We had the pleasure to meet Dan Newman, a Progressive Conservative MPP & cabinet minister who served in the legislature for eight years under the Harris and Eves governments. Mr. Newman began by describing how politics and political campaigning had changed since 1995. Back then, there was no email and Mr. Newman was one of the first MPPs to have a website, which he proudly named “HelloNewman”, a reference to Seinfeld.
He stressed to us that it was not impossible to get into politics and used the example of himself to prove it. Mr. Newman’s inspiration to get engaged and involved was driven because he did not agree with the policies of the sitting government. He started his political career by becoming president of his local riding association before running for MPP of his riding. When describing his years as MPP, he recalled the importance of serving everyone in the riding, even if they did not vote for you or did not vote at all. Mr. Newman recalled some of the tough situations he was in, including the E. coli outbreak in Walkerton when he was Minister of the Environment.
Mr. Newman also described life after politics and how for some, losing an election was difficult to recover from. His view after defeat was that if you did everything you could in terms of effort, you can live with yourself. After his political career, Mr. Newman transitioned into the private sector, working for POI Business Interiors. He was thankful for his experience serving Ontarians because the policy, strategy and people skills he learned in Queen’s Park stayed with him as he progressed in his career.
Thank you Mr. Newman for sharing your experiences and lessons with us!