Welcoming new ideas
NDP speakers welcomed Konstantine Malakos to the ring during his campaign launch on Sat., May 25. From left, Bonnie Jean-Louis, MPP for Ottawa Centre Joel Harden and Malakos. Sawyer Helmer photo

VANKLEEK HILL – Supporters gathered for an intimate campaign launch at Beau’s Brewery in Vankleek Hill on Sat., May 25 for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell NDP candidate Konstantine Malakos. After some time for guests to mingle with the candidate, have something to eat and enjoy the famous refreshments of the brewery, NDP MPP for Ottawa Centre, Joel Harden took to the microphone to welcome the crowd.

Harden began with a parody Ed Sheeran song, craftily reworded to support the efforts of Malakos and then introduced the first speaker, Bonnie Jean-Louis. Jean-Louis has been the provincial candidate in GPR for both the 2011 and 2018 elections.

She noted: “It is a challenge in GPR to represent [NDP] values because we have always been either Liberal or Conservative. I’m really happy that someone like Konstantine is willing to take on that challenge here this fall. Starting early and having somebody who is really loyal to the values of the New Democrats is a way to make sure that people get to know what the party stands for and know what our candidate can represent for the constituents.”

MPP Harden returned to the stand to welcome Malakos’ efforts, noting that changing an area’s political affiliation takes “constructive troublemakers,” and the ability to swim against the current. Harden said he is also excited to see the federal campaign move ahead and witness the NDP’s commitment to “being straight with people.”

This ideology was prominent in Malakos’ speech as he outlined the way he and his party intend to make changes.

“When I’m knocking on doors in [GPR] and talking to people in Eastern Ontario, often times Eastern Ontario feels left out of the political conversation. It is time that we change that; we need to play a role,” he said.

Part of that role means facing what Malakos called the biggest crisis of this generation. “The fact of the matter is we can combat climate change and create jobs and stimulate our economy at the same time; it is possible,” he said. “People want change and we can be that change.”

Malakos is well underway door-knocking and meeting with constituents as campaigns officially begin in the area.