Hydro, transportation and the economy debated in Nipissing riding

Candidates for the riding of Nipissing took part in a heated debate hosted by the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday night.
NDP candidate Henri Giroux, Liberal candidate Stephen Glass and PC candidate Vic Fedeli took part in a debate for the riding of Nipissing on Tuesday night. (Benjamin Aubé/CBC)

Candidates for the riding of Nipissing took part in a heated debate hosted by the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday night.

The three challengers did their best to chip away at Progressive Conservative candidate Vic Fedeli, who has been the riding's MPP since 2011.

NDP candidate Henri Giroux and incumbent Fedeli have a history of going after each other in past debates.

They didn't hold back when discussing plans to bring passenger rail back to northeastern Ontario.

"You voted against the budget that would have stopped the divestment of Ontario Northland. Where the heck were the NDP back on that day?" Fedeli questioned Giroux.

"Your party is the one that wanted to get rid of it first," Giroux responded.

Rookie Liberal candidate Stephen Glass spent time defending the ruling party's record and going after the PC leader.

"Doug Ford hijacked the Conservative party but we don't have to let him hijack Ontario," he said.

"Sober reflection will point us to the complicated middle where no one is completely satisfied and no one is left out."

The candidates also shared their party's plans on hydro. Giroux said the solution is to buy Hydro One back into public hands.

"We have a plan to do it in 10 years, it's in our platform," Giroux said.

Fedeli took issue with that plan.

"I don't know how you can do that in 10 years," he said, noting the PCs would use the Hydro One dividend to lower electricity bills.

Fedeli added they'd put a moratorium on wind turbine and solar panel programs started by the Liberals.

First-time Green candidate Kris Rivard admitted he's a longshot to win his riding on June 7.

But he said his party stands for many of the issues Northerners hold dear.

"It's a vote that says that we don't deny climate change, it's a vote that says that the middle class jobs of the future are in the middle class economy, restore a respectful and dignified relationship with our Indigenous communities," he said.

"It's a vote that say we're for small businesses in our communities, not the big corporations."

With files from Benjamin Aubé

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