When Lon Borgerson, NDP MLA Saskatchewan Rivers, 2003-2007, was asked to introduce Ryan at a recent event in Prince Albert, he was inspired to deliver his introduction in verse. Here is the poem he recited.
(Photo: Ryan with Lon Borgerson and his partner, Val Drummond.)
We’re here this evening because we think highly
Of our leadership candidate, Ryan Meili
Who can carry that vision of the CCF and NDP
Of dreaming no small dreams of what we might be
Of answering J.S. Woodsworth’s call
That what we desire for ourselves, we wish for all.
And this goes way deeper than wealth
And counting all the money we can find.
It’s about our health - body, soul and mind.
And it’s about our collective health – about diversity and variety
It’s about having… a “healthy society”
It’s about serving the needy instead of the greedy.
And it’s about more than taking care of the one who needs us
It’s about taking care of the planet that feeds us
It’s about weaning ourselves from fossil fuels and greenhouse gas
It’s about solar, wind and biomass
It’s about knowing that energy that is renewable
Is more than a slogan. It IS do-able.
And as for the rhetoric and posturing of politics
The messaging, massaging and verbal tricks
Let’s change THAT climate, let’s change THAT nasty weather
As Ryan says we’re “better together”
A new politics, too, is do-able
We have a collective energy and it, too, is renewable.
So join me, in supporting a vision for a health society
Join me in supporting Ryan Meili!
–Lon Borgerson (Prince Albert, December 2, 2012)
Lon grew up on a family farm near Rockglen and was involved with the NDY and NFU. He attended the University of Saskatchewan, eventually earning a B.A. , B.Ed. and M.Ed. He served as a teacher and principal, then worked for many years as a faculty member, program coordinator and university instructor at Prince Albert's SUNTEP center. Throughout his years as an educator, he has been a director/co-creator of numerous Aboriginal theatre productions with Upisasik Theatre, Suntep Theatre and the Batoche Theatre Company. He served as a board director for the Saskatchewan Arts Board and on the first advisory committee for CTV's Indigenous Circle. In 2003, Lon was elected as MLA for the constituency of Saskatchewan Rivers. In 2006, he was appointed Legislative Secretary for Organic Farming, which resulted in Going Organic: A Report on the Opportunities for Organic Agriculture in Saskatchewan (2007). In 2007, he was appointed as Minister for Regional Economic and Cooperative Development. From 2007 to 2012, Lon served as a director of education for Ile-a-la-Crosse. He is married to Val Drummond and they have two daughters, Kirstin and Erika.