Cut Knife.

Four-term North Battleford city Coun. Ray Fox was acclaimed as the party’s flag bearer in the upcoming 2015 general election.

Fox, who also is a radio personality in North Battleford, told the Lloydminster Source on Saturday after his acclamation that he was proud to be part of a Team Trudeau.

“It’s quite simple, actually,” as to why he stepped forward. “I have been a closeted Liberal most of my life. I was part of the Trudeaumania in the 1960s, with Pierre Elliot Trudeau.”

Like Justin, Pierre has humanized the ideal of being a politician, Fox said.

“Pierre was a human being, everyone knew it, and everyone felt it,” he added.

The first time he tuned into Justin’s career, Fox said, was in 2000 when he saw just weep over his father’s flagdraped casket on national television.

“I sat down, and watched Justin give his father’s eulogy, and I cried,” Fox said. “Justin made me feel as though I was part of his pain. He made me feel as though I really knew the guy that was in the casket.”

The next introduction that Fox had of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was when he publicly sparred with former senator Patrick Brazeau.

“(Trudeau) whopped (Brazeau), and it was great. It generally humanized (Trudeau).

“I have no general reasons to disrespect (NDP Leader Thomas) Mulcair and Prime Minister (Stephen) Harper. But somehow, Trudeau comes across to me – and most of the people I speak with, – as one of the people.”

Fox said that Trudeau understands what is going on in the country.

He added that the reason he chose to run in this election goes back to why he ran for the first time for municipal politics.

“It’s about standing up and being counted,” Fox said. “In a lot of cases, we get frustrated about things that they are doing to us. If there was a way I could get involved I would, so I decided to run in a municipal election.”

The outcome of his first election was more of a learning experience for Fox.

“I think I came in last place,” Fox joked. “I wait another three years, and ran again.” That time, Fox finished in the middle of the pack, but the political bug never left him.

“The third time, nine years into the running for elections, I finally got elected.”

Fox, who is a member of the Sweetgrass First Nation, said that he also got involved because what he heard from people of First Nations bands around the Battlefords area.

“One of the other reasons, in the back of my mind anyway, and this is applicable to any politician. Politicians know that First Nations and aboriginal people don’t vote,” he said.

“I have heard different excuses. People saying, ‘that’s the white man’s election,’ ‘thats’ the white man’s way,’ ‘I dont want to participate because i don’t want to legitimize their process.’ I’m here to tell those people that this country is based on a democracy,” he said. “Like it or not, one person, one vote is still the democratic system that we have in this country.”

Fox said that the only way to make change in a country under that democratic system is getting out and voting.

“That is my reasoning of running in this campaign.”

With Battlefords-Lloydminster being one of the larger ridings in the province of Saskatchewan, Fox will now have the task of getting out to meet local Liberals and introduce himself to constitu - ents that have never heard of him.

Fox said that social media will be playing a major role in the campaign. “I manage my time the best I can, and I don’t sign myself up for things that I don’t plan to finish. I think that with Facebook, Twitter, and all of social media, I think help campaigns, as we have seen down in the United States with President Barack Obama.”

Fox said that social media is a great tool to connect with residents that he might not be able to connect with one-on-one during the campaign.

“I am going to explore social media a little bit more in the coming weeks,” he added.

Fox has a large gap to close before the next election. In the 2011 election, Liberal candidate Jordan LaPlante only obtained 3.3 per cent of the votes cast, compared to the 66.9 per cent that MP Gerry Ritz got.

Fox said that he plans to work hard, because he knows one thing for sure.

“To me it’s very, very simple,” he said. “Gerry Ritz is a good guy, I have no problems with him as a person, or his achievements and his accomplish - ments. I think that he has done some good things for the riding of Battlefords-Lloydminster, but he is not going to be in government after the next federal election.

“Justin Trudeau will be the next prime minister of Canada, and government is like anything else – you are either in or you are out.”

Gerry Ritz was acclaimed as the Conservative Party candidate two years ago. The NDP have been contacted to comment on their candidate selection process, but as of print time, no response was given.

The next Canadian election is expected to be held later this year, on Oct. 19.

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