After three terms as a Niagara-on-the-Lake town councillor, Andrea Kaiser did not expect to get back into politics — but when asked, she would say it would only be at the federal level, working for Justin Trudeau.
Now, after a period of stepping back from politics to spend more time with her children, she’s hoping to do just that, as MP for the Niagara Falls riding, representing the Liberal government.
She finds herself concerned about what she sees in the politics of today, in Canada and the U.S., and the harshness with which politicians treat each other, she says. The best part of municipal government was working collaboratively with others, even when opinions differed, to come up with the best results, and she looks forward to doing that again under Trudeau’s style of compassionate leadership.
“I believe people who work hard should reap their rewards, but at the same time I believe we all have a responsibly to each other,” says Kaiser.
She also was drawn to the Liberal party because of its strong values, respect for other cultures, for the middle class and strong work ethic, and its work for youth.
Her parents, Karl and Silvia Kaiser, taught her Liberal values, including working hard, caring for neighbours and giving back to her community, she says — the Liberal philosophy.
Kaiser says her daughter, who became an activist in climate change, has shown her that the government of the last four years has taken a leadership role on that issue, and that “I could be a part of making major changes, helping to create a better Canada, and a better environment for my kids and grandkids.”
Kaiser is a working mother of two, a small business owner, an instructor at Niagara College and the director of marketing and tourism at a local winery. She says she learned about hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit watching her father build a life for his family in Niagara as co-founder and winemaker of Inniskillin Wines.
During more than a decade on municipal council, she served stints as chair of public works, planning, corporate services, and fair taxation committees, and also as vice-president of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce. In the local tourism and wine industry, she is a champion for economic development and community excellence, and has a deep understanding of vital local economic drivers, such as tourism and agriculture, she says.
Kaiser’s three priorities if elected:
• To be a strong voice for Niagara in Ottawa, “not the other way around. The federal Liberal Government has a historic 12-year, $190 billion dollar infrastructure plan, and it is imperative that Niagara gets its fair share of this money for priority projects. My first act as your Member of Parliament will be to sit down with local mayors and councillors to determine how I can support their infrastructure priorities.”
• Economic development and job creation: It is critical that Niagara have a comprehensive plan for economic development, so that it can become a hub for private sector investment, economic growth and job creation, says Kaiser. “Our platform proposes a number of innovative measures to help entrepreneurs, particularly in emerging industries like the green technology sector, start and scale up their businesses. These policy levers must be used to attract these new industries to Niagara, and I will work tirelessly every day to champion Niagara as a destination for investment.”
• Agriculture: Farmers and growers are an important part of the local economy, “and it is essential that they have a champion in Ottawa working every day to defend their interests. I will be that champion.”
To contact Kaiser, visit her campaign office at 6100 Thorold Stone Road in Niagara Falls; call 905-356-7860; firstname.lastname@example.org or andreakaiser.liberal.ca.