Northern Candidates Engage In Lively Debate

Friday, September 26, 2008 at 14:59



The candidate who took the most heat during a political forum in the Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River riding yesterday wasn’t even there.


The loudest applause in the Meadow Lake debate came when Liberal candidate David Orchard blasted Conservative Rob Clarke for not attending.


Orchard said Clarke was being disrespectful to constituents for mailing out pamphlets outling Tory policies and not being willing to defend them in public.


Clarke had previously stated he wouldn’t attend because of a prior commitment. However, he did take part in a candidates’ forum in Spiritwood earlier in the day.


Meanwhile, NDP candidate Brian Morin, Rob Ballantyne of the First Peoples National Party of Canada and George Morin of the Green Party all criticized Liberal Leader Stephane Dion.


They were upset with Dion for recently revealing his party would only provide $2 billion under the Kelowna Accord if elected to power.


In 2005, the Liberals helped negotiate a deal for $5 billion.


Liberal candidate David Orchard said Dion would provide the full $5 billion when the country could afford it.


In another part of the forum, Ballantyne said Aboriginal people need to vote as a block if they want to have any effect on who forms the next government.


About 70 people turned out to watch yesterday’s proceedings.