Over a hundred people attended the first SDSG all candidates debate which took place on Wednesday September 7th at the Cornwall Legion. The event was hosted by the Cornwall & District Labour Council. Debating were Liberal candidate Mark A MacDonald, NDP candidate Elaine MacDonald, Progressive Conservative candidate Jim McDonell, and Libertarian candidate Darcy Neal Donnelly.
Cornwall - Sep. 8, 2011 - Over a hundred people attended the first SDSG all candidates debate which took place on Wednesday September 7th at the Cornwall Legion. The event was hosted by the Cornwall & District Labour Council. Debating were Liberal candidate Mark A MacDonald, NDP candidate Elaine MacDonald, Progressive Conservative candidate Jim McDonell, and Libertarian candidate Darcy Neal Donnelly. Absent from the debate was Green Party candidate and Carleton University student Justin Reist. The format was an introduction, four questions, audience questions, and concluding statements. Debate topics ranged from P3S and Health Care to Housing and Poverty. Here are some quotes from each of the candidates during the debate.
Mark MacDonald is a former Cornwall City Councillor who ran for Mayor of Cornwall in 2010. He is a retired fire inspector, and a former Chair of the Cornwall & Area Housing Corporation. MacDonald explained his party's position. “Jim Brownell and the Ontario Liberal Party's policies have made Cornwall and SDSG a great community. It has shaped this riding for years to come. New hospitals, roads, and highways. It's not only infrastructure, it's a local economy that is booming. We give our children a strong start with full day kindergarten, and the Ontario Liberals environmental policies are making investors look at Ontario.” A part of the Liberal platform focuses on moving a strong Ontario economy forward. Mark MacDonald insists the Conservatives would move towards Private Health Care if elected, and that they have a 14 billion dollar hole in their budget.
Elaine MacDonald is a Cornwall City Councillor, President of the Cornwall & District Labour Council, Co-Chair of the Cornwall Chapter of the Ontario Health Coalition, and a former school teacher at St. Lawrence High School. She explained some of the key elements of the NDP platform. “I am here to present the good news of the NDP platform to make life better, health care you need when you need it, and to take HST off of hydro, and more green choices too. Where everyone shares in common prosperity. Health Care is the legacy of every NDP member since Tommy Douglas”. The NDP's plan to pay for better health care, better education, and to pay the debt by 2018 comprises of rolling back corporate taxes to the 2010 rates.
Jim McDonell is the Mayor of South Glengarry, Chair of the SD&G Community Features Development Corporation, a Past Chair of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, and a former Bell Canada Planner and Network Engineer. McDonell explains the Conservative position and his motivation to run for office. “I grew up in the best Ontario, now Ontario is stuck in the welfare rolls. The Ontario Liberal Government insults people with promises they won't keep. Dalton Tax Man McGuinty will keep raising taxes like a raccoon in your garbage, not bad animals, just the way they are”. The PC Party wants to remove the HST on Home Energy Bills, lower the tax burden of the middle class, clean up government waste, and invest in Health Care and Education.
Darcy Neal Donnelly is a truck driver, and an entrepreneur. He explained the Libertarian platform. “I believe in political freedom and economic freedom. Our platform is to reduce government and reduce cost. More regulations mean more red tape. We want you to make your own money and to vote with your own money. Vote for less taxes”. Donnelly repeatedly stressed that governments don't solve problems, they create problems, and people need to find their own solutions and answers.
More debates will take place in Cornwall and SDSG. The Election Day is Thursday October 6th 2011.