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The Gong Show? SDSG Provincial all candidates debate

Jason Setnyk
OurHometown.ca

The Gong Show? SDSG Provincial all candidates debate
There was an SDSG Provincial All Candidates debate hosted by the Chamber of Commerce at the Cornwall Civic Complex on September 28th 2011. Debating were candidates Elaine MacDonald (NDP), Jim McDonell (PC), Darcy Neal Donnelly (Libertarian), and Mark A. MacDonald (Liberal). Absent from the debate was parachute Green Candidate Justin Reist.

Cornwall - Sep. 29, 2011 - There was an SDSG Provincial All Candidates debate hosted by the Chamber of Commerce at the Cornwall Civic Complex on September 28th 2011. Debating were candidates Elaine MacDonald (NDP), Jim McDonell (PC), Darcy Neal Donnelly (Libertarian), and Mark A. MacDonald (Liberal). Absent from the debate was parachute Green Candidate Justin Reist.

A crowd of over 250 people were rowdy and boisterous Wednesday night, clapping and sometimes laughing at or interrupting candidates answers.

There were also several shouting matches between Mark MacDonald and the other candidates. At one point Mark MacDonald and Jim McDonell were shouting over each other, and Darcy Neal Donelly interjected and asked, "Is this how we find solutions"?

Donelly almost gave an endorsement of McDonell, and said he was most the experienced man at the podium. Elaine MacDonald took exception to this, and she reminded everyone there was also an experienced woman candidate on stage.

Mark defended the Liberal record on health care. "They closed hospitals, we built hospitals. They lay-off nurses, we hire nurses", he said in reference to the Conservatives. While Elaine was critical of bed closures and how far cancer patients have to travel for care.

Elaine says the NDP support an increase in wages for working people.

"People in Cornwall have to pay the same price for their bread whether they make $10 an hour or $15 an hour or whether they own a company. To say we can't afford to pay people well, is simply giving up on our society. Not everybody can eat at the food bank".

Mark replied to Elaine's food bank comment. "It's interesting to hear Elaine talk about the food bank, because as a part of this campaign we were given the opportunity to participate in the Do the Math challenge, so when she says people don't want to eat at food banks, she is right, because she does not want to eat there. She did not want to participate".

Mark focused on infrastructure money spent in the riding, including money that went in to the Benson Centre.

McDonell went on the offensive. "It's funny our Liberal Candidate talks so much about the Benson Centre. In a recorded vote he voted against it. He was the only councillor in the City of Cornwall to vote against it. Mark has proven to be anything but a team player".

Mark defended his vote, saying 75% of young children in Cornwall come from the East-end, and that is why he wanted the Benson Centre built in the East-end.

McDonell responded in a condescending tone, "I would question his 75% figure, Pitt Street divides the City, so you're looking at about a 50-50 split. I would be a little worried about his math."


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