ELECTION FOREFRONT - From left

Red Deer-Lacombe candidates face off at forum

The LMC was packed as three local candidates for the Red Deer-Lacombe riding took to the stage during an all-candidates forum on Oct. 6th.

The Lacombe Memorial Centre was packed as three local candidates for the Red Deer-Lacombe riding took to the stage during an all-candidates forum on Oct. 6th.

A wide range of topics from health care, income splitting, First Nations’ education and the Trans Pacific Partnership were on the forefront of discussion for the three candidates which included Jeff Rock of the Liberals, Doug Hart of the NDP and current MP Blaine Calkins of the Conservatives.

In his opening remarks, Calkins stated he has seen Canada grow over the past 10 years while he has served as a Conservative MP. “We are stronger and better than we’ve ever been before,” he said. “We have solid economic fundamentals. We have the wealthiest middle class in the world. Canada is poised right now to do better than ever before.”

He said he is proud of the prime minister, the leadership he has shown and the solid position taken on foreign policy matters.

“These types of questions require solid leadership, dependable leadership, taking the right side of an issue and making Canada a player and engaged on the world stage,” said Calkins. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the policy that we’ve had in place for families and seniors over the past 10 years.”

He added he sees Canada as the best country to live in, which didn’t happen by accident.

“It happened because of leadership from Stephen Harper and the Conservative government,” concluded Calkins.

Hart began his address stating that Harper and his government were elected 10 years ago on the heels of the Liberal sponsorship scandal. He added since then, Canadians have seen more scandals in the Senate, the passing of Bill-C51 and other assaults on democracy.

“I would suggest that it was improper to negotiate the Trans Pacific Partnership outside of the time the parliament was sitting and able to debate,” said Hart. “The results of which are secret.”

Hart said the Conservative government has eroded democracy, made assaults on peace, the environment, indigenous people, unions, veterans, seniors and scientific research.

“That has to change,” he said.

Rock started off his address stating that this election is about the people. “I believe that we can be better,” he said. “That our economy can be better, that our future generations can inherit a much better country.”

It’s with this optimism, he said Canadians need to come together to create constructive solutions.

In response to a question regarding the Liberal party’s position on income splitting, Rock stated the program only reaches out to 15% of Canadians.

“We need to do something much, much better with the funds from income splitting,” he said.

The Liberals plan to cancel the program but leave seniors pension splitting in tack. “We need better programs to help more people,” he said.

Hart responded by saying that his party’s stance on income splitting is clear they would cut the program, but not for seniors. “Income splitting really only benefits wealthy people and not the disadvantaged,” he said.

Calkins responded by saying he was concerned about the plans of the opposing parties to cancel the government program.

“I’m not in favour of cutting programs that provide incentives for people to get ahead,” he said.

In response to a question regarding the NDPs alleged anti-oil and anti-pipeline statements, Hart said he did not believe his party was ‘anti-oil’. “I believe we are pro-industry, pro-prosperity and pro-environment, but not anti-oil,” he said.

Calkins responded by stating Alberta and the energy industry is a shining light in the Canadian economy.

“This is a terrible thing to do, to create such division over such a useful resource,” he said of the opposing parties statements.

Rock stated that denying climate change in the 21st century is ‘irresponsible’.

“It’s time to take the environment seriously,” he said. “We need to come up with constructive solutions. I stepped up as a Liberal because I believe we will get the balance between the environment and the economy right.”

news@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

WCPS uses cannabis legislation to fully review drug, alcohol and tobacco policies

Cannabis is not permitted in schools; WCPS focused on providing education and support

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

Alberta readies itself for cannabis sales with 17 stores (for now) and a new provincial website

Lacombe Mayor Creasey says enforcement of cannabis bylaws dependant upon adherence

Recreational cannabis becomes legal this week in Canada

UPDATE: Lacombe Generals split weekend games after losing in Stony Plain

Lacombe shows off offensive repertoire against Ft. Sask; comes up just short against the Eagles

Darrell Paulovich remembered after accident claims his life

A tragic accident claimed the life of a rodeo advocate over the weekend

WATCH: Ground-breaking ceromony held for Charis Village Seniors Housing project

$22 million development will include 10 duplexes and 46-unit complex

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

After 50 years, ‘Sesame Street’ Big Bird puppeteer retiring

The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show.

Britain, EU decide to take some time in getting Brexit right

Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said “we need much time, much more time and we continue to work in the next weeks.”

Parole denied for convicted killer-rapist Paul Bernardo after 25 years in prison

Paul Bernardo plead for release on Wednesday by arguing he has done what he could to improve himself during his 25 years in prison.

B.C. Lions look to cement CFL playoff spot with victory over Eskimos

B.C. can cement a post-season berth in the wild West Division on Friday night with a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos

Canada ban on asbestos takes effect but mining residues are exempt

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna plans to announce the new regulations implementing the ban on Thursday in Ottawa

UPDATE: Aurora Rafer has been found unharmed

RCMP have a man in custody and continue to investigate

Most Read