Canada’s NDP

“Through free court, free exchange of opinions, a free press.
The free right to organize, free trade unions, free cooperatives, free political party.
That out of that kind of participation, out the ferment of discussion,
out of the conflict of ideas, out of the exchanges of points of view.

We will emerge with a better society.
Not a poorer one.”

Tommy Douglas


November 8th, 2010 I entered a seemingly timid looking office building on the corner of Bank and Laurier in Downtown Ottawa. This was my first day of work at a brand new job for the Federal New Democratic Party of Canada. I would work there from that day through the historic 2011 election campaign, the national policy convention that immediately followed that June and through until the fall of 2011, when I join the communications department at the Office of her Majesty’s Loyal Official Opposition. Still working for Jack, part of Drew’s team, but out of the Federal HQ. Late July 2011, Jack announced to Canada (and the World) that he was taking a leave of absence to fight a new cancer he was diagnosed with. This was after he had just survived a fight with prostate cancer in 2009. Though, in August 2011, Jack passed on, losing that fight.


2010 / 2011 Selected works

VanCon2011, Convention.

Photos by Jenna Wakani

Selected works: 2010 – 2011

“For Beatrice” December 2010

“Canadian leadership in Attawapiskat” November, 2011

“Prime Minister” December 2010

“You have a Choice” (Freetime, election campaign ad) April, 2011

“Progress & Leadership” June, 2011, VANCON2011 Showcase

“It can become one of the two major parties and eventually
the Government of Canada.”

Stanley Knowles

The leadership campaign
no one ever wanted.

I got to make that ad in January of 2012, we ran it online only. I recall it being shown on CBC’s Power & Politics with the Liberal Pundit attempting to say that the ad was a response to how awful the enrolment for the convention was. Maybe a week later the party announced that the attendance demands were too great and the entire thing had to be moved from the Allstate Centre, where it was originally slated to be held, to Toronto’s MTCC to better accommodate the thousands of delegates.

All told, I recall hearing that there were over 5,500 Delegates on the Convention floor and our live-streaming numbers had at it’s peak, another 70K+ watching through our YouTube stream.

To open the convention, the seven candidates were each given fifteen minutes for them to make their case on a National Stage to the floor and all of those watching through all the major networks and online.

After the showcases wrapped, there was a dinner break followed by one of the best set pieces I’ve ever been able to work on. One of the finest pieces of tribute I think assembled to date. Not that there are many of them, but I mean in memorium tributes in the general sense.

2012 – 2014

Spring 2012, the New Democratic Party of Canada elected Tom Mulcair as Jack Layton’s successor. Leadership2012 was attended by nearly 5500 people in Toronto’s Metro Convention Centre, where for the first time in the Party’s history an new leader of the Official Opposition was being elected.

Time was that main stream media and the Canadian public at large wouldn’t really bat an eyelash at the New Democrats leadership race. Because up until the NDP’s historic showing in the 2011 general election, no leader was going be positioned as ‘the Prime Minister in waiting.’

This is the Post-Jack Layton body work I made for the NDP, both as a staffer up until January 2013 and on into a project by project or contract basis.

2012 – 2014


A Progressive Canada / Un Canada progressiste

Family / la famille

Equality & Justice / Égalité et justice

Nation Builder / Bâtisseur de la nation
Selected work: 2012 – 2014
Montréal 2013, Convention

Leadership 2012

“#NDPldr” Ad January, 2012

“The Layton Legacy / La relève de Jack” Memorial Convention Showcase

“A Progressive Canada / Un Canada progressiste”
“Family / la famille”
“Equality & Justice / Égalité et justice”
“Nation Builder / Bâtisseur de la nation”

Selected work from 2012 through 2014

“Our story” October, 2014

“Radicals for our coast” August, 2012

“Affordable Childcare” October, 2014

“Tom Mulcair, leadership + experience” May, 2013

“Clear Choices / des choix clairs” December, 2012

“Stephen Harper’s solution” July, 2012

“A look back at 8 years of Conservative government” February, 2014

“Affordable Childcare” (30 second Ad – Edit) October, 2014

“Lying liars” October, 2012

“NDP Official Opposition: Year one / L’Opposition officielle du NPD: 1ère année” May, 2012

“Our story” October, 2014

« Thomas Mulcair, leadership + experience ( version français ) » May, 2013

2013 Montréal Convention Work

“Montréal 2013 Introduction”

“Convictions + leadership” Convention Showcase

« 2015 »
« Histoire »
« 2013 »
« 2003 – 2008 »
« 2011 »

A good balance.

The “Layton Legacy” tribute event was hosted Juliette Powell, a former Miss Canada and MuchMusic VJ. It featured speeches from Senior Staff Brad Lavigne and Anne McGrath, Mike and Sarah Layton, Nycole Turmel and Olivia Chow, as well as a chalk portrait draw by Toronto.

It could have been a maudlin event. The tendency for these kinds of tributes can be to go too far in canonizing your friend, instead of trying to root part of your message in the reality that needs to be faced the very next day.

The balance we struck was a good one. It was about the future, the act of honouring our promises to build a better future as a way to honour Jack’s sacrifice, leadership and voice in pursuing the same. And of course, saying goodbye to the best Prime Minister we never had.