When the Liberal Party of Canada needed an interim leader, Bob Rae stepped up.
For that, the party has “a million reasons” to thank him.
On Jan. 19, the party launched the Thanks a Million, Bob campaign with plans to raise at least $1 million for the party as a gift to Rae, to ensure the party's next leader “has the resources needed to make a strong start with a well-financed Liberal Party of Canada.”
Rae's cross-country travels recently brought him to Northern Ontario. On March 9, he was in Sudbury where he toured SNOLAB before sitting down to dinner with Liberal Party supporters at the Howard Johnson hotel.
Dinner wrapped up quickly, as Rae was enthusiastic about getting to the Towne House in time for the Memorial Stomp for Tom.
The political leader, who sported a red Stomp For Tom memorial T-shirt, said he was thrilled to be part of the Northern Life event.
“This is fantastic,” he said from his seat next to the Towne House stage. “It's a wonderful experience. I'm really glad I came.”
Rae even joined the Shaft Bottom Boys during their set, playing piano while the local band performed a few Stompin' Tom classics.
Fans and supporters at the event, which Northern Life hosted in partnership with the Towne House Tavern, were shocked the see the political leader there. He spent a bit of time chatting with community members and smiling for photos, when he wasn't stomping along to the tunes.
Prior to taking part in the memorable festivities, Rae spoke to reporters about his national tour.
He said he is confident the Liberal party leadership race will be “a very good” race. Once a leader is chosen, he or she will have their work cut out for them.
“We'll have to have a strong leader and a strong team,” he said.
He didn't get into the party's platform, since “the new leader will want to reflect on what that will be,” however, he did touch on the importance of the reorganization of the party.
Rae said he's confident voters will look ahead with the party.
"I don't think at this stage of the game, people are looking back at the last election," he said.