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My adventure in politics.
|9/24/2013||Kim Craitor retires.|
|9/25/2013||Read report that Liberal party will have a replacement candidate in 30 days.|
|10/30/2013||No news: Liberal party still looking for candidates. I start thinking that I should put my name forward because I have a lot of issues with what's been happening in Queen's Park.|
|11/6/2013||I join the Liberal Party. I have never been politically involved before other than working with Kim Craitor on a few issues as his constituent. I want to raise awareness of my issues and offer solutions to the government. Obviously, I am not happy about what has happened to Fort Erie.|
|11/8/2013||I inform the Riding Association that I want to be considered as candidate and submit my biography for review.|
|11/22/2013||Karen Gansel (NF Liberal Riding Association President) calls to inform me that, due to my lack of political experience, the Riding Association will not consider my application. I reply to tell her that I don't accept her refusal and will be issuing a press release on Monday.|
|11/25/2013||Press release issued.|
|11/26/2013||Interview with Kris Dubé of Bullet News in response to press release.|
|11/27/2013||Web site goes online - www.frankraso.ca|
|11/29/2013||Visit the Fort Erie Times to talk with Sarah Ferguson (editor, Fort Erie Times) about my story.|
|12/2/2013||Emailed Corey Larocque (reporter, NF Review) & Steve Gallagher (regional managing editor of Sun Media's Niagara-South region and editor-in-chief of The Niagara Falls Review) to let them know that I am trying to be the Liberal candidate.|
|12/3/2013||Steve Gallagher sends automatic reply telling me contact the NF City Desk. Called Corey to follow up and he blew me off.|
Emailed Ray Spiteri (reporter, NF Review) to comment about his Dec 3rd story. No acknowledgement from Ray.
Got a call from Kim Donaldson (Liberal Nominations Commissioner). We discussed the Liberal candidate nomination and I told her that I just want to participate in the nomination process. Since she didn't know anything about me, I recommended that she visit my web site.
|12/6/2013||Sarah Ferguson visits me and I give her a tour of the property where I've been planting trees with the Niagara Restoration Council.|
|12/11/2013||Sarah Ferguson emails to let me know that she can't run the story about my interview because Karen Gansel won't return her calls.|
Attended Press conference at MacBain Centre. I noticed that the preferred candidate is surrounded by NF city council peers who refused to be considered for nomination.
Spoke with Pat Sobara (Liberal Party campaign director) and Premier Wynne after the press conference about my intent to be in the nomination race.
Also spoke with Peter Conradi (Regional Content Director, Sun Media Niagara South & Editor-in-Chief, St Catharines Standard) and gave him my flyer.
Interview with David Akin of Sun TV.
Matt Day (reporter, NF Review) leaves afternoon telephone message and asks me to call him back (likely about Liberal Candidate Story).
Reply to Matt Day by email in the morning and then call him in the afternoon to leave message on his voice mail. No contact with Matt Day by day's end.
Emailed Karen Gansel (cc Premier's Office) to provide me with the NF Riding Association Members List so that I can work on getting the 25 signatures necessary to be considered for nomination. Karen responds to tell me that she can't provide me with the names of the members of the NF Riding Association for privacy reasons. I then ask if the preferred candidate has access to those names. If not, would she provide these names to an independent 3rd party who can contact members on my behalf? No reply yet.
Read Fort Erie Times this morning and see that, from Alison Langley's (reporter, NF Review) page 35 article (a reprint of Niagara Falls councillor preferred candidate), she appears to also not be aware of my story. Having contacted her today, she informed me that she IS aware of my story. I am beginning to wonder if local Sun Media editors are Liberal Party insiders.
Spoke with Kim Donaldson at 7:35 pm. She told me that she accepted Riding Association's Nomination Plan (consisting of one name) after a Panel discussion on December 14 and the nomination process is now closed. She informed me that I have 72 hours to appeal this decision according to the Ontario Liberal Party's RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR ARBITRATIONS AND APPEALS.
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I've lived in the Niagara Region all of my life. When I was small, I lived in Ridgeway but moved to Welland where I spent my teen-age years.
I graduated from Notre Dame and went on get a BASc in mechanical engineering from the University of Ottawa in 1987. After graduation, I worked at the following businesses:
- WP London & Associates (Niagara Falls)
- London-Monenco (St Catharines)
- Gryphon International (St Catharines)
- QUNO / Abitibi (Thorold)
- Thermal Ceramics (Burlington)
- Vesuvius (Buffalo, NY)
- Raso Enterprises (Stevensville)
I got married in 1993 and have twins now attending university. My son is studying environmental science at Carleton University and my daughter is studying nursing a Queen's University. My beautiful wife is an employee of the Niagara Health System, which means that the NHS is a very personal interest for me.
I have always had an interest in all things mechanical and especially cars. From my summer job at General Motors in St Catharines (Engine Plant & Foundry), I was able to save up and buy my first car (1965 Plymouth Barracuda), which I still have today. After finishing school, I joined the Antique & Classic Car Club of Canada and was one of Rainbow Region's founding members in 1988. After settling down in Stevensville in 1993, I eventually joined the Rods & Relics Car Club in 2007 and subsequently because its car show chairman in 2008. Since 2012, I now also run the classic car show at the Fort Erie Friendship Festival.
My interest in alternative fuels started in university with a 3rd-year Internal Combustion Engine course. My prof was a fuels researcher for the National Research Council and I admired the work he did. After university, I converted one of my first cars to propane (a 1978 New Yorker) and eventually became a dealer for Technocarb Equipment. While watching the news back in 2007, I learned about anhydrous ammonia as an alternative fuel (November 6, 2006) and eventually became the chief scientist for Hydrofuel Inc. My latest project with Hydrofuel Inc is the design of a prototype diesel-NH3 fuel system for heavy duty vehicles. Hydrofuel has partnered with UOIT to commercialize its ammonia technology.
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I originally created this web site in 2013 to help me run as a candidate in the Niagara Falls provincial by-election. After the 2014 provincial general election, I placed my political ambitions on hold for the time-being. However, the specific issues that motivated me to become politically active are still:
- The resistance of the provincial government to recognizing anhydrous ammonia as an alternative fuel and the bureaucracy's discrimination of the alternative fuel project I have been working on for several years.
- My concern that the costs of implementing the Green Energy Act are adversely affecting Ontario businesses and consumers.
- The lack of regard shown by wind project developers and the Ministry of Energy to the communities in which these projects are located.
- The removal of Slots from the Fort Erie Race Track and the lack of long term provincial government plan for jobs in the Town of Fort Erie.
- The government's persecution of the specialty vehicle community with its elimination of the rolling 20-year vehicle emission test exemption and the poorly-written legislation such as the anti-street racing amendment to the Highway Traffic Act (Bill 203).
I have been extremely passionate about ensuring the long-term success of the Fort Erie Race Track and will continue to work towards its long-term survival. Even though I personally feel that the government dependence on gambling revenue is poor social policy, I believe that if SOME race tracks have Slots then ALL race tracks should have Slots. I have been asked by the Town of Fort Erie to investigate the viability of Fort Erie Equestrian Trail Master Plan.
This web site will be used to advocate for issues about which I am passionate. Over the coming year, I'll be continuing to work on the following:
- Fundraising for Tender Wishes Foundation through the Rods & Relics Car Show and Rods & Relics Pasta Night.
- Promoting Community Enterprise with the Trillium Energy Alliance.
- Promoting anhydrous ammonia as an alternative (carbon-free) fuel and the ideal way to store green (wind, solar, etc) energy in the grid.
- Advocating for Ontario's specialty vehicle community as a SVAO director.
- Working with the Niagara Restoration Council on their environmental projects.
- Mitigating the effects of the emerald ash borer.