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All-candidates’ – minus two – engage audience in Wellington

all-candidates-Welly-Sept.-30Anticipation of an announcement Friday about Canada’s involvement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership may take the federal election campaign to another level.

Bay of Quinte candidates – Liberal Neil Ellis, NDP Terry Cassidy and Independent Trueman Tuck – expressed concerns about the deal at Wednesday night’s all-candidates’ meeting in Wellington.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being called a “secret talks” deal that will hurt farmers, the automotive industry and threaten everything from Internet freedoms to drug patents and rules of copyright.

Supporters say the negotiations among 12 Pacific Rim countries will result in better access to foreign markets, eliminating tariffs and barriers and comprising 40 per cent of global economic output.

Ellis supported concerns of farmers and those of the automotive industry – one of the largest employers in the area.

“We have to protect the rural farming jobs because farmers feed our cities… Auto Systems and Halla about seven years ago were about to shut down – if Chrysler went bankrupt they were done,” he said explaining how due to the help of the city, they are booming now, noting there are five plants in Belleville employing more than 2,500 people at well over $20 an hour.

“They’ve outlasted some American plants and they are hiring right now and these jobs have been in this area forever,” said Ellis. “When you look at the auto sector, we can’t compete with the Vietnamese and Chinese products that will be able to go in cars. We’ve been sold-out in this secretive deal… losing the local auto parts manufacturing plants will affect the economy here and the economy in general.

“We’ve had no input and don’t know what’s coming down but when (Stephen) Harper said on the debate the auto sector’s not going to like this, that means this area’s not going to like this.”

Cassidy added it’s not just about secrecy.

“It’s about who’s really calling the shots, who’s really running the show… I suggest it’s large international corporations with great amounts of profit to gain… We will probably get less of an auto industry, less of a quality food supply because after all, people who produce it at peanuts – because that’s what they pay the people to do – and have less environmental and health standards than we have, can sell it and we have to take it because the law will be supporting the businesses who want to do it, not the government that wants to protect you.”

Tuck weighed in saying these type of agreements are “all about globalization, all about mega-corporations being able to do whatever they want in our Country, and the reason it’s done in secret is because they’re selling out all of our rights.”

Moderator Bill Hutchins, of CKWS, had told the crowd of about 100 people that Conservative candidate Jodie Jenkins and the Green’s Rachel Nelems declined their invitations citing busy schedules. Displeasure was expressed in the crowd.

John Burns said he “came to the meeting to ask Mr. Jenkins a question” and went ahead anyway.

‘How do you account for the fact the government in office is the least accountable government that we can imagine? I wonder if I could have an answer to that?”

Following applause, an audience member suggested “the panel might allow a minute of silence”.

Following opening remarks by candidates, the audience was invited to pose questions for almost two hours. Those at the microphone asked for opinions on government policy, proportional voting, seniors, health, global warming, the Alberta Tar Sands, the senate, democracy, Bill C51, the arts, assisted death, and student votes.

Responses on the topic of murdered and missing aboriginal women brought applause.

Tuck called for enforcement of the laws regardless of who the crimes were against.

Cassidy said his party would launch an inquiry within 100 days of being elected.

Ellis also indicated support for an inquiry and noted he was appalled when he watched the Prime Minister say an inquiry “wasn’t high on his radar”.

The evening was hosted by the Retired Teachers Ontario (ETO); the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), Ontario English Catholic Teacher’s Association (OECTA), Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation and Quinte Labour Council.

Closing statements:

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  1. Chuck says:

    So in the last debate when Stephen looked Canadians in the eye and said he was speeding up the process for Syrian refugees to immigrate, he mispoke, right.

  2. Paul Cole says:

    My question is with the additional scrutiny by Harper and his Con artists did they find any terror threats..

  3. Susan says:

    It is now reported that Harper slowed the immigration process of vulnerable Syrians so that his PMO’s office could scrutinize the approvals. So a control freak like none other, but he didn’t know about the PMO’s office payment to Duffy! LOL

  4. Mark says:

    We require a Government that can deal fairly and rightly with our First Nations. Harper casts off the missing women as crime with no offer of inquiry or solution. That is not leadership. He promotes divisive politics by making the Muslim head dress an election issue. It is way down the list of big issues facing Canadians attempting to find worthy paying work and raise a family. He is out of touch.

  5. Paul Cole says:

    Hopefully Canadians see through his bull sheet.

  6. Mark says:

    Unfortunately Harper is now campaigning on a wedge issue and fuelling anti Muslim sentiment. It is clearly a win at all cost strategy for him. He needs to go but people are buying into this dirty politics of pitting Canadians against Canadians.

  7. Susan says:

    You are entitled to your opinion Argyle. I personally do not want anymore of Harpers divisive politics. He is a calculating individual who will win and prevail at all costs. He looks after the wealthy and does little for the struggling, poor or disadvantaged. One has to only look at his treatment of our First Nations.

  8. Argyle says:

    As the provincial liberal government continues to lay waste to the Ontario economy, health care, and the enviroment, why would anyone seriously consider voting liberal federally. The last thing this country needs is another liberal government.

  9. Chuck says:

    “Bread & Butter” debate on poverty issues in Belleville tonight. Poverty is an important issue in this region. Guess who will not participate? I guess Stephen has the muzzle on Jodie!

  10. Susan says:

    It’s hard to type a comment when you are pinching your nose with the one hand and readying to vote Cons with the other.

  11. Paul Cole says:

    Not many Conservative supporters have joined the conversations regarding the upcoming election my guess is they can’t dispute whats being said about the Cons because its all true VOTE anything but Harper and his Con’s

  12. Harvey says:

    Someone is telling Ken Globe that teacher’s unions tell their members how to vote. As a member of the Teacher’s Federation for 35 years and a member of Retired Teachers of Ontario since I retired, I can say that I was never told for whom I should vote. I may have been told I should get out and vote, but never which candidate I should choose. Some education is a provincial matter, but education of our Aboriginal children is a federal matter. The fact that the amount spent per student by the federal government is only a fraction of what the provinces spend per student is nothing short of a national disgrace.

  13. Mark says:

    No! The laws should be changed so that a sitting government cannot make such significant deals during an election campaign. This should have been out front and center in Parliament. Harper gives the impression he has a right to do whatever. Canadians have not been able to speak on this.

  14. Emily says:

    Should Harper be negotiating a supply management trade deal while Canadians are deciding the government? Should he at this time stick a new government with this deal?

  15. Gary says:

    Because a ton of County folk would vote Tory if they ran a yellow dog as the candidate. Many turn a blind eye to the harm 10 years of Harper have done. Jodie Jenkins making change in Ottawa is a laugher! He was totally ineffective on Belleville Council and pretty much cast aside. “He’s just not ready”.

  16. Jack Dall says:

    Second largest community in the County. Historically blue . Jenkins is a no show?

  17. Susan Rose says:

    It appears Ken nailed it dead on! My opinion, as I am Canadian and I have that right to express it! Thx to all our Vets!

  18. Snowman says:

    re; Ken Globe’s message: Hey Jody Jenkins: I have a union card.Does that mean that you are not interested in me. And you are correct Ken.Leona did have the u-know-whats to walk into that lions den of a all-candidates meeting to address the anti-windys.

    Tells me all I need to know about Jody Jenkins. “He’s just not ready”

  19. Ken Globe says:

    I posted on my Facebook wall about my disappointment with the Conservatives and Greens not participating in the debate in Wellington. I wound up getting this message from a local Conservative party member.

    “Hey Ken, Just to clarify …. The debate was one of many that are out there….organized by the teachers’ union. Completely anti- Conservative. They tell their members who to vote for. Daryl has ever taken part in special interest group debates….Jodie made the right choice although the media will spin it however they like. Teachers’ issues are PROVINCIAL and nothing to do with a Federal election”

    A few years ago, during a provincial election Liberal Leona Dombrowsky was our MPP, she came down to a debate in Picton that was put on by anti-turbine people. The two moderators were not impartial, and the crowd was mostly against her. She still had the integrity and guts to come and present her parties platform, even though it was a losing battle. It would have been nice to hear the Conservative and Green parties platform.

  20. Homer Simpson says:

    Why only Liberal comments on all these web-sites. I guess the Conservatives are busy at work , or too sensible to bother with this nonsense. Vote Harper for proven leadership ! The global economy is in turmoil ! We need a leader with experience.

  21. ADJ says:

    Jody Jenkins on the CJBQ call in show this morning at 10 am. after the news! Hope there will be some callers from the County asking for an explanation for his mia at the candidates meeting.
    PS. Jim Cuddy has a County connection.

  22. Gary says:

    Harper campaigns on fear. Fear of economy which is funny given his dismal record, fear of the Liberals or NDP as they are dangerous, fear of any newcomer to Canada, fear of foreign stability, fear of provinces having a voice, fear of not being able to spy on citizens, fear of the Supreme Court etc.!!

  23. Snowman says:

    Harper has Jenkins on a short leash. (Get used to it Jody.)

  24. Susan says:

    I recently listened to Jim Cuddy’s song blasting what Harper’s regime has done. It is called “Stealing All My Dreams”.

  25. chuck says:

    Sorry, was trying to post the link to Blue Rodeos protest song “Stealin all My Dreams”

  26. chuck says:

    If Jodie cannot speak to constituents in the riding he is running in he sure as heck will have no voice in Ottawa!

  27. Lucas says:

    What an absolutely pathetic conservative campaign this has become. What we have now is a candidate (Jodie Jenkins), who will cease to set foot in a debate where unscripted, unfiltered questions can be asked of him. This, from a government that defeated the sitting liberals over scandals and TRANSPARENCY! It scares me so much that there are people who are still proud to have a conservative sign on their lawn, for it’s these people who lack the political education – the Conservative party makes life most difficult for. It’s the people who champion the blue collar mantra that are getting hosed the most by these people.

    We need to get this country back to the Canada it once was. We are a joke on the world stage now. We’ve become the USA of right around 2003 or so. What a shame.

  28. Gary says:

    Mr. Harper controls whether candidates are able to attend all candidates meetings or not. Also controls what if anything they are allowed to comment on. Stephen most certainly would not want Jodie speaking about the trade deal where our farmers milk quotas are at risk. I personally do not think a trade deal such as this should be able to be signed during an election campaign.

  29. Harvey says:

    I was impressed with the excellent questions raised by those at the meeting. They were all most relevant. Unfortunate that Mr. Jenkins was absent, but with the format of the evening, he would have found it difficult to follow a script that would have been given to him to read. I did not know until last night that we even had a Green Party candidate in this riding. She needs to be more visible if she expects to garner many votes.

  30. Lena says:

    According to various reports, PC candidates are “told” not to particiapte in any All Candidates meetings. This is constanty being denied by PC campaign managers, yet… here we have another no show.

  31. Ken Globe says:

    Was very disappointed in both the local Conservative and Green parties not showing up to the debate last night. If the County voters are not worth their time, then those candidates are not worth our time.

  32. baysider says:

    Jodie probably couldn’t take the pressure

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