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

Harrison workers back on the job

Union calls new agreement, ‘a good compromise’

Heat warning issued for Metro Vancouver

Inland areas expect to hit at least 26 degrees for daytime highs

‘Gone are the days of leaving your vehicle and your house unlocked’

Agassiz RCMP tell residents to secure cars, homes during high crime season

It’s about to get hot: Special weather statement issued for Lower Mainland

Temperatures expected to rise and stick around till next week, Environment Canada forecasts

Highway crashes double in Fraser Valley, truck traffic also up steeply

Unclear if doubling of Fraser Valley highway crashes is linked to spike in truck traffic

VIDEO: Harrison Festival 2018 ends on a Sunny Sunday

Despite local union protest bumps, festival runs smoothly on 40th year

Trudeau’s youth council divided over Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

A letter signed by 16 past and present members was made public today, asking the federal government to reverse course

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

Hogan had used racial slurs caught on video when talking about his daughter sleeping with a black man

Coco the cat survives horrific house fire wrapped in a blanket

Found in the laundry hours after Chilliwack firefighters douse blaze that destroyed five structures

‘Lava bomb’ through roof of tour boat injures 22 in Hawaii

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers”

B.C. teen meets Nicolas Cage

Filming mob movie in downtown Vernon, B.C.

Critics claim Trump “defended a tyrant”

Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

B.C. MLAs choose new children’s watchdog

Jennifer Charlesworth has worked in government, social services

B.C. reporter calls out immigration photo on social media as fake news

A Vancouver reporter is calling out a British politician for spreading fake news

Most Read