Whether he wins or loses election, ‘it’s win-win for me’: Farber
May 30, 2011 | Jewish Tribune
TORONTO – Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has named Bernie Farber as the Liberal Party candidate for Thornhill in the October provincial election, said Greg Sorbara, campaign chair for the Ontario Liberal Party, at a press conference last week.Farber told the Jewish Tribune that he has taken a leave of absence from his position as CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) to fulfill his “lifelong dream” of entering politics.
Although he intends to win the election on Oct. 6, Farber said, if he does not succeed, he has been promised a position in the soon-to-be-restructured organization headed at present by the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA). “The lay leadership and the professional leadership of the Canadian Jewish community...want me in one of two places: the legislature or working for the Jewish community in a senior position. So, either way, it's win-win for me."
It is a “natural progression” for many Jewish or ethnic advocates to go into politics, Farber said, given their training and experience in advocacy. In his speech, he said he has worked for 35 years in the “helping professions”; first as a social worker and then “as a social activist within the Jewish community focussed on human rights, the disenfranchised and battling racism and antisemitism, xenophobia, homophobia.”
Farber has lived in Thornhill for 22 years. He will be running against incumbent Progressive Conservative MPP Peter Shurman, who told the Tribune in an email, “This election is not going to be about who loves Israel more or whether Peter Shurman successfully drove a resolution condemning Israeli Apartheid Week through the legislature with all-party support or whether Bernie Farber knows a lot about hate crime.... This election is entirely about the Ontario we have versus the Ontario we want.” Shurman added that voters are primarily concerned with the cost and use of energy, HST added to electricity or heating bills, health care, education and public safety.
Armand LaBarge, former chief of police for York Region, was on hand at the press conference to endorse Farber.
According to a CJC press release, Benjamin L. Shinewald, its national executive director and general counsel, is now the organization’s acting CEO. CJC President Mark Freiman was unavailable for comment before press time.