In the first of two special election road shows, host Rex Murphy opens up the phones to Canadians across the country and talks to BC voters in downtown Vancouver.
Here, politicians are wooing a rich urban mix of well-to-do and poor in one of Canada's most vibrant cities ...where each party is hoping to pull a win out of some tight races. What do British Columbians want from this election?
As the election campaign draws near the end of its second week, some voters are asking what is really at stake in this election.
Are there striking policy differences in the way the parties want to run the country? Or, is it simply that Parliament could no longer contain the partisan pressure pent up by three years of minority government? Either way the citizens of Canada are being called upon to decide.
Is it about issues or is it about leadership?
What is this election about for you?
Rex with a live audience at CBC Vancouver, 700 Hamilton Street
We've come here today to British Columbia -- to Vancouver -- to find out what voters are talking about in the election campaign.
This is a rich and diverse city where each of the three major parties are hoping to make solid electoral gains.
What are the key issues? What is this election about for you?
These are the questions we want to pose here -- and to listeners across the country.
Today we're live from Studio One in Vancouver. There are several key battlegrounds across the country -- and this is one of them: Greater Vancouver. This city rewards each of the three major national parties with coveted seats in Parliament ...and some of them are closely fought.
Here, politicians are wooing a strong urban mix of well-to-do and poor in one of Canada's most diverse and vibrant cities, where each party is hoping to pull a win out of some tight races. What do British Columbians want from this election?
As the election campaign draws near the end of its second week, some voters here and across the country are asking what is really at stake in this election.
Are there striking policy differences in the way the parties want to run the country? Or, is it simply that Parliament could no longer contain the partisan pressure pent up by three years of minority government? Either way the citizens of Canada are being called upon to decide.
We are going to hear from some of the people in Vancouver and we want to hear from people across the country.
Is it about issues ....or is it about leadership? What is this election about for you?
I'm Rex Murphy ...on CBC Radio One ...and on Sirius satellite radio channel 137 ...this is Cross Country Checkup.
The most important issue to me in this election is the environment, specifically a proposed oil port on our west coast. Clearly, Mr. Harper has strong ties to the oil companies. A majority vote for the Conservatives would result in the approval of Enbridge's proposed pipeline from the Tar sands to an oil port in Kitimat to transport crude oil to Asia and to California. Enbridge has admitted spills are inevitable. We don't need a BP or Exxon Valdez to ruin our fisheries, our tourism and First Nations' way of life. I appeal to the 80% of British Columbians who don't support this fool-hardy project to go to the polls and prevent it.
Kitimat, British Columbia
As a BC citizen I want you to know that we want elected officials who oppose the Tar Sands expansion and the Enbridge pipeline going across BC to Kitimat and I oppose tanker traffic taking the tar sands oil through the Hecate Straight and on hte Coast of BC. It's a disaster waiting to happen
Prince George, British Columbia
First, this is an election about the state of our democracy. There are different views. I encourage everyone to read the article by Ramesh Thakur, a former assistant secretary general of the UN, titled "Canada watches its democracy erode". This election is also about spending priorities and what will have to be cut to balance the budget. The Conservative platform is to reduce corporate taxes, build prisons, significantly increase military and public safety spending (it was 38% of the total government expenditures in 2010), give targeted tax cuts to families (note - the proposed income splitting by estimations will not benefit over 70% of families) while balancing the budget in four, not five years. How will this be done? What will be cut? We have already seen cuts to those programs supporting women around issues of domestic violence, poverty, homelessness as well as those organizations like Sisters of Spirit who are fighting on behalf of missing and murdered aboriginal women. We have also seen how agencies who have been providing support for disadvantaged people in Canada and globally get their funding cut if they don't happen to reflect the Conservative party right wing views such as KAIROS. There are also rumors floating around that the CBC will be seriously impacted if Stephen Harper gets his majority. This is NOT an unnecessary election as we keep on hearing from Conservative candidates. Canadians need to get engaged before it is too late. This means getting past the rhetoric and getting informed about the issues.
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
I am from the Rock. I had the good fortune to serve Canada in the foreign service for 35 years - an extraordinary career. My last posting was as number two to Canada's Mission to the UN in Geneva.
In the last three years of my service I had to do things of which I am ashamed. On written orders from Ottawa I was instructed not to thank Louise Arbour when she stepped down as High Commissioner for Human Rights. Ms. Arbour was the highest ranking Canadian in the UN system and was seen by all as being an outstanding champion of human rights as well as an excellent manager. What kind of small-minded, petty individual refuses to say thank you?
Turning 180 on Indigenous issues also left a mark. Canada went from being one of the leaders in promoting the rights of the Indigenous to being one of only four countries (Russia, USA, Australia, Canada) holding up the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Environmental questions. In 2006 Geneva was told to tool down on environmental issues. The world's weather experts have their HQ in Geneva.
Harper has thrown away 20 years of goodwill that Canada has built up since WW!!. And for what?
I have been scarred by the Harper regime.
Victoria, British Columbia
I don't always get to listen to your show, but when I do, I find it always thoughtful and interesting.
Mr Harper and the ReformAllianceConservatives continually mention that ordinary Canadians don't care about minor issues like Contempt of Parliament and Keeping Track of Personal information on what citizens think and participate in (politically).
For me, these are the greatest of concerns; how can I trust a political party which does these things; Contempt of Parliament and avoidance of issues by Proroguing Parliament. These are not very democratic in my mind.
My biggest concern is that they are keeping track of people. They have staff (or perhaps the RCMP?) going through the lists of people registering for the Conservative rallies. Ahh, connection with Facebook. Ahh, participation at a rally for the Environment. Ahh, vocalizing on Veteran's Affairs. Who is doing this, going through these lists? Who is collecting the information, keeping track of people attending rallies and protest on issues contrary to the Conservative thinking?
How many of us are on these lists? Am I because I've been critical of Harper and the Conservatives. The right of freedom, of free speech and thinking is one of the great virtues of this country, and it seems to be taken away from us. These are principles our soldiers fought and died for in World War II.
I am not Liberal, not NDP, not Conservative, not Green, nor Socialist nor Communist, I am apolitical because I see through the games played in politics. I think this is a reason why many Canadians are apathetic about politics. But, though I am apolitical, I am very passionate about politics. I've never been so concerned about a political party as I have since the Reform party and its evolution to the Alliance and then current Conservative Party. Money scandals are one thing, violation of my personal freedom and those of my fellow Canadians is another thing, one which I consider so much more significant. It reeks of McCarthyism.
I am Leo Landry, just an ordinary person, and I am Canadian, very proud to be so, and I cannot trust Mr Harper and his Conservative Party. And I'm not sorry!!!
I will vote!
I am not affiliated with any federal or provincial political party, nor have I ever been. I am 60 years old and work with children and teens through our Class Acts Drama School in Sydney. I wish to comment on how concerned I am regarding the seeming media and voter apathy toward the shocking undemocratic approach of the federal conservative party. As a student of history, I have studied how national socialism in pre-war Germany controlled its public meetings and message. Some of us know where that led. The silent majority contributed greatly to the accent of intolerance by remaining silent. This conservative party and its leader show every sign of being an intolerant and vindictive future government. We, the public are at a crossroads in Canada. We can close our eyes and minds or we can wake up and demand a reasonable degree of open accountability from our political parties. If we remain on the side lines, shame on us. We shall be the ultimate losers or our hard won democracy. As an aside, if I may be permitted, it is unfortunate that none of the political parties has the courage to admit that our health care future costs will require public as well as corporate tax increases. Thank you for allowing me to vent somewhat.
I think the majority of Canadian voters feel they are faced with an appalling situation: We are going into an election where the principal parties have leaders that are dishonest or inept at best, and at worst fail miserably to command the respect and trust of the Canadian public. One way to express a sentiment such as we may collectively have is to massively spoil our ballots
Money, money, money ! Where does all the money go? The government will says they do not have enough money, and then they turn around and propose, or actually do something that takes a lot of money.
ie. not enough money for healthcare for all ages of Canadians, then they burp up millions for earthquake relief, or propose fighter jets, etc. It appears to be poor management.
I would like them to be truly accountable for the money. How much is being received. Where is it budgeted. Where is it spent. Is that too much to ask?
Chetwynd, British Columbia
It seemed like a big deal when it was being reported in the news What ever happened to the charges of contempt of parliament against Harper's government?
Really, same rhetoric as every election I can recall
"Lower taxes", "Health-care", "Education", "If I am your Prime Minister, I will.." (which never really happens)
This isn't an election. Not one party has really given any of us a reason to vote at all!
What about foreign affairs? What Northern sovereignty? What about sustainable funding for the arts? What about our underfunded dying military?
I vote for the individual that I believe will best represent my local community on the national stage. I don't care about the federal leadership. They are weak and they have "oatmeal" policies. Shame on all of them!
The issue that concerns me most is the nature of our minority governments in recent elections. The media, parties and Canadians lament the fact that we have minority governments and I do too. Many attribute minorities to voter apathy. While that is a concern it seems to me we have minorities because of the existence of the BQ. If the Bloc did not exist their votes would be largely cast for our national parties. It continually bothers me that a party existing with the prime goal of breaking our country apart is benefitting from tax payer dollars in subsidies, payroll and pensions. They have even campaigned with a (national) platform even though they could never form a national government. It would seem the BQ continues to exist because of our Canadian values of tolerance and an inability to address the real problem of the existence of the BQ. Politicians tolerate the BQ because we don't want to offend certain Quebec sensibilities that the media and the politically correct spinsters would spin out of control to the detriment of our truly national parties. Can we not find a constitutional means to remove the BQ from the national and federal stage?
What matters to me is a liveable future for all Canada's children and for most of our hardworking people, which cannot be achieved under the Harper Government. The disastrous lack of any commitment on the environment, and the loss of Canada's reputation as a Peacemaking nation, as well as his economic and tax policies which favour the Rich, not the majority of the people in our country, bode ill for the future of all. Harper is serving the interests of Big Money, and depriving the people at large. He and his Government are a disaster for our country and the World, and we must get rid of this autocracy now. I may even engage in strategic voting to ensure he goes.
This week Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winning economist, wrote an article entitled "Gambling with the planet". He spoke of a poor record on risk management and, looking at the tragedy unfolding in Japan concluded that if we continue our gambling ways "on average and almost certainly, we as a society, like all gamblers, will lose. That, unfortunately, is a lesson of Japan's disaster that we continue to ignore at our peril"
When we speak of the economy, why are we not thinking seriously about and discussing sustainable economics?
I would like to see the following realized: Scrap the F18 military jets. Scrap the 10 billions corporate tax credits. Recognize the credentials of foreign trained professional ( i.e medical and veterinary doctors. the federal government should help in the cost of licensing the foreign trained professionals. If Stephen Harper promise to do this publicly. I will vote for him, otherwise I will vote for the NDP.
I'd just like to remind everyone that the election could have been avoided if the Conservatives had put 2 1/2 billion dollars in the budget for Quebec in accordance with the demands of the Bloc.This money was not in the budget, but Harper has since announced that the money for Quebec will be available. How come he has suddenly found it in the middle of the election campaign? If he had really wanted to avoid an election, he would have had that money for Quebec in the budget.
For me the whole election process centers on leadership and/or honesty in leadership. Why did Mr. Harper risk contempt of Parliament rather than tell us the truth, nothing but the whole truth about government spending. He wants us to give him a blank cheque and nothing else,except some less democracy.
Destiny Bay, British Columbia
Accountability for how taxpayer dollars are spent; I believe that every MP should be required by regulation,legislation or the need to do the right thing, line by line,online accounting for all salaries and expenses. The same should apply to all entities receiving significant tax dollars, including CBC.We need to deal with health care-not just throw more money at it-we need changes to how we deliver health care,probably more private involvement. It will bankrupt our nation.
I just heard the mother of an 18 year old ask how to inspire her child to vote for the first time. Although the answers were all good I was a bit surprised and disappointed that no one suggested that first and foremost they should vote because they can, no matter who they vote for. I am in the same situation with my oldest child and I have repeatedly encouraged them to vote even if they spoil their ballot. In a time where we are seeing people around the world fighting and sometimes dying for the right to vote we should be impressing on all citizens especially first time voters that they not only already have the right but that they have the responsibility to exercise that right to vote. It is a right that should in no way be taken for granted.
This election is about taxation. Cutting income tax and therefore
cutting revenue is a loss for the country. All sales taxes, no
matter what they are called, is a knock on the head of lesser incomes
and a benefit to those of larger incomes. Sales taxes apart from
being unfair are also inefficient as there are too many handlers.
Garibaldi Highlands, British Columbia
I would like to hear more people connecting the "economy" with the choice to spend money on new fighter jets. The money used toward a war option is better spent on housing, education and healthcare. Will transfer payments to provinces shrink down the road?
In addition, once all those jets need fuel we are also more and more tied into the oil sands project rather than being creative for alternate and less polluting, lower carbon energy sources. Do those who think the economy is # 1 priority incloude thoughts about the billions to be spent on fighter jets?
Thank you to Cross Country and Rex.
Candidates and their leaders will make many promises at election time but, not infrequently, break them after they get in.
The only way to empower ordinary folks is to give them executive power, i.e. let each taxpayer direct her/his share of taxes into the programs of their choice. When the function of parliament is strictly legislative- which is what it ought to be in a true democracy - then the electorate will eagerly get engaged in order to select the wisest candidate.
I am the government. I live within my means, I go without things I need and want until I can afford them. Balance our budget and pay for services we can afford. It's just that easy.
Victoria, British Columbia
The environment is one of the most important issues for me and 5 years ago it seemed to be one of the top issues for many. I don't see that the need to do something has decreased but it's treated like it was a passing fad, except for the Green Party, and to a lesser extent , the NDP.
Leadership is another important issue because I feel Mr. Harper has very poor leadership skills. It was refreshing to see some Liberals disagree publically with something Mr. Ignatieff said. When, in the past 5 years, have you seen that happen with the Conservatives? The government isn't only about leaders. If that was the case, why pay the salaries for all the MP's? They all have something to contribute so should be allowed to express their views
Prince Edward Island
While there is much talk about providing more Day Care spaces to encourage parents with young children to vote for the particular party, I think most people do not realize (or care) that child-care-givers are among the lowest paid people in the country. I know, because that is what I have been providing for the past +20 years. Most recently, I worked for a licensed Day Care Centre. I had to open the Centre at 6:45am, worked until 9:00am, had a "break" of 4.5 hours, then worked from 1:30 until closing at 6pm. I was paid for 6.5 hours per day even though I worked longer each day. As a result, I did not "qualify for "benefits". Recently, in Ontario, the provincial government mandated that all of us Day Care Workers be members of the ECE College. There is no recognition of experience or skill gained. In order for me to "be a member" (of the ECE College) and therefore "qualified" to work in a Child Care Centre, I must now attend (and pay for) college and acquire an ECE Certificate. Without a steady income, I cannot attend college....
Regarding "skilled trades", my 21 year-old son, has an aptitude for a skilled trade, electronics, electrics. He attended a Community College for 2 years, and the next step toward becoming a qualified electrician, requires that he become an apprentice. Though he has sought such a position, he has been unsuccessful. Fortunately, he is working at a bank, receiving a good wage and benefits. But his aptitude for a "skilled trade" is not being fulfilled.
My 24 year-old daughter realized that the only way for her to achieve her potential as a teacher was to acquire a university degree. She has the degree, an OSAP debt of $28,000, but is working as a cashier at Sears. Could not get into a Teachers College. She is now increasing her OSAP debt by attending a community college to get an Early Childhood Education Certificate.
In conclusion, my adult children and I are listening to the "rhetoric" of all the political parties and wondering which one will ensure we will be working to our full potential next year. I have voted in every election since I was old enough. My children wonder why I bother; they tell me that all politicians are the same, full of empty promises and looking out for themselves and their friends.
The only topics being made visible are those that are not well understood and therefore are difficult to challenge by the public. So creating emotion that focuses on (probably expensive) options while avoiding those that are important to our future is easy. We need political leadership that provides a clear picture of the future which we can afford.
This election is about ethics and the democratic process regardless of what the media is saying. When a PM ignores the Supreme Court on the ruling that Kadhr's rights are being violated, when his government refuses to present information to Parliament, when a Minister of the Crown lies to Parliament and nothing is done by the PM, then this election is about democracy. If Kadhr's rights are ignored then so can mine and yours and all Canadians'.When a government is so secretive how can our MPs make informed decisions?( Even though some of them act like yahoos) If I change a signed document, then I can be charged, why has Ms Oda not be called to answer? (And it isn't about whether she had the right to make a decision but whether she lied)
We need this election, and let's hope most Canadians think before they vote.
Really enjoy your program. re you show today. believe it's very important that we vote on this one. Firmly believe that this time we are voting for our country and everything that makes us a great nation. It goes far beyond in my estimation, promises and all the usual stuff. the party that was just defeated on contempt must go. They are a threat to everything we value as a nation.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
It is my very strong view that the election that should be about respect for parliamentary democratic process, trust and ethics. Ms.Yaffe seems to think that the issue of respect for democratic process and the rule of law are meaningless side issues even though their absence defines the entire modus operandi of the current federal government. This is something one would expect from a supporter of the Harper government.
However, it is legitimate to ask if you can't trust someone why would you let them manage your economy or any other aspect of your country? This government has proven its self time and again to be a group of scofflaws.
The Conservative Party has been repeating this line about "Canadians don't want an election every two years", isn't the burden of those elections on the shoulders of the Conservatives for failing to work with the opposition? More than half of Canadians voted for other parties, yet repeatedly the Conservatives have been openly antagonistic towards the opposition. If they are this brazenly partisan in a minority, I shudder to imagine a majority.
Penticton, British Columbia
The Liberal Party should be careful not to shoot itself in the foot by ruling out coalitions. Indeed , all parties should remain open to coalitions or similar arrangements that will provide good government. The Harper campaign is casting it as some sort of inherently evil outcome. Imagine the irony if the Tories wind up obliged to make a deal with the main opposition party in order to hang onto power!
Here's a vote winner. Everyone wants to solve the health care problem by throwing more money at staffing and facilities. What about the root of the problem, our overweight and out-of-shape population? Here's how we can take a tiny bite out of a very large elephant.
Take all taxes off any bicycle. From tricycles to road bikes to competitions, every bike exercises muscles, lungs and hearts and improves your state of mind. The tiny amount of lost tax revenue will be compensated for by fewer visits to doctors and maybe some reduced greenhouse gases.
Who wants my vote?!
Kamloops, British Columbia
Harper's ultimate goal; to minimize government, and shape the remnant into an ideological bulwark: more and better jails, more tax cuts and less social spending, foreign policy without a concern for a global concerns and social justice. It boggles the mind to contemplate this policy carried out. If institutions were in place to take over urgent issues, this might be feasible, minus the ideology; presently the end game of the above is a fractured, shell shocked society with a few, as Charlie Sheen would put it..... WINNING!
Mission City, British Columbia
Environmental concerns aside, Canada is losing billions of dollars by shipping crude oil out of country. What is the economic plan to process our crude oil more to finished products to be sold to the world? When will we as a nation stop sending raw materials out instead of keeping the jobs and profits in our economy and our tax base ?
Grande Prairie, Alberta
My daughter has her degree in Limnology from UBCO, she is 27 years old and is a new mom....she has a husband that works in the forestry industry. They just purchased their first home. Needless to say, she has a lot on her mind. I am really proud to say, one of those things is this upcoming election. Her Facebook page proudly displays a message that says: "You wouldn't let your grandparents choose who you date, why would you let them choose your government." Voting is becoming more important than ever to the younger generations. I wish the young folks who take the time to get involved would get a little credit.
Summerland, British Columbia
I am quite astonished that most references to the New Government of Canada are not directed to the Conservatives, Tories or Blue Party but rather take Stephen Harper's name as the primary identity. Win lose or draw, the Stephen Harper model does not seem to appeal to the electorate. In my car, the Anti lock braking system light is on and the short form is ABS. I look at the glowing light every morning on my way to work and it is telling me Anybody But Stephen.
Many Canadians say we can't afford an election. I say we can't afford not to have one! What's at stake?: The integrity of our democratic institutions. Numerous examples include overruling the head of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, tolerating blatant liars in cabinet (Bev Oda) as well as too many others. If Harper can show such disregard for democracy with a minority government, how reckless would he get with a majority?
The real election issue issue is the one that led to the fall of the government contempt of parliament. The budget was a non-descript document that, with the possible exception of the fighter jets, could have been proposed by either of the 2 major parties.
Wasaga Beach, Ontario
In my communication with the Conservative MP in my area I always ask him if he can give me his thoughts rather than Harpers. The Conservative you have on your program only re-iterates what Harper has done not what he will do.
As former PM Martin said Harper had a hidden agenda and I believe that is still true. In the USA the government seems bent on giving the wealthy tax breaks at the expense of the poorer constituents. Harper seems to want to mimic the Republican philosophy. Give tax breaks to the wealthy companies at the expense of the poorer constituents.
Salmon Arm, British Columbia
I live in a riding on Vancouver Island currently held by the Conservative party. I will be working to elect our NDP candidate to reduce the chance of a majority Harper Government, because I believe this election has been orchestrated by Stephen Harper purely as an attempt to gain full power.
This is not a "normal" election since it is not about what politicians might possibly do for Canadians, but about Canadians protecting ourselves from what is likely to be done against the interests of our country. It's time to pay more than lip service to our anthem: "we stand on guard for thee."
Cumberland, British Columbia
The most important political issue Canadians need addressed is political reform but, unfortunately, not one party is raising this issue. Both the multi-party and representative systems has been taken over by special interest groups hallmarked by sleazy back room deals involving bags full of money, and are far too often dominated by dictatorial leaders and/or self-righteous ideologs intent upon imposing their own agendas and interests upon the electorate.
The reality is that the people of Canada need to get rid of this patriarchal, top down process. In fact, Canadians are by and large well educated, well informed and are more than competent and capable of making their own political decisions through a referendum based system. A referendum system whereby the electorate has full care and control over the political decision making that will inevitably come to dominate their lives and which deals directly with the bureaucrats who actually run the government. The politicians are nothing more than figureheads and most sit like dummies in back benches between elections.
And to those that say "that is impossible" , I say "human beings created central heating, agriculture, refrigeration and we put a bunch of people in a metal can and sent them to the moon AND brought them back safely. In other words, there is nothing we cannot create if we put our minds to it, all we lack is the political will to make it happen.
Gabriola Island, British Columbia
We need to get back to openness and disclosure. When the Prime Minister thinks it ok to make secret deals about our security with the Americans. It is time to say no. When The Prime minister thinks it is ok to make deals to buy planes with no bidding ,just on his word. It is time to say no. When the Prime Minister is convicted of contempt of Parliament it is time to say NO NO NO. Our democracy should not be sold for vague promises of hand outs.
Langley, British Columbia
The issue that interests me is simple. I want people whom I can trust to set a vision before us so that Canada can be the very best that it can be; a vision that takes into account our respect for our land, the needs of our citizens and the global responsibilities that we share. What I see is pettiness, shortsightedness and narrow thinking. We can't reach our potential as a country without bold thinking, generosity and courage. I'll support people and parties that remind me not of insular thinking and empty promises, but rather offer a grand vision for our country.
Vancouver, British Columbia
It's disappointing to see our present prime minister talking about coalitions being undemocratic. He doesn't seem to know Canada's history. As I discuss in my history class, this country would not have come into being if in 1864, George Brown of the Reformers had not crossed the floor and joined in a coalition with John A. Macdonald, his political foe, to end the political deadlock.
Our present prime minister keeps acting like he has a majority government when he doesn't. He needs to remember that 62% of Canadians did not, I repeat, did not vote for him. It's difficult in a history class to have discussions when our prime minister ignores our history and tells half-truths to the public.
Lets vote for somebody who respects our history and parliamentary traditions, which certainly would not be our present prime minister. .
Many of my friends and I are concerned about the direction our government is taking us. It seems to me that there are at least two other dictators in our world who were accepted or even popular 30 or 40 years ago, yet thought democratic process was an inconvenience and got in their way. Harper scares us.
Saanichton, British Columbia
In time, Mr. Harper will be seen as one of Canada's best Prime Ministers whatever the result of this election. I hope that the Conservative party does win a majority mandate from the electorate, as the opposition parties seem to be more interested in hampering the process of government than in helping to run the country properly.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave a speech on November 8th 2010 on Parliament Hill at a gathering of international parliamentarians and experts attending a conference on combating anti-Semitism. This brief quote shows his maturity of mind and character, and I think Canada will be lucky to have him as a leader with a vision for this great country and a serious view of his responsibilities, for as long as he is willing to serve in that position. "Remembering the Holocaust is not merely an act of historical recognition. It must also be in understanding and an undertaking. An understanding that the same threats exist today. And an undertaking of a solemn responsibility to fight those threats. We have a solemn duty to defend the vulnerable, to challenge the aggressor, to protect and promote human dignity, at home and abroad."
Vancouver, British Columbia
The Liberals make a big issue of the vote of non-confidence due to the government being in contempt of Parliament. They conveniently do not mention the Sponsorship Scandal which gave the Conservatives their minority.... The minority mandate alone describes the response of Canadians to the contempt the Liberals displayed to us. And we, the Canadians, are our Parliament.
Quinte West, Ontario
I cannot really understand how Canadians can allow Prime Minister Harper, who is in contempt of Parliament, and who supports an MP who alters official documents - to even run in the election and possibly become our Prime Minister again. What about integrity? What example is this to our younger voters? This underlies the whole election --- how can this be legal, that Harper is allowed to put himself forward in this election?
North Vancouver, British Columbia
A question for your Conservative candidate - Millennium Scholarships were awarded across Canada to high school graduates in national, provincial and local categories based on students' academics, community volunteerism, innovation, and leadership. These were a wonderful help to two of our children (now a speech pathologist and a pharmacy student) but the program was cancelled by the Conservative government. Our concern is for other students' like our children who would benefit from this award as ours did, and our question is why was the program cancelled? As a follow up question to your other candidates - when the issue was raised by the opposition in parliament, the Conservative minister claimed the scholarships were too 'elite'. Our net income at the time was $24,000 a year, so you can imagine our surprise to find out we were part of the 'elite', so why did the other parties accept the veracity of the Conservative minister without doing due diligence? Surely, an elite of community-minded, bright students with leadership qualities is worth encouraging.