Candidates critique party leaders

Matthew Peterson & Erin DeCoste

Black PRess

The dust has settled and the podiums have been stored.

While there are plenty of different takes and opinions about who dealt the harshest tongue-lashing and whose pointed comments pierced their opponents, local candidates vying for a seat in Ottawa all feel their national leaders brought the A-games to the public arena.

Local candidates will have the chance to express their views at an all-candidates debate at Ladysmith Intermediate School from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on April 20.

Conservative MP John Koury said after watching the debates, it was clear to him why he wants the Tories in a majority Parliament.

“People are satisfied with the prime minister in terms of his performance. He is focussing on the big issues, the issues that matter to Canadians,” said Koury.

Koury said Stephen Harper talked addressed the issues of jobs, the economy, low taxes and funding for health care and education, the same issues Koury said he is talking to people about on the doorsteps.

“People understand this election is unnecessary,” he said, adding people are getting fed up with election after election. The 2008 federal election came after Harper asked then governor general Michaelle Jean to dissolve Parliament citing unco-operative attitudes.

Harper came under fire throughout much of debates, especially after a leaked report alleged misspending leading up to and during the G8 Summit last year.

Koury, along with the other candidates feel debates can often get too caught up in mud-slinging and focussed less on the issues.

Koury felt his boss handled the fire well and was able to get his message across.

Current NDP MP Jean Crowder said the party’s leader, Jack Layton, did an incredible job in the national spotlight.

While voting NDP may be a popular choice in many riding across B.C., support Canada-wide is still lagging, but Crowder  noted the NDP has been very active in shaping public policy.

“We’ve played a very strong role in representing the views of the people that live in our communities.”

“I think he outlined our key priorities — health care, the economy, job creation, the environment,” Crowder said of Layton.

“I think he was also able to highlight the differences between ourselves and the Conservatives.”

Crowder said Layton, in the debates, created a clear choice for not just the people of Cowichan-Nanaimo, but all over Canada.

“You can make that choice of a party that wants to re-invest in our communities,” said Crowder.

Crowder said she thought this debate was much better in terms of leaders not trying to talk over each other, but she, too, believes voters would rather hear what the leaders stand for instead of against.

That said, Crowder was also pleased with her boss’ zingers, including the one likening the senate to a prison.

“He’s a pretty funny guy.”

Liberal candidate, Brian Fillmore, said he’s happy with how Michael Ignatieff portrayed the party’s platform.

“He did a great job of getting the Liberal party platform out,” he said, adding that included issues such as family, education, health care and seniors’ issues.

“I think Canadians will be very impressed by Ignatieff’s passion.”

Fillmore said he thinks the debate and Ignatieff’s performance will help him on a local level.

He said Liberals care about a strong economy and helping out the most vulnerable in society.

He said he realizes many people in B.C. have past hurts when it comes to the Liberal Party, but he said he wants people to see the changes.

“Forget about the past and look to the future,” he said. Nanaimo-Cowichan Green candidate, Anne Marie Benoit, said she was disappointed in the debate.

“I think a lot of things were missing,” she said.

The Green party leader, Elizabeth May, was not allowed to participate in the debate — a fact Benoit thinks is undemocratic.

“They talked about Canada looking good abroad, but the debate didn’t look very democratic when May was not there.”

Benoit said the leaders didn’t touch on enough important issues.

“It was so small what they talked about,” she said. “No big issues or projects.”

Benoit said she thinks if May was allowed to participate it might have gone differently.

“She would’ve bought up issues that mattered.”

Just Posted

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

CVRD to increase enforcement after audits reveal that curb-side recycling contamination in the district is well above acceptable limits. (File photo)
CVRD reports contamination in recyclables well above acceptable levels

Increased enforcement planned starting this summer

A conceptual rendering of the commercial plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road. (Town of Ladysmith/June 15 Council Agenda)
Rocky Creek commercial plaza passes public hearing

The proposed plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road would bring commercial activity to Ladysmith’s north end

A person stands in a tower on the perimeter of the Number 3 Detention Center in Dabancheng in western China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on April 23, 2021. Human rights groups and Western nations led by the United States, Britain and Germany accused China of massive crimes against the Uyghur minority and demanded unimpeded access for U.N. experts at a virtual meeting on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 denounced by China as “politically motivated” and based on “lies.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mark Schiefelbein
VIDEO: Trudeau demands truth from China about Uyghurs

PM says Canada has admitted broken Indigenous relationship, unlike China on Uyghurs

Council members and witnesses from the Hupacasath First Nation, left, and Tseshaht First Nation, right, prepare to raise their respective flags in front of Port Alberni City Hall on Monday, June 21, 2021. The flags will permanently fly as part of the city’s reconciliation work. See more coverage from the flag raising ceremony on page A5. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Vancouver Island First Nations flags to fly permanently at city hall

Addition of flags are one Port Alberni response to reconciliation

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, middle right, participates in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in honour of the launch of Kelowna’s plasma donor centre at Orchard Plaza Mall on June 22. From left to right: Canadian Blood Services’ business development manager Janna Pantella, Canadian Blood Services’ operational excellence manager Tyler Burke, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and Canadian Blood Services’ centre manager Janine Johns. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
B.C.’s first dedicated plasma donor centre opens in Kelowna

The Kelowna location is the third dedicated plasma donor to open in Canada

Children walk with their parents to Sherwood Park Elementary in North Vancouver for the first day back to school on Sept. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Study reassures parents, teachers that COVID-19 infrequently shared at school

Federally funded study in Vancouver finds risk in the classroom and in the community identical

Conservative MP Kevin Waugh rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday April 13, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Single-game sports betting about to become legal in Canada

Senate passes bill to take sports gambling away from overseas agencies

Point Roberts is part of the mainland United States but not physically connected to it, to reach the community by land one must pass through Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Closed Canadian border leaves Point Roberts’ only grocery store on verge of closure

‘We’re Americans but we’re not attached to America. It’s easy to forget we’re here,’ says owner Ali Hayton

The Somass Sawmill sits idle in early May 2021. While the kilns have been in use occasionally, and the lot has been used to store woodchips this spring, the mill has been curtailed since July 27, 2017. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni to expropriate Somass Sawmill from Western Forest Products

Sawmill has been ‘indefinitely’ curtailed since 2017

Robin Sanford and her fiance Simon Park were married in an impromptu ceremony at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on June 16. (Submitted photo)
Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford

Nurses help arrange impromptu ceremony in 3 hours for bride and groom

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. home owner grant won’t be altered, despite expert advice

Tax break for residences worth up to $1.6 million too popular

Most Read