Manitoba is not an island. In this province, like so many other parts of the world, we have more freedoms and choices than ever before in history. But with all those freedoms and choices comes confusion and uncertainty. It’s not hard to understand that the only thing certain about tomorrow is that it will definitely be different than today. To ease this uncertainty and confusion, Manitobans need clear direction and solid leadership from all our political leaders.

This province will never function to its greatest capacity unless people can rely upon the covenants and commitments of this province’s political leaders. This ideal goes beyond just legislative authority and far beyond the status quo. The influence on Broadway must extend to all people of Manitoba who rely on these leaders for the future of our province.

The next leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party must be willing to sacrifice and serve the people of this party and must be an example for those who want direction and purpose in their lives. The next leader must attract those whose passion is to accomplish and contribute to this great province. The next leader we choose will have the opportunity to provide hope instead of despair.

The responsibility of leading this party into the future involves more than just observing what people are doing; the task involves the process of understanding and accepting what people are trying to become.

The next Manitoba Liberal leader must be committed. This leader cannot be a bystander or carry a title of simple position and policy. Being the next leader means being responsible for the long-term vision of this party and not the short–term personal benefits we have become accustomed to accepting for far too long.

The next leader must listen and learn from the ones they lead; the door must be open. The next leader has to be connected by listening to the people of this province at all levels and in all areas. The next leader must become an obsessive learner and avoid the all too common trap of the arrogance of ignorance. The next leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party has to be a giver, not a taker. The next leader must never just accept the position or title, but rather keep the promises to the people even if it is at their own personal risk and sacrifice.

The next leader of this party must make things happen. This new leader must promote diversity, recognizing that differences in party members can strengthen the party and the province. They have to create an atmosphere where everyone is willing to accept the differences and strive to create an environment where different people are willing to contribute as part of the whole. As groups of different people work together under a new effective leadership, they will understand the reality that no one person can accomplish this daunting task alone. An individual standing alone contributes less than a member of the whole.

And finally, this new leader must be value driven and performance oriented. They must think judiciously about what is right and what is wrong when executing the responsibilities that lie ahead. They must lead people to do things the right way and to do the right thing. They must clearly provide examples by actions and conduct, maintaining a continued expectation and standard for others to follow. Truth cannot be compromised. The truth of what we say is shown by what we do and if we don’t live by that, The Manitoba Liberal Party will never be in a position to represent the people of this province.

For all these reasons, I made the decision to support Rana Bokhari as our new leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party. And for that reason alone, I have renewed hope in this party.


By Steve Lambert, Canadian Press

WINNIPEG – A man who left Manitoba after his son was killed in the great flood of 1997 has returned and is aiming to become the next leader of the provincial Liberals.

Robert Young, a business consultant, counsellor and Christian fiction writer, is the first candidate in the race to replace Jon Gerrard as head of the beleaguered party.

“Doing this is a sacrifice. I’ve lost enough already. I don’t want to say, ‘What have I got to lose?’ but that’s the kind of attitude you have to take,” Young said.

“I’ve come back and I’m disheartened at what I’ve seen. I think it’s great we’ve got the Winnipeg Jets, but we’ve got more poverty than when I left. We’ve got more homelessness.”

Young, 52, was born in Winnipeg and had Liberal leanings from a young age. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he worked as an executive assistant to two Winnipeg city councillors with Liberal ties and served as a liaison between civic and provincial Liberals.

He also served on the mayor’s task force on youth and gang violence.

In 1997, during the so-called flood of the century, tragedy struck. His 14-year-old son, Adam, was swept into a culvert that was connected to city sewers and drowned.

“I learned that your life can change with a phone call, drastically. But even though that situation happened, I’m still here. I’ve got a responsibility.”

Young fought for improvements to the sewer system and lost his job, he said. He left for work in the southern United States in 2000.

In the years that followed, Young worked as a school counsellor, operated a real estate company and wrote novels including “Three Days With Mary,” a religious-themed story about a man seeking redemption after making poor choices in his life. He also worked for BluefishTV, a non-profit Christian video production company.

He returned to Winnipeg last year and now works as a business development consultant at a downtown firm.

Young realizes that the Manitoba Liberal party is a shadow of the one that existed in the late 1980s when it was the official Opposition under Sharon Carstairs and had 20 of 57 legislature seats.

The Liberals have just one seat now. It belongs to Gerrard. He announced his plan to resign as leader after the party got only 7.5 per cent of the popular vote in last fall’s election. A replacement is to be chosen in October 2013.

Because the party failed to meet the 10 per cent threshold for campaign expense reimbursements, it is in debt and has cut staff. For the time being at least, the Liberals have virtually no money to pay any new leader.

It all adds up to a big challenge for the next leader, says Paul Thomas, a political science professor at the University of Manitoba.

“It’s all uphill. It involves a huge amount of heavy lifting in terms of all the hard work on the ground that has to be done to rebuild constituency associations, to build a policy platform,” Thomas said.

Young is unfazed.

“The main priority right now is to build a party … and give Manitobans another voice.”

He is already laying out some of the broad strokes of his platform. He says he would restore the balanced budget law that has been amended and suspended by the NDP government if he ever won an election.

He would also like to find new ways to encourage kids to stay in school. Tying their scholastic abilities to a driver’s licence is one idea.

“I would like to see drivers’ licences and insurance, between the ages of 16 and 18, tied to school attendance and performance.”

Young has a website ready to go live this week or next, and has volunteers to help his campaign.

It remains unclear, however, whether Young will be able to file his nomination papers. The Liberals have yet to set a start date for the leadership race. Party officials are to meet in September to set ground rules for a convention, Liberal president Bernd Hohne said.

Winnipeg, MB – On July 1st, 2012, Robert Young announced his candidacy for the leadership of the Manitoba Liberal Party. After leaving Manitoba in 1999 following a family tragedy, Young returned home last year with a renewed passion and dedication to improving the province of Manitoba.

“Manitoba has always been a great province. It always will be home, but I’ve been quite disheartened to see what has become of our own backyard,” Young said. “It’s time for a change. It’s time to put Manitobans first. This province needs new leadership and passion on Broadway to hold the NDP and PC’s accountable and focused on what’s best for the people of Manitoba. I plan to be the person that takes the Manitoba Liberal Party to the next level and become the real voice of reason for all Manitobans in 2015.”

Young further stated “I believe with a new sense of leadership, passion, and fresh ideas, we can grow our economy, fix our healthcare system, reduce crime, and restore fiscal responsibility and accountability in this province. Over the next few months I want to focus on listening to the concerns of everyday Manitobans and engaging with them in an effort to move this province forward”

In announcing his bid for the leadership, Young indicated that he would run on a solid, focused Manitoba platform that will;

  • Act fiscally responsible and accountable, using these as guidelines of future government and ensure these principles govern all political  decisions
  • Improve the current status of healthcare
  • Provide better care and options for Manitoba seniors whether in their own homes, with family, or a personal care facility
  • Reduce crime through community and judicial opportunities
  • Support recreation and community centre programs
  • Develop and support innovative ways to grow our communities, cities and towns through public/private investments in transportation and technology (roads, highways, transit and rapid transit, infrastructure)
  • Develop better support for rural communities, rural development, and farming families
  • Improve attendance and graduation rates throughout the province
  • Properly address flooding as part of a province-wide water management strategy
  • Provide more opportunity for young people with stronger links between education, the economy, and job creation
  • Return the province to balanced budgets and respect taxpayer money.

“I truly believe a strong, vibrant and rejuvenated Manitoba Liberal Party can and will put Manitoba back on the right track. But first our party needs new leadership,” Young stated. “It needs a new generation of leadership with a focused, passionate and open approach to politics.”

“We can’t move our party forward by looking back. But we can learn from those who have been there. We can’t expect Manitobans to just accept our words anymore because that’s been same old political game from Broadway and Manitobans are tired of it. Manitobans deserve better. Instead, if we’re to regain the support our party needs, we have to earn it—through passion, hard work and fresh ideas.”

“We need to respond to Manitobans by addressing the areas of healthcare, justice, environmental sustainability, and fiscal responsibility. That means a new focused government that isn’t necessarily bigger or smaller, just smarter.  It means a provincial government that’s strategic in the use of taxpayer money, investing in areas that are essential to enhancing equality of opportunity and the future of our economy.”

And because of His mercy we all have this ministry and we must not lose heart. But rather we must renounce negative and shameful ways; we should not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if the truth is hidden, it is veiled to those who live in the mind and not the heart. The worldly things have blinded the minds of those who do not believe so that they cannot see the light the glory who is the image of God. For what we say is not of ourselves, but of God. For God said, “Let light shine out of darkness, make his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in His face.

We all have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in us. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Therefore we must not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we can be renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that will far outweigh them all. So fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Pride, Men & God

If I remember correctly, I think my son Marc was around five years old when he started to understand the concept of Christmas – of course the concept at five is presents. And like most boys at that age, with the grasping of such great knowledge, independence is usually not far behind.  “I do it!” he yelled said as I tried to help him open one of his gifts. “I do it!” It was his gift and he was going to take care of it even if the task was going to take him an hour; he was determined to do it himself.

As Christian men, we can sometimes be like that: too proud and far too independent to ask for help.

Somewhere along the way we’ve developed the idea that it’s wrong to ask for help, that it’s something no real man should ever do. I watched the movies where the tough guys, the heroes always made their own way. They didn’t need anybody’s help, and even if the likes of Bruce Willis did have to bring help, they were a bunch of hard, macho types. He never had to humiliate himself and ask for help.

But we can’t live life that way. It’s impossible. It’s fiction. It’s difficult going our own way alone sometimes. We all get knocked down by life’s circumstances and it can be hard to get back up. If we don’t ask God for help, you don’t stand a chance.

Pride can be a funny thing. Psalm 10:4  tells us: “In his pride the wicked does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” The psalmist recognized this shortcoming in men thousands of years ago and I know it hasn’t gotten any better.

Jesus was different from us. He constantly sought his Father’s advice and direction. His character was flawless, free from the pride we display. Instead of trying to make it on his own, he depended heavily on the Father and the Holy Spirit.

If our pride isn’t bad enough, some of us can be quite stubborn and also slow learners. We refuse God’s help, mess things up, then a year or five years or ten years later we just repeat the same thing. It’s hard for us to overcome our pride and the innate need for independence.

How do we break this cycle? How do we get into the habit of asking God for help, not just in big things but every single day?

We have to come to terms with who we are. Every Christian man has enough failures in his past to remind him that going it alone simply doesn’t work. We shouldn’t be embarrassed by our failures; we should be embarrassed because we were too arrogant to ask and accept God’s help. But it’s never too late to remedy that.

We need to learn from other Christian men who have humbled themselves and who rely on God for help and direction each day. We can see the victories in their lives. We can marvel at their maturity, their calmness and their faith in a trustworthy God. Those same admirable qualities can become ours., too.

There’s hope for every one of us. We can live the life we’ve always dreamed of. Pride is a trait we can overcome, but first we need to start by asking God for help.


A few weeks ago I challenged a group of people in a leadership class to talk about their passion and vision.

Leaders: Don’t ever apologize for your passion or vision. That’s what inspires excellence in others and people are capable of it.

The impetus for this came from a class discussion on passion and the fact that some people are afraid or embarrassed to communicate that. But honestly, a good leader must do that in order to expect excellence from the people they lead. Usually it’s because they don’t want to appear to be demanding or demeaning. Apparently it’s an affront to expect a lot out of a person.

But it’s actually just the opposite. It honors them.

The highest compliment you can give to those you lead is to demand the best from them. Low standards do not communicate appreciation. They communicate contempt for someone’s ability and potential. Once you have stopped challenging someone to do more, you have stopped believing in them. And you have effectively stunted their ability to grow in their God-given gifts and calling.

It’s the responsibility of the leader not only to cast vision, but also to make sure that those serving under the vision are maximizing their gifts in support of it. An indispensable tool that every leader must learn to develop, then, is the ability to speak life into potential. Call it out. And the best way to call it out is by maintaining a high standard. People don’t grow by being allowed to live in mediocrity.

So, leaders: Don’t apologize for expecting excellence. You and or organization deserve it, and people are capable of it.

You’re not being demeaning by holding your people to a high standard. The real affront would be to allow someone to work at a level that doesn’t correspond to the potential for greatness that God has put in them.


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