1:30 p.m., Oct. 8)
French language debate fails to separate local candidates
By Fred Sherwin
four local candidates in the upcoming federal election
got together at MIFO's Centre Culturel Tuesday night for
the only French language debate of the campaign.
debate, which will be broadcast on Rogers Channel 23,
was supposed to inform francophone voters on the differences
between the candidates' respective platforms, but instead
it had the opposite effect.
incumbent Royal Galipeau acknowledges a member
of the audience during the all-candidates
debate at MIFO on Tuesday as Green Party candidate
Raphael Morin and Liberal challenger Andrew
Leslie look on. Fred Sherwin/Photo
four candidates support extending light rail to Trim Road;
all four candidates promised to support French language
services and institutions in Orléans; and all four
candidates promised to bring more jobs and prosperity
to the east end. They just differed on how they would
go about accomplishing theiir commitments. Unfortunately,
none of them offered much in the way of specifics.
candidate Andrrew Leslie kept referring to his party's
campaign promise to spend bilions of dollars on social,
public transit and green infrastructure, and that if elected
as part of a Liberal government, he would make sure that
Orléans got its fair share. He also prromised to
bring more federal jobs to the area. A promise which has
proved diifficult to deliver in the past, largely because
Public Works will not consider locatiing any departments
east of Blair Road.
incumbent Royal Galipeau defended his record on economic
development by reminding the audience that the Canada
Communications Security Establishment was located in the
east end under his watch.
countered by reminding Galipeau that the decision to consolidate
the Department of National Defence at the former Nortel
Campus in the west end was also made under his watch.
fear is that a crtical mass of francophone families will
leave Orléans. They won't want to spend an hour
and a half on a bus to get to work," Leslie contended,
referring to DND employees currenty living in Orléans
who might be affected by the decision.
best line of the night was delivered by NDP candidate
Nancy Tremblay who kept referring to the Liberals and
the Conservatives as "les mauves".
happens when you mix blue and red? It makes purple. The
cuts in the employment insurance fund? Purple. The unacceptable
cuts to the CBC? Purple. Inaction on climate change? Purple.
Cuts in the public service? Purple. They are the same
thing. Instead of voting purple, try the Orange Crush,
" Tremblay said, lifting a can of Orange Crush in
the air to a mix of laughter and applause.
vast majority of the questions were more suited to a provincial
or municipal debate than a federal debate including the
question regarding the LRT. The decision on whether or
not light rail should be extended to Trim Road, and when,
is up to the City of Ottawa. The federal government has
already commited its share to help fund Phase 2 of the
residents who have already decided who they are going
to vote for, can do so in this weekend's advance polls
taking place on Oct. 9, 10, 11 and 12 at a select number
of locations in the riding.
find out where the nearest advance poll is go to www.electionscanada.ca
and enter your address.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)