Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau speaks at the opening of the Liberal caucus in Georgetown, P.E.I. on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013.

Nathan Rochford/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A key member of Justin Trudeau's inner circle is running to become president of the federal Liberal party.

Anna Gainey, a well-connected, longtime Liberal, is scheduled to formally kick off her campaign on Wednesday.

She says she wants to focus on expanding the party's support base through the kind of personal engagement strategy used so successfully by U.S. President Barack Obama's campaign team.

Story continues below advertisement

Gainey is closely connected to Trudeau: she played a senior operations role in his successful leadership campaign earlier this year while her husband, lifelong Trudeau friend Tom Pitfield, was in charge of the digital campaign.

But her roots in the party predate Trudeau's ascension to the Liberal throne.

She served as a ministerial assistant to Bill Graham and John McCallum in Paul Martin's short-lived government.

And she is currently president of the Liberal association in the Montreal riding of Westmount-Ville-Marie, which is held by Trudeau's erstwhile leadership rival Marc Garneau.

Garneau evidently harbours no ill feeling over Gainey's decision to back Trudeau. He's agreed to be the national co-chair of her presidential campaign, alongside former Edmonton MP Anne McLellan.

"I'm doing this because I'm a Liberal, I've been involved in the party for a long time," Gainey said in an interview.

"Certainly, I support Justin, I share his vision. I admire his work ethic and I'd like to be a part of helping him be successful."

Story continues below advertisement

Liberals will choose their next party president at a convention in February. Mike Crawley, the current president is not seeking re-election.

So far, only one other candidate for the job has come forward: Brian Rice, president of the British Columbia wing of the party.

If she wins, Gainey said she'd like to prepare the party for the 2015 election by reducing the "inward-looking, internal kind of discussions" in which Liberals have tended to indulge and focus more on getting a broader base of Canadians to support the party.

While that will necessarily involve better use of technology to identify and communicate with potential supporters, Gainey said it will also involve motivating existing supporters to use the personal touch with friends and family.

"I think it has to happen really at the grassroots level, with the people that we do have engaged (already) and giving them the tools to network and build relationships in their own communities," she said.

"I really think you need to be engaged in your own backyard on a lot of these things, talk to your neighbours and the other moms in the schoolyard and not be shy about (the fact) that you're on board and you're part of this process and try to encourage other people to participate as well."

Story continues below advertisement

Gainey is executive director of the Gainey Foundation, which funds arts and environmental programs for youth. The philanthropic foundation was co-founded by Gainey and her father, former Montreal Canadiens hockey great Bob Gainey, after the death of her sister Laura.

Laura Gainey was swept overboard from a tall ship during a gale in the North Atlantic in 2006.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies