Andrea Kaiser is hoping to receive the Liberal nomination to run in the upcoming October federal election for the Niagara Falls riding, which includes her hometown of Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Fort Erie.
The daughter of Karl Kaiser, winemaker and co-founder of Inniskillin Wines, has experience in the tourism, wine and agricultural industries. She also has political experience as a municipal councillor for the Town of NOTL for 11 years.
A nomination meeting has not yet been set, but is expected this month. Kaiser will have at least one opponent in the nomination bid — former Niagara Falls city councillor Joyce Morocco, who failed to keep her seat in the October municipal election, has put her name in.
Kaiser says her core values have always aligned with the Liberal party, and she continues to believe the Liberals best represent all that is important to her: families, agriculture, the environment and climate change. The Liberals are also supportive of tourism, which is an important component of the Niagara Falls riding, she says.
“Our natural environment and heritage need to be protected and preserved for generations to come. Climate change is real and the Liberal party has made clear it will continue to be a high priority,” says Kaiser.
After serving for three consecutive terms on Niagara-on-the-Lake municipal council, Kaiser decided not to run in the 2014 election, choosing to devote more time to being a single mother of two.
Now, at the age of 50 and with her two children young adults at 21 and 23, making their own way in life, she is ready to tackle her future in a new direction. “I can take a step back and look at what I want to do for the rest of my life. Losing my dad made me look at my priorities, and realize how short life is. You have to grab hold of what you want. I want to make a difference in this great community, in this country, this world. This is an opportunity to do something important for the people I care about,” says Kaiser.
“I used to get asked a lot if I would be getting back into politics, and I’d say, joking, it would have to be at the federal level to work with Justin Trudeau,” she says.
“I’ve always cared about the community, and always been involved, but if I looked at politics on a larger scale, I always thought that was for someone else. Now I realize I can do this. I’d be good at it and would represent this riding well in Ottawa. I have the strength to do it, and I really do care about this community. That’s a good recipe for success.”
Since speaking to Klaus Reif about her plans, she says he has been supportive — he believes in personal growth and has encouraged her in moving forward.
“I’m surrounded by great people and fabulous support, from friends and family.”
In addition to being a business owner, now with her own wine company, Kaiser has worked in tourism, wine and agriculture from an early age. She believes she has a deep understanding of the broad range of businesses integrated throughout these sectors. As the director of marketing and tourism at Reif Estate Winery, she says the community’s strength is grounded in the fact that both rural and urban areas are equally important.
She is also a part-time teacher at Niagara College for Wine Business Management, and knows the importance of having both small and large businesses as part of the fabric that makes up her home riding, she says.
“It’s a big riding, and all communities have to be represented equally,” says Kaiser.
Full details can be found at AndreaKaiser.ca and she can be followed on Instagram @VoteKaiser, Twitter @VoteKaiser and Facebook at VoteKaiser.
Kaiser is hosting a Wine Country BBQ at The Hare Wine Co. next Wednesday, July 24, to raise funds for her campaign. “I hope you can join me for a glass of wine with local bratwurst prepared using my Dad’s secret recipe,” she says.
Tickets are $50 and can be purchased on-line through her website, votekaiser.ca, or at https://www.universe.com/events/andrea-kaisers-wine-country-bbq-tickets-3SCJYF.
The event is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Niagara Stone Road winery.