2019 Federal Election

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all candidates meeting

- by Lynne Lundberg, special to OwenSoundHub

The Owen Sound and District Chamber of Commerce All Candidates Meeting held at the Bayshore on October 2, was opened promptly at 7 because it was being filmed live by Rogers. At least half of the capacity audience were seniors.

Although this was an information meeting and not a debate,one would expect some interesting exchanges concerning differences, possibly some finger-pointing and blame being assessed. It did not happen. There were no sparks. The candidates were entirely civil to one another and often agreed on issues, but of course not on how to deal with the issues.

Moderator Trent Gow, a Chamber member, read the questions and kept the meeting running smoothly according to the format: 2 minute opening statements, 2 minute responses to questions and a 1 minute closing statement.

The opening statements began with Libertarian Party Candidate, Dan Little. He explained that libertarians were not anarchists, but simply 1% of people coming together to find non- partisan solutions. They believe that the government is a “colossus of failure”. Also,the Indian Act is “dressed up racism” and should be eliminated along with foreign intervention.

Conservative Party Candidate Alex Ruff’s focus is living within our means and making life more affordable. His priorities are supporting small business, a balanced budget, veterans and seniors. He outlined his background and his history of military service.

The People’s Party of Canada Candidate, Bill Townsend, wants Canada out of the Paris Accord and the carbon tax cancelled. He also wants to “scrap the Indian Act”, restore dignity to First Nations people and work together with them.

Liberal Party Candidate, Michael Den Tandt, believes he knows what the people in this riding want because he has knocked on hundreds of doors and talked to them. His priorities are high speed internet, public transportation, and climate change. He also mentioned his background, having worked in Ottawa with the government on NAFTA and also having been the Editor of the Owen Sound Sun Times and founder of The Hub.

The New Democratic Party Candidate, Chris Stephen, sent a shout out to his fellow CUPE members and made an acknowledgement about meeting on the land of the Anishinaabe First Nations. Pharmacare, lower internet and cell phone bills, fighting the climate change crisis and creating clean jobs are his focus.

The Green Party Candidate, Danielle Valiquette’s priority is to repair soil, water and air because "science tells us that we are in a climate mess”. She wants to ensure transition from fossil fuels now and build partnerships to do it. Connecting people through transit and internet is her rural strategy.

Questions prepared by the Chamber of Commerce were read and responded to with the order of candidate’s responses changing with every question. Here is a synopsis of the answers attributed to the candidates by name rather than by party.


 

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