Provincial Liberals on the Hunt for Votes in the Italian Community

TORONTO – The election is at least two years away, but it is never too early to get ready, most notably after two disastrous campaigns based on nebulous (I am being overly kind), contentious social policies and uncommitted campaign organization. The Provincial Liberal “brain trust”  did its very most to alienate its traditional base in a zealous pursuit  of the “progressive” electorate, which had already migrated to the NDP. Outcomes would have been predictable – even for neophytes. 

Newly elected leader, former MP and Mayor of Mississauga, Bonnie Crombie, seems determined to change that focus. She has started a recruitment campaign to attract professionals with experience in life and trained for, and in, careers of tomorrow, yet deeply rooted in the value-structure of their parents and grandparents. Some people are of the view that Vincent Gasparro (in the pics above and below), a Torontonian whose family hails from Catanzaro and Cosenza, Calabria, may fit that bill.

You have come a long way since Prime Minister Paul Martin assigned you as Special Assistant for Ontario, to keep an eye on the Minister for Ontario, Me.  Aside from that, what attracted Bonnie Crombie to you?

I am flattered to be considered in such a context and that people attribute those motives (competence, a balance between what will be and what is, and knowledge of the way thing operate and could improve). The reality is that I had a unique learning experience that tested my financial acumen and honed my political skills. It was, as they say, “a happening time” in your caucus of Ministers where everyone was vying for attention and resources while nation-building.

That may be a generous assessment of what Ministers do; thank you. You are an early middle-age man. What have you done, recently, that has cause people to start a “buzz” about your potential candidacy as a standard-bearer for the Crombie Liberals?

It may be early to talk in those terms. Ms. Crombie and I have overlapping views on Climate issues, Environmental Stewardship and Economic Development relating to both.

How so?

For starters, we both have a history of connecting economic goals and growth with environmental initiatives that do not involve imposing or increasing “carbon taxes” on consumers. For example: Our vision is to build up reliable public transit systems; invest in electric vehicle infrastructure; reform land-use planning to build livable, walkable communities; protect our water and nature; decarbonized energy grid; create full-time jobs with decent salary and benefits, advance sustainable economic growth and prosperity, support our farmers; and, most importantly, find ways to help families save money by helping households become more energy efficient.

Is that why you accepted her invitation to join and lead her Climate Action Panel?

I accepted because the role is consistent with some of my most recent tasks as Managing Director and Head of Sustainable Finance, at Roynat Capital – Scotiabank, in financing sustainable, renewable projects and programmes that created jobs and rewarded alternative Infrastuctures in Solar, Wind, Geothermal/ Geo exchange, Wastewater to Energy, EV infrastructure, battery storage and building retrofits.

So, you cannot be depicted as climate warrior?

I really do not know what that means anymore. We could have an in-depth interview on the specifics of some of my work at your availability, for now, I hope your readers will accept references to my post-academic background (M.SC – London School of Economics and MBA from VillaNova) and my work as principal Secretary to former Mayor John Tory as an indication that I practice what is often preached.

Do not be shy. If you were to have a conversation with Ms. Crombie about why Ontario Liberals keep mentioning your name as a potential election candidate, what do you think would be her assessment?

It is early in the game. I would hope everyone sees me as a proud Italo-Canadian who, in his career, has demonstrated an ability to create jobs for people who have post-Secondary Degrees and Diplomas on their walls as well as for those who wear hard hats to work.

Thank you. Until next time.