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A Career Politician Moves On

Dawn Black, age 68, a veteran politician with a 30-year career behind her, is saying goodbye to government and political life after a in order to spend more time with her family. Ms. Black’s accomplishments are many and varied. She has been both an MP and a member of the B. C. Legislature. The timing of her departure means that she’ll miss the opportunity to become a cabinet minister in an NDP provincial government.

Her political career began in the 1970’s, when she went door-to-door in an effort to get NDP premier David Barrett re-elected. Acknowledging the point that she’ll miss out on the cabinet-level posting that has eluded her over the course of her career, she said that it was simply time to move on. “I know it sounds trite, but it’s true. I have seven fabulous grandchildren and three great sons with wonderful wives and I don’t want to miss any more family gatherings.”

“I would have loved to be a cabinet minister, federally or provincially. Sure, there’s a tinge of sadness I won’t ever achieve that, but I feel it’s the right decision.” She added.

Being a provincial MLA was a new feather in Ms. Black’s cap, who served three terms as an MP before being elected to the B. C. Legislature in 2009. She departed from her role as MP for the New Westminister-Coquitlam, in part to be closer to her family, but also because the designated NDP candidate took ill just before a provincial election.

Despite having had a relatively short run in provincial politics, Ms. Black certainly made her mark, both as an outspoken defence critic, and as adept statesman, being the leader her rebellious caucus turned to after the forced resignation of provincial NDP leader Carole James, last year. It was largely her skill that kept the caucus together until the party could replace Ms. James.

Ms. Black said she never had leadership aspirations, but that she “knew we had to survive as a caucus and a party.” Her leadership will be sorely missed.

The B. C. New Democrats have been largely exiled from power, being reduced to a mere two seats in 2001, but most political observers agree that they’ll be competitive whenever the vote comes, this fall or next spring.

Mira Oreck to run as NDP candidate in Vancouver Granville riding

Read more @ http://www.nationalobserver.com/2015/07/30/news/mira-oreck-run-ndp-candidate-vancouver-granville-riding

Zoe Oreck slowly walked up the stage when she was called to give a speech during her great niece Mira’s campaign launch. At 90 years of age, she doesn’t have the physical energy of her youth anymore. But when the time came to speak about Mira, it was clear that time hadn’t dwindled her zealousness.

“She is by far the most competent candidate we could ever have,” she passionately told the audience. “Do I think Mira might be one of our best MPs there? You bet I do!”

Mira Oreck, the director of public engagement at the Broadbent Institute, announced her nomination as the New Democratic Party’s candidate in the new riding of Vancouver Granville for the upcoming federal election in a public event celebrated at the VanDusen Botanical Garden.

Zoe Oreck, Mina Oreck, NDP, Vancouver Granville, federal election
Zoe Oreck gave a passionate speech during her great niece’s launch campaign. Photo by Carlos Tello

During the event that also featured speeches by former BC NDP Leader Joy MacPhail, former NDP MP Dawn Black and her great aunt, Oreck addressed a crowd of about 200 people who had gathered to support her candidacy.

“We are at a pivotal moment in Canadian history. The NDP is poised to offer a vision more relevant than ever for a truly progressive Canada,” she said during her speech.

“You will see a government committed to economic and environmental innovation, one that acknowledges the desperate need to renew our economy by eliminating subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and investing in clean technology and energy.”

Oreck began her career as an environmental advocate with Friends of the Earth in Washington DC. She then went on to work with some of Canada’s most senior environmental organizers on the Great Bear Rainforest campaign in British Columbia.

Oreck has also worked as a developer of media-based campaigns for social change non-profits and political organizations in the U.S. During the 2012 American presidential election campaing, she co-produced two of President Obama’s most widely viewed online videos.

Bob Baker, Mira Oreck, Vancouver Granville, federal election
Bob Baker from the Squamish Nation was in charge of the welcoming ceremony. Photo by Carlos Tello

In the upcoming election, Oreck will face Jody Wilson-Raybould, a lawyer and regional chief of the BC Assembly of First Nations, who is running for the Liberal Party; and lawyer Erinn Broshko, who is running for the Conservatives.

Getting young people to vote

During Oreck’s campaign launch, attendants had the chance to enrol themselves as volunteers and also to donate money for the campaign.

David Berson was one of the donors. Benson met Oreck about 13 years ago, when she interned at his office. He remembers her as not only a hard worker, but also as someone who always had a positive attitude towards life.

“Mira is a very welcome, inspiring, intelligent candidate for this riding. I want to do everything I can to help her to win,” he said. “I think that she is young, dynamic and she will attract young people to get out, vote and get more involved in society.”

During the past federal election, the turnout rate among voters aged 18 to 24 was only 38.8 per cent. Among people aged 25 to 34, it was 45.1 per cent.

Oreck, who is 36 years old, believes her age can be an asset to fuel youngsters’ interest in politics.

“I think the first way to engage young voters is by actually being a younger person running for office,” she told the National Observer after the event. “I think people need to see themselves in their elected officials.”

Spanking Laws Are Being Lobbied For Change

Dawn Black is heading up a committee that is attempting to push the spanking laws out of legislation. The former New Westminster MLA and MP is talking about repealing the criminal code that right now allows children to get hit. Parenting experts have been divided in the past, but the general consensus today is quite different than several decades prior. Black went on record to discuss a personal situation with a friend, about the notion of spanking, and hitting. Hitting children at a young age can be detrimental to their growth, and this attempt to push federal government to change the code is very important. People often get married with a fancy part. They spend a ton of money on extravegnt things such as luxurious limos(http://limoswinnipeg.ca/wedding/). Then once they finally have children, they fail to be great parents.

Research Indicates Problems

The research cited for pushing away with this law. The research shows that across several countries, many laws are in place that have outright banned hitting children, including disciplinary elements. With a new mentality towards anti-bullying, it’s imperative to look at changing laws, and updating the overall mentality that some parents and legal elements may have in place.download (4)

A changing of the guard is needed. Ms. Black cites the code that used to allow men to hit their wives. Today, that is no longer the case, and therefore this law needs to be taken into consideration as the next element to change. Black has spoken in regards to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and strongly urged a change to Section 43 of the Criminal Code. This change would no longer allow spanking, and governments can move towards a different model.

Beyond Simple Parenting

Disciplinary measures that parents have will no longer involve hitting children at the urging of this law change. The permission of spanking needs changing, according to Dawn Black, and many are behind it now. This generation should be a model for change, and that’s one of the main reasons why Ms. Black and her supporters are pushing so heavily on this criminal code. The code that allows spanking may in fact be reversed sooner than later.

Dawn Black lobbies for change to spanking laws

Read at http://www.newwestrecord.ca/news/dawn-black-lobbies-for-change-to-spanking-laws-1.1967663

Former New Westminster MLA and MP Dawn Black is fighting to change the Criminal Code so spanking is no longer allowed.

Black is part of a committee that’s seeking to repeal the section of the Criminal Code that permits the hitting of children.

“I worked on it in the House of Commons and pushed for it,” Black told the Record. “A friend of mine is a parenting expert who has had this on the side of her desk for a number of years. She has now retired and has decided to put more effort into it and put together a committee. She asked me to help with it.”

Black said research shows that spanking doesn’t work as a parenting tool and can be harmful to kids.

“The research is rock solid. It doesn’t work and it can be harmful. So why would you keep doing that?” she said. “Why would you have it in your own Criminal Code? It’s like a statement – our country says it’s OK to hit kids. I don’t think that’s good.”

According to Black, nearly 50 countries have banned the hitting of children, but Canada and the United states are “behind the times” where laws are concerned. At a time when society is trying to model non-bullying behaviour, she said it’s time to change the law.

“It used to be in the Criminal Code that you could hit your wife, you could hit your apprentice, you could hit your slave, you could hit a variety of people,” she said. “The only one that’s left there is that you can hit your children.”

Black said the recent Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommended that Section 43 of the Criminal Code be repealed, as a result of the physical discipline and abuse that occurred at residential schools. Section 43 is the section of the Criminal Code that permits spanking.dawn-black

“It’s hard to get governments to move,” she said. “There are people who will tell you ‘I got hit as a kid, it didn’t hurt me.’ People model the behavior their parents had, which is one of the things to come out of the truth and Reconciliation Commission – generational damage goes down three or four generations because people model the way they were raised.”

– See more at: http://www.newwestrecord.ca/news/dawn-black-lobbies-for-change-to-spanking-laws-1.1967663#sthash.qI1icN1E.dpuf

Dawn Black – Legislative Assembly of British Columbia

Canadian politician and member of the Canada’s Democrat Party, Dawn Black was born, Dawn Whitty, on April 1, 1943Dawn Black, who is currently 72 years of age, was the opposition leader of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Canada from January 19 – April 17, 2011. Dawn Black is married to Peter James Black.

Her predecessor was Carole James and her successor is Adrian Dix. As the MLA for New Westminster, Dawn Black served from 2009–2013. Chuck Puchmayr preceder Black and her successor was Judy Darcy. As a Canadian Parliament member for Coquitlam – New Westminster, Dawn Black served from April 3, 2006 – 2009 and was preceded by Paul Forseth and succeeded by Fin Donnelly. As a member of Canada’s Parliament for Burnaby – New Westminster Dawn Black served from 1988-1993 and was succeeded by Paul Forseth.

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Dawn Black became involved with Canadian politics at a young age and as her first role with Canadian government, Black became an assistant to theDemocratic Party Member of Parliament, Pauline Jewett During the Canadian 1988election, Black was elected as the New Westminster MP for Burnaby, as Jewett, aswas retiring. As an MP, one of her most recognized achievements was proposing a private member’s bill that designated December 6, (the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre), not only a permanent day of remembrance but an action against violent acts towards women. Ms. Black also led the opposition against the Tories’ anti-abortion measure, when the politician proposed an anti-stalking measure, which was subsequently adopted by Parliament.

In the election of 1993, Ms. Black lost her seat to the Reform Party candidate, Paul Forseth and was again defeated by him in 1997, but subsequently defeated him in 2006.

During the first question period of the 39th Parliament on April 5, 2006, Black asked Gordon O’Connor, the then Minister of National Defense, to renegotiate the agreement for prisoner transfer with the Afghan government. Mr. O’Connor refused, stating, “Mr. Speaker, we have no intention of redrafting the agreement. The Red Crescent and the Red Cross are charged with ensuring that prisoners aren’t abused. There’s no agreement that prevents Canada from determining the prisoners’ fate, so there’s no need to make any changes to the agreement.” As Black was prominent on this issue, this eventually saw Gordon O’Connor’s resignation and a brand new transfer agreement’s negotiation.

In 2009, Black made an announcement hat she’d end her run as MP, as she wished to run for the NPD of British Columbia during the upcoming election. She aimed to stay in office for the duration that it took to create a bill with private members that limited the use of armored vehicles among civilians, a serious issue in a city with grown gang violence issues.

On January 9, 2011, she was unanimously nominated Black to be the interim leader of the British Columbia NDP. The Council of British Columbia ratified this decision just a day later. Black said after her nomination, “I’ve done a lot of tough things during my life – I’ve traveled to Afghanistan. The challenge is to prove to British Columbia that we are working together. Everyone made a commitment today to expose the promises broken by a Liberal government.”

find more at http://www.dawnblack.ca/