Liberal leadership candidate Gerard Kennedy is moving from Toronto to Quebec for part of the campaign in a bid to show he's serious about reconnecting with the province.
"We look forward to doing that as a way to allow me to do a lot more grassroots things in Quebec," says Kennedy, who resigned his post as Ontario's education minister to seek the top job in the federal Liberal party...
They'll move as soon as they can and spend at least several months there in advance of the Dec. 2-3 leadership vote.
Beyond the political angle, I think this decision is a positive in that Kennedy will gain a greater appreciation of Quebec society and opinion. Interacting with Quebecers on a daily basis, outside of formal campaign duties, allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the challenges ahead. Kennedy will have to craft a formal vision for federalism, beyond the easy platitudes and this change of residence should give his policies a practical element. Living in the province will give his thinking an organic quality and allow for a genuine "bond".
Kennedy doesn't come across as a slick politico, so any criticism of parachuting and/or grandstanding can be muted if he articulates a general desire to reach the grassroots. This is a good move politically to expand Kennedy's base, but more importantly this time in the province may be a huge asset if he were to win the leadership.