The all-candidates debate held at Brock University included Malcolm Allen(NDP), Alf Kiers(Con.), John Maloney(Lib.), Jennifer Mooradian(GRN), Ron Walker (CPC-ML), and Jodi DiBartolomeno(Ind.). Apologies to those that did not attend, this is a review and commentary regarding the event - not the election. Candidates appeared in the following order:
Ron Walker, Marxist-Leninist
Economy: "If anyone thinks Canada can stay the course and wait, they are gravely mistaken." This has been driven by Harper's competitive focus leading to an unsustainable economy.
Jobs: Focus on getting reformed criminals back to work to prevent more crime and boost the economy. Spoke about the economic paradigm in relation to the ecological paradigm and how sustainability is what could save our economy.
Health Care: Spoke against health-care privatization and a system of unstable subsidies.
International Relations: Took an apologetic approach to our international aid, with a focus on our nearly non-existent presence in the prevention and treatment of aids. Claims that we owe the people of Haiti a great debt after their latest coup. Spoke out against our ongoing embargoes and silence regarding American policies hurting the developing world.
Environment: Corporations in our forests, depleting our resources. Multi-national corporations taking equipment out of our communities. Guarantee access to information and allow to recall the member of parliament mid term. Recognised climate change in Canada and the participation of NGOs in promoting global governance against climate change. Chastised the Conservatives for ignoring the issue and the Liberals for neglecting a risk that they recognized.
Malcolm Allen - New Democratic Party
Education: Malcolm Allen focused on meaningful training institutions, with a focus on career placement and opportunity. Numerous attacks against the existing Conservative system.
Economy: Attacks include how the Conservatives have failed Auto Assembly Workers, Auto Parts Workers, Canneries, Group Agriculture. Big oil, Big Banks and Big Losses - average income in Niagara is said to have gone down 1000$ in the time the Conservatives have been leading.
International Relations: Focused on mortality rates in these nations since Canada bailed on funding their changes, and ending how multi-national corporations make these nations poorer.
Poverty: Action plan to eliminate poverty by 2020, by phasing in a 5000$ child benefit credit as well as guarantees that no level of government will be taking that money away. Unfreezing the minimum wage to make sure that the poorest people in Canada can survive. investment in Green Jobs to train young persons and retrain unemployed Canadians. Also creating a position in the federal government to oversee how multi-national corporations operate Canadian industry.
Electoral Reform: Enact proportional representaion as a response to electoral reform. Abolish the senate altogether as a source of corruption. Regulate against having members cross the floor.
Environment: Recognizing the Conservative Clean Air act which has not come into function across Canada. Reductions of Greenhouse gases exponentially below 1990s levels, no fuzzy numbers, solid goals. They intend to attack greenhouse gases and work with all of their partners to reach those targets.
Alf Kiers, Conservative Party of Canada
Economy: Focused on developing an economic growth strategy. His Niagara plan includes forming a stronger voice, competitive environment, target major employers, improve infrastructure, and re-branding the Niagara Region. Claims that unemployment is at its lowest in over thirty years, which Maloney took great exception to. "In 2000 and 2008 our budgets allowed tax breaks to corporations in order to promote Canada as a great place to set up shop."
Child Poverty: Spending 130$ Million on why child poverty is on the rise in Canada, and claims that creating jobs is the best way to fight poverty.
Jobs: Welland needs a strong voice at the table to insure that our community is relevant to the federal government.
Electoral Reform:Promoted an elected senate and proportional representation. Called carbon taxes ludicrous and called for making efficiency a priority.
John Maloney, Liberal Party of Canada
Education: John Maloney held to increasing funding for infrastructure, new buildings and transportation to campus.
Jobs: Agreed with Kiers on the development initiative to generate job opportunities. Rebutter to Keirs claim that unemployment would be at its lowest level in thirty years.
International Relations: Taking a stand for developing democratic institutions in developing nations around the world. "If we help the at home we will not have to harbour them as refugees, they will be happy at home".
Child Poverty: Spoke about the 30-50 plan to eliminate widespread poverty 30% and child poverty by 50%. A 350$ child tax benefit per year. Child tax benefit from 1000$ to 1850$ as well as a focus on a child care and early learning programs across the country.
Economy:Maloney has advocated bringing an economic development plan to Niagara in the same way that the Maritimes, Quebec and Norther Ontario have done in the past. Taking a pro-active stance on identifying failing industry and protecting Niagara through the economic development plan. Complete the twinning of the peace bridge, bring the 406 to Port Colborne, and the mid-Niagara Corridor.
Electoral Reform: Electoral reform was a trigger for discussion about how Harper fixed election dates and then broke his own law at a cost of 300$ Million. Proportional representation was highlighted as a failure in multiple provinces. Liberals made committee chairs and the house speaker elected from within the membership.
Jen Mooradian, Green Party of Canada
Education: Equated post-secondary funding to preemptive anti-poverty system. Offered non-descript solutions involving theoretical alternatives in public transit. Promised funding to increase the number of tenured positions.
International Relations: No new aid commitments since the early nineties, while most of the world lives and dies in poverty.
Child Poverty: Addressing it in a systematic way including homelessness, all citizens having access to a guaranteed annual income, stronger than minimum wage. By addressing the problem the greens claim to present a comprehensive solution.
Jobs: From her perspective we need to bring work and trade back to the local level so that farming families can afford to continue working for decades. Technological changes away from GM toward innovative businesses coming to Welland.
Electoral Reform: Claims the electoral system does not work and advocates toward partisan representation. Creating a citizens assembly as a ballot question. Renew commitment to fixed election dates to allow governments to finish their work without fear of dismissal.
Jodi DiBartolomeno - Independent (Fmr. NDP)
Independent Jodi attacked both Jack Layton and his deviations and incumbent Maloney for sitting idly by while the Conservative government engaged in activities he wouldn't stand for. Especially concerned about the funding going into international aid and how some of our greatest international missons have been cut while no rel benefit has been seen domestically. Canada should not be in the business of keeping developing nations out of the global economy. This has created widespread brutality and injustice in the international private sector. Spoke about how Americans and the WTO halted the domestic manufacture of pharmaceuticals in developing nations. Addressing poverty by focusing on Globalization, how Conservativea nd Liberals legislate poverty into our standard of living rather than taking the battle against poverty overseas. "De-industrializing more and more leading to widespread joblessness and poor children tend to have poor parents". Brought a focus to economic nationalization where Canadians are active in a global economy. Spoke about revering free trade and globalizing forces. Promotes a move toward proportional representation, which seems strange to promote as an independent candidate. Shifting our energy sources rather than simply taxing carbon emissions, went so far as to claim that Carbon taxes are ineffective if not tied to development - Attacked Jack Layton's (and Barack Obama's) policy of cap and trade taxation.