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On the trail with Ryan Pyne

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Ryan Pyne pitched up to the Wellington Central campaign office and offered to deliver leaflets – and the next thing he knew he was at Fraser House hard at work on the Get Out the Vote campaign.

Mentioning that he’s been a field worker in the last two successful election campaigns for the Ontario Liberal Party might have had something to do with that.

 “The Ontario Liberals are a progressive centrist party with a long tradition of improving the lives of all Ontarians,” said Ryan. “We have made significant investments in education, healthcare and transit and are currently implementing a new retirement pension plan.

“I decided before the June Ontario election that I would go travelling around the world before I turned 30.  In July, I spent time in Hawaii and Sydney. Then came to New Zealand and have been backpacking through the North Island.

“My personal values are embodied by those of Labour in New Zealand and I was really interested to see how a New Zealand Labour campaign works so thought I’d volunteer for any capacity I might be needed.”

Ryan grew up in Georgetown, Ontario. His mother is a retired educational assistant who worked with special needs children and his father is a civil servant.

“I studied history and political science at university and became a volunteer with my local Liberal constituency association – what you call an LEC here – while a student,” said Ryan.

After graduating in 2007 he worked for Elections Ontario, then had a two-year stint in retail banking before getting a job as a field worker in the Party office in Toronto.

That role saw him spend two-and-a-quarter years supporting constituency associations in anything from AGMs to nominations of candidates, fundraising and compliance with the electoral agency.  He also managed candidates’ campaigns in both the 2011 and 2014 provincial campaigns.

The Liberals were elected to a minority government in 2011, governing with the informal support of the left-leaning New Democratic Party, but won their fourth mandate and a majority government in June.   

“Kathleen Wynne, our Premier, was elected leader by our party grass roots in 2013,” said Ryan. “She became an activist and successfully sought election as a school Trustee due to concerns about the public education system under the previous Conservative government.  She is also the first openly gay premier in Canada.

“It’s been great working on the Labour campaign.  Get Out the Vote is pretty similar to what we have done in Canada.  I have also been in Auckland helping with the campaign – I just enjoy mobilising people.”