The Dryden Observer

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Hampton, Rickford weigh-in on national leaders debate

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.

By Michael Christianson

Last week all four candidates of the national parties squared off in a debate hosted by Maclean’s magazine and moderated by Paul Wells.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper defended his record while being ridiculed by the other three leaders.

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair took some time to get rolling in the debate but once he did he got his points across calmly and clearly. He faced off with Liberal leader Justin Trudeau on many issues, the biggest confrontations pertained to the senate and the issue of Quebec sovereignty.

Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau threw some choice words at Stephen Harper and said to him more than once that no one believes him after Harper had his say.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May proved once again she can hold her own against the larger party leaders and attacked Harper’s record on several occasions.

Incumbent MP Greg Rickford thought Harper proved himself once again on the debate stage.

“Prime Minister Stephen Harper demonstrated that he is the only serious choice with proven real world experience, in contrast to Justin and Thomas Mulcair’s dangerous approaches that will lead to economic decline,” said Rickford. “Prime Minister Harper demonstrated experience, leadership and focus on the big issues that affect all Canadians: the economy and our country’s security. Under the Prime Minister’s experienced leadership, taxes are down, our budget is balanced and our country is safe.”

NDP candidate for the Kenora district Howard Hampton was also impressed with his party’s leader’s performance.

“I thought Tom Mulcair was the most successful in forcing Mr. Harper to admit three important things,” said Hampton. “First, he got Harper to admit the Canadian economy is not doing well, and good jobs are not being crated; second, he clearly showed that the Harper policy of taking an axe to Canada’s environmental protection policies has hurt, rather than helped resource development efforts; and finally he gave convincing arguments why the federal government needs to work in partnership with First Nations if new resource development jobs in mining, forestry, and transportation are going to be created. I think Tom Mulcair demonstrated he is a leader who can bring the positive change that Canada needs.”

Liberal party candidate Bob Nault was reached for a reaction to Justin Trudeau’s performance but was not available for comment at press time.


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