NDP candidate Gwen O'Mahony speaks during the all-candidates meeting at Wednesday's Rotary lunch at the Best Western.

Federal election candidates grilled by Rotarians

Candidates running in the federal election for the mainstream political parties in Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon weren't cut any slack in their first all-candidates meeting hosted by the Wednesday Rotary Club.

Candidates running in the federal election for the mainstream political parties in Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon weren’t cut any slack in their first all-candidates meeting hosted by the Wednesday Rotary Club.

Only the candidate for the fringe Western Block Party was spared the hard questions.

Conservative candidate Mark Strahl was asked about his “tainted” nomination and his apparent lack of “real world” business experience.

Liberal candidate Diane Janzen was asked how she could be “truly a Liberal” with her Christian faith and her small-c conservatism.

New Democratic candidate Gwen O’Mahony was asked about her party’s opposition to the purchase of fighter jets when Canadians are sending their sons and daughters “into harm’s way” overseas.

Western Block candidate Clive Edwards pretty much had a clear run at the meeting to present his separatist views unquestioned.

Two remaining candidates, Jamie Hoskins for the Green Party and Dorothy-Jean O’Donnell for the Marxist-Leninist Party, did not respond to invitations to attend the noon-hour meeting.

About his nomination, Strahl pointed out that he was the only candidate at the Rotary meeting who had actually been chosen by voting party members.

“I’m the only candidate at the table that went through a nomination process,” he said.

Strahl agreed that most of his working life has been spent in the political world, the last seven years in Conservative MP Randy Kamp’s constituency office.

“(But) my family is full of entrepreneurs, and I’m certainly aware of the challenges they face,” he said.

Strahl also said his experience included working with businesses that came to Kamp’s office trying to “claw through government red tape.”

“I’ve seen the the problems government can create for businesses,” he said.

Janzen defended her mix of fiscal conservatism and “progressive” social values, and her Christian faith.

“I make no apologies for the fact that I’m a Christian,” she said, adding that she sees “no problem with being a Liberal as well as a Christian.”

But Janzen also said she would defy Liberal Party policy, if it meant voting against her conscience.

“I vote my conscience in all cases,” she said. “Am I a Liberal, yes. Am I a sheep, no.”

Janzen said she “respects the right of everyone” to make their own choices, but she personally has chosen not to support abortion or euthanasia.

O’Mahony said New Democrats support the military, but the party’s problem with the fighter jets is the unknown cost.

“Would you as a business man make a large purchase without knowing the full cost?” she asked.

“It’s not that we don’t support the military,” she said. “The NDP’s problem (with the fighter jets) is we don’t know the full cost.”

She also questioned Canada’s new military direction as “frontline battle” troops, instead of the “peacekeeper” role of the past.

Edwards, whose party is running only five candidates in the election, said the Western Block obviously won’t be forming the next government, but if voters in the riding sent him to Ottawa as their MP, they’d have the satisfaction of knowing he’d be representing their views, not the other way around.

“I don’t understand why we’re fighting overseas,” he said, in response to the question about jet fighters and military spending.

 

“I believe we are actually being conned into going overseas and killing other people in their homeland,” he said.

 

 

Just Posted

More people in Chiliwack coming in to shelters to get out of the cold

Ruth and Naomi’s went over-capacity this week to accommodate shelter guests coming in from the cold

Chilliwack Chiefs visit Kent Elementary

Grade 6 students got a chance to visit with, and play hockey against, some local hockey celebrities

Agassiz break and enter suspect arrested

The Chilliwack man faces charges relating to break and enters throughout Agassiz

Outdoor rink, lagoon improvements on the agenda for Harrison

The projects are intended to increase tourism numbers and infrastructure in the resort village

Look at the latest: Family Day in Agassiz and Harrison

Don’t let the new day fool you, there’s still lots to do for Family Day in Agassiz and Harrison

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Prominent B.C. realtor says he doesn’t know how child porn got on his computer

Closing arguments heard in Ian Meissner’s Chilliwack trial for accessing, possessing child porn

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Avalanche control planned tomorrow on Highway 1

The highway will be closed in the morning east of Revelstoke

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Mayors approve SkyTrain extension to UBC

Next step is a business plan and public consultation

Most Read