Volume 12 Week 5

Saturday, Jan. 19


Posted Jan. 10

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney





(Updated 1:30 p.m., Sept. 22)
Justin Trudeau makes enthusiastic campaign stop in Orléans

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau waves to supporters during an election rally at the Shenkman Arts Centre on Monday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau stopped by the Shenkman Arts Centre Monday night to speak to close to 1,000 supporters and show his own support for the man he calls "Andy".

Bolstered by the fact that he would be able to spend the night with his children for the first time in over a week, Trudeau was his usual high-energy self, taking shots at the Conservatives treatment of Canada's military and the civil service, while lauding the credentials of retired lieutenant-general Andrew Leslie who he considers a friend and close advisor.

In particular, Trudeau echoed the promise he made on the weekend to cancel the Conservatives' plan to purchase the new F-35 fighter jet at an estimated cost of $44 billion.

Stephen Harper responded to Trudeau's plan to cancel the purchase by claiming the Liberals are "dreaming".

"The Liberal Party is living in a dream world if they think we can pull out of the development project of the F-35 and not lose business," Harper said on Monday. "I don't know what planet they're living on."

That sparked this response from Trudeau at last night's rally.

"That F-35 might be Stephen Harper's dream, but I can tell you, for Canadian taxpayers, it'll be a nightmare," Trudeau said to rousing cheers and applause.

The loudest cheers of the night were reserved for Trudeau's promise to restore respect to the federal civil service, reimplement the long form census, and end the war on science and scientists.

The Liberal leader also made it clear that Leslie is his go to man when it comes to all things military. A distinction that Leslie played up during his opening statement by pointing out that Harper is no expert on military matters.

"Stephen Harper is not an expert. I'm an expert," said Leslie, who is being hailed as a logical choice for Defence Minister should the Liberals come to power.

The Galipeau campaign tried to pre-empt the Liberal rally by issuing a press release reminding people that in his previous position as Chief of Transformation for the Department of National Defence, Leslie recommended over $1 billion in spending cuts as part of a report he authored in 2011.

But a closer look at the actual report reveals that Leslie made 43 specific recommendations aimed at finding $1 billion in savings rather than actual cuts.

The one area he did recommend making drastic cuts was in the hiring of contractors and consultants. At the time the military was spending $2.7 billion annually on contractors and consultants. Leslie recommended cutting that amount by 30 per cent.

Elsewhere he recommended "redeploying or eliminating 3,500 regular forces personnel who currently hold jobs that serve little purpose", and "doing the same to 3,500 civil servants in the department".

It should be noted that Leslie was given his assignment by the Conservative government and that DND's budget has been cut by $3-$5 billion in the years since depending on whose figures you believe.

As part of their pre-election budget, the Conservatives promised to increase defence spending, but not until 2017 after the budget has been balanced.

By comparison the Liberals are promising to restore respect for the men and women in uniform, but stop short when it comes to making any sort of funding commitment.

Meanwhile, Galipeau is promising to "step up" for Canada's military.

“If re-elected on Oct. 19, I will continue to step up for Orléans, for our men and women in uniform, for local businesses and to speak out against schemes like the one put forward by Mr. Leslie and Mr. Trudeau that would have a devastating impact on the local economy, here in Orléans,” Galipeau pledged in his press release.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)





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