Oakville’s All Candidates Meetings Began with Controversy

Conservative candidates did not to attend

Crowd at microphone
Oakville’s All Candidates Meetings Began with Controversy

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Nolan A Machan

Nolan A Machan

Nolan Machan is the Publisher of OakvilleNews.Org and has over 41 years of local Oakville knowledge. He is committed to providing Oakville residents with the most up-to-date information about our great town.

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The first of the Federal Election 2015 All-Candidate Meetings for the ridings of Oakville and Oakville North Burlington took place on October 1st at the Milcroft Golf Club. Reclaim Our Democratic Canada and Fair Vote Canada co-ordinated the event which packed the club house with barely room to stand.

The majority of candidates attended this event with the exception of the Conservative Party candidates. OakvilleNews.Org did reach out to both Conservative Candidates to determine why they were unable to attend. Here is the Conservative’s response.

“During the last election, Mr. Young was invited to an event organized by RODC and FVC the nature of which was misrepresented. Mr. Young was advised that only candidates would be asked to speak for several minutes about why they were proud to be Canadian. Instead, the person who appeared as the
moderator opened the meeting with a highly partisan statement against the government, followed by the other candidates in a similar vein who were obviously advised of different rules.” – Terence Young Campaign Office

“Debate organizers should not promote organizations online that encourage voters to oppose one particular party,” stated Shane Buckingham of Effie Triantafilopoulos Campaign as to why Effie was not in attendance.

These meetings are often called debates, but are more of a question and answer session which provides voters an opportunity to hear from the candidates, as they answer questions from the moderator as well as the from the floor.

Here are a few of the highlights that really got the crowd rallying.

The question will come first and the answer will be in italic.
Q:How will your party improve democracy?
A:Power has become too centralized at the leadership level and that needs to change – Adnan Shahbaz – Green Party

Q:Where does your party stand on CBC?
A: All good things that happened in Canada occurred with a Liberal Minority government: Canadian Flag, Universal Healthcare, Canadian Pension Plan – John Oliver – Liberal Party

Q: What is your party’s position of the Trans Pacific Partnership?
A: How can Prime Minister Harper sign the agreement while Canada is in an Election? – Pam Damoff – Liberal Candidate

Q: Should your leaders attend debates?
A: I will attend debates whenever I am asked and so will Elizabeth May – Adnan Shahbaz – Green Party

These are just a few of the questions and answers that garnered positive responses from the audience. There are two more official debates where all the Candidates will be attending.

Here is information on the next debates:

  1. Oakville Chamber of Commerce Debate: Tuesday, October 6, 2015
    Location: Glen Abbey United Church, 1469 Nottinghill Gate, Oakville,
    Time: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  2. Unifor Local 707 Debate: Thursday, October 8, 2015
    Location: Unifor 707 Banquet Hall, 475 North Service Rd. E., Oakville
    Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

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Readers Comments (5)

  1. Tina Agrell says:

    I would point out that the only RODC sponsored event ever attended by MP Terence Young was the April 6 2011 Day for Democracy, when local dignitaries and townspeople alike were invited to speak briefly on what Democracy meant to them. The proceedings were opened by a school Principal who lambasted Mr Harper for proroguing parliament, something which the majority of Canadians regarded quite rightly as an attack on democracy.

     Reply
  2. jim lefrancois says:

    Unfortunately this article leads one to believe the majority of the meeting was about maligning the two absent PC candidates. Yes it was mentioned but was far from a main issue. The session was informative and respectful from all 7 candidates. Your article cherry picks four q & as -I suspect with a purpose that the writer had. Of the four two were from the Green party. Plus one of the questions had an answer that was from another question. I would expect better from a reporter with 41 years experience.

     Reply
    • Nolan Machan says:

      Thank you for taking the time to write. There was no bias intended. The article’s purpose was to provide a brief synopsis of the debate, with the intent that the community attend the next two available debates. The article clearly states why the Conservatives decided not to attend, and it was incumbent that we provide that information to provide context. No-where in the article was there a statement about any bias at the actual event. In fact I found that the questions were all non-partisan – it was interesting as well as informative. Regarding who got quoted – that was accessed by the crowds reaction. OakvilleNews.Org does not endorse, or support any political party. At this point – OakvilleNews.Org has provided our readers with brief summaries of the candidates running in the three major parties. We are in the process of interviewing the Green Party Candidates.

       Reply
  3. Jenni says:

    “How can Prime Minister Harper sign the agreement while Canada is in an Election?” – Pam Damoff – Liberal Candidate

    You think someone running for a federal party would know something we were taught last year in high school. Its called the ‘Caretaker Convention’ and it lets the PM make agreements like the scary TPP happen even in election time.

    Makes me sad the parties are running candidates who don’t know the basics on important topics that will ruin my future. Still no idea how im voting.

     Reply
  4. Hart Jansson says:

    On September 30th Millcroft Golf and Country club made history. It was the scene of the first ever All Candidates debate in the brand new riding of Oakville North Burlington. Seven energetic, passionate and highly articulate candidates made the debate, hosted by Reclaim Our Democratic Canada and Fair Vote Canada, a night to remember. Only the Conservative candidates failed to appear.

    In declining the invitation, Christopher Mourtos, Campaign Manager for Conservative candidate Terence Young, had this to say, “During the last election, Mr. Young was invited to an event organized by RODC and FVC the nature of which was misrepresented. Mr. Young was advised that only candidates would be asked to speak for several minutes about why they were proud to be Canadian. Instead, the person who appeared as the moderator opened the meeting with a highly partisan statement against the government, followed by the other candidates in a similar vein who were obviously advised of different rules. In the interest of Oakville voters who seek to understand the positions of all of the major party candidates, all-candidates meetings must be non-partisan with rigidly structured rules to ensure fairness.”

    I should point out that Mr. Young has never attended an All Candidates meeting organized by Reclaim Our Democratic Canada, although this is the first time he has deigned to respond or offer an explanation.

    In April 2011 Mr. Young was invited to attend A Day for Democracy at the Operating Engineers Banqueting Hall. He, (along with several other Municipal and Provincial politicians as well as local townspeople,) was asked to speak briefly on what Democracy meant to him. At the time Oakville citizens were very angry about Prime Minister Harper’s proroguing of Parliament. The evening was introduced by a school Principal, who lambasted the Conservatives for what was perceived as an attack on Canadian democracy. Mr. Young was clearly shaken by such plain speaking, although he made a spirited speech about Canadian democratic values. He has ignored all invitations to attend events organized by RODC since that time.

    Clearly, Mr. Young did not read the invitation that was sent to him, or the description of the procedure for the evening. He did not process the fact that the other speakers were introduced as both municipal and provincial politicians, not candidates in a Federal election. He was unaware that his Oakville constituents were angered by the fact that the Conservative leader had been found in contempt of Parliament and had several times prorogued parliament for long periods. He did not enjoy listening to criticism and being put into the position of having to defend his leader’s attacks on Democracy.

    It can be difficult for an elected representative to know what local constituents need and want. But an MP who does not read, or listen, or process social cues cannot hope to grasp what voters are thinking.

     Reply



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