Takeaways from the Meet the Candidates night featuring most of the hopefuls running for a seat on Niagara Regional Council:
1. It was obvious right from the get-go that this “Committee for an Informed St. Catharines” who put on this event was nothing more than a front for promoting extremist left-wing values and candidates who espouse them. Before the first candidate spoke, the moderator read a prepared “land acknowledgment” statement, groveling ad nauseam to the aboriginals and telling us how we are all treaty people. Then when it came time for answering spot questions, the only questions drawn out of a sombrero were from leftists. One which managed to slip past the censors was “Which political party best aligns with your views?”, but it was quickly squashed and another question was drawn.
2. Regional Chair Alan Caslin was the most noteworthy of the missing candidates, but I don’t blame him for not showing up. Given how the whole thing was rigged against anyone with political leanings to the right of Lenin, it was a no-win situation for him. Best to take your message directly to the people instead of relying on groups like this.
3. Grantham Ward city council candidates Dennis Van Meer, Bill “I take your vote for granted” Phillips and Dawn Dodge were among the overflow crowd, though oddly, none of them did much campaigning. In Dodge’s case, perhaps she hasn’t yet regained her train of thought from her disastrous opening remarks at the Grantham Lions Club.
4. Just as they were at the Grantham Lions Club, school trustee hopefuls Norm St. George and Alex Bradnam were there to greet attendees on their way in. But regardless of how many of their brochures they give me, I’m not voting for either one. Nor am I voting for Kate Baggott or David Waddington. I only wish I had someone to vote for as opposed to against.
5. Haley Bateman played the lesbian card to try to pick up some cheap sympathy votes, and in so doing, displayed the same level of intolerance she accuses others of by summarily dismissing the Christian values of a voter whose door she knocked on.
6. Bateman also bragged about her hare-brained social-engineering plan to combine day-care facilities and senior centers. As if I needed another reason not to vote for her.
7. Even if Kelly Edgar didn’t get a union endorsement, I would have stricken him off my list for bragging about bringing those worthless Canada Summer Games to Niagara.
7a. That’s a union endorsement, not a labor endorsement.
8. Debbie MacGregor’s idea of attracting industries “compatible with the region” also reeks of social engineering. With jobs in such short supply in this part of the world, can you really afford to be picky?
9. Mary Margaret Murphy was the candidate who got the “Which political party best aligns with your views?” question, and even though she got a new one, she answered the original quite clearly with her diatribe on a living wage and knocking Premier Ford for stopping the ridiculous safe injection sites.
10. Emily Beth Spanton showed herself to be even more of a far-left extremist than Murphy. She also needs to get that hair out of her eyes and stop wearing those foot-high heels if she can’t learn to walk in them.
11. Len Stack used his time at the podium to talk about the negative stigma around the word “addiction” and failed to acknowledge Mayor Sendzik’s trademark of the word “compassion.”
12. The ghost of Jim Bradley, the recently deposed MPP who served in one of the most corrupt governments in the province’s history, had the nerve to speak about restoring integrity to the Region.
13. When Bruce Timms was speaking about how the double-duty councilor issue failed by just one vote, I was hoping he was going to call out Bill “The self-appointed voice of reason” Phillips, whose flip-flop was crucial in bringing it down.
14. Frank Rupcic spoke about the embarrassing incident when the sub-Standard “reporter” was kicked out of a regional council meeting, but what’s really embarrassing is the fake news that publication keeps churning out.
15. I hope I can come up with enough acceptable names on my ballot so I don’t have to vote for Sandie Bellows.