The Garden City Refugee

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St. Catharines Federal Candidates Debate

October 9, 2019

Observations from the St. Catharines federal candidates debate held on Monday night at the Holiday Inn on Ontario Street:

1. Watching the crowd file in, you could almost tell their political leanings just by looking at their faces. It was particularly obvious that the dreamy-eyed 20-somethings were only deliberating as to whether to cast their vote for the Communist Union Party or the Fascist Green Party.

2. One of the early birds had a Sig Sauer jacket on. Want to bet he wasn’t a Liberal?

3. Before the proceedings began, I heard someone say that the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, who put on the event, was neutral “right down the middle.” I said to myself, “we’ll see” and I’m not happy to have my skepticism validated. I expected questions dealing with fiscal responsibility, job creation and economic growth. Instead, they peppered the candidates with the kind of topics lefties love like the Paris climate accord, poverty, relations with indigenous people and the fictitious gender pay gap. As I stated publicly on social media, you have to wonder if the GNCC is representing the interests of commerce or the interests of the Liberal Party. Clearly, they were about as neutral as Justin Trudeau.

4. A number of parents brought their kids along. I wouldn’t have thought it was a place for children, but then again, Chris Bittle, a petulant 40-year-old teenager, was there. And as one would expect, he was his normal smug and obnoxious self.

5. The left-wing bias of the GNCC came through right from the start when their president delivered a deeply offensive and unnecessary Indian land acknowledgment before the proceedings began. It seems like we can’t step out of the house these days without getting a grovel-fest shoved down our throats.

6. The moderator looked an awful lot like Gerald Butts, Captain Blackface’s right-hand man.

7. Travis Mason, the FGP candidate, holds a PhD, yet has been working as a letter carrier for Canada Post for the last four years. Those college degrees really get you far these days, don’t they?

7a. I assume Mason is aware that all the mail he handles is moved on planes and trucks powered by the same fossil fuels he and his party want to eliminate.

8. Dennis Van Meer, the CUP candidate, spoke about a serious unemployment crisis during his opening remarks, yet later, when defending the alleged “need” for immigration, said that 50,000 jobs were available to be filled. Typical leftist doublespeak.

9. Throughout the night, Van Meer came across as Niagara’s answer to Norm in the Cheers bar, a fitting reference given that Mason, a postman in real life who spewed nothing but nonsense at every turn, was at his side.

10. Even though the St. Catharines Public Library has become quite politically active during this election, they had no candidate there and had no other presence at the event. I was looking forward to hearing the library’s views on the carbon tax, immigration and other hot-button topics.

10a. I remember a bygone era where schools and libraries were places you would go to learn about how to think. Today, staff tell you what to think and who to vote for.

11. During his opening remarks, Bittle made an effort to defend his government’s record on dealing with social problems. What he failed to mention was that far too much of that effort has been directed outside of Canada.

12. When answering the question about the character of their party’s leader, Bittle didn’t mention Trudeau’s name once, yet he did find the time to single out Stephen Harper and Doug Ford. On the other hand, Krystina Waler’s words about Andrew Scheer’s character drew a large round of applause from the overflow crowd and a look of curious amusement from Bittle.

13. When answering the question about seniors, Bittle said that the respiratory problems the elderly face can be alleviated by paying a tax to Justin Trudeau. Who knew?

13a. Perhaps if this MP thing doesn’t work out for him, Bittle should consider opening up a seniors health-care clinic.

14. Equally as ridiculous as Bittle’s nugget was Mason’s claim that the FGP will create four billion jobs in this new green economy they envision that will provide everyone will have a guaranteed livable income, universal pharmacare and dental coverage. Mason also claimed that forgiving all student debt will eliminate the mythical gender pay gap.

15. Continuing on this theme, when answering the question about poverty, Bittle claimed that tax credits don’t help those in need.

16. Van Meer claimed that there’s no immigration problem in this country. Um, Dennis, does Roxham Road ring a bell? Or do you not think that people walking across our borders illegally en masse is a problem?

17. Throughout the night, Allan deRoo, the PPC candidate, came across as a buffoon and did little to enhance the standing of his party whose principles I strongly support.

18. In her answer to the question about the opioid crisis, Waler was the only candidate who had the courage to say that the focus should be on rehabilitation and getting people off drugs. Mason, on the other hand, thought that the only answer was to decriminalize all drugs. I wonder if Mason also believes in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.

19. Despite having so much ammunition against Bittle and the Liberals, Waler used little of it and was far too meek and passive as she instead preferred to stick to the party line. This was the one night of all nights she needed to be the alpha male in the room, figuratively speaking, and she wasn’t. For this, I blame the party more than I blame her. This is a swing riding and the party needed to give her the support and coaching necessary to go head-to-head with her ultra-pompous blowhard of an opponent. It’s not that they didn’t know this day was coming.

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