Nfld. & Labrador

Hydro, guns spark St. John's South debate

Sparks flew at a candidates' debate Tuesday night about a Tory promise on the Lower Churchill project can be trusted.
Siobhan Coady, Loyola Sullivan and Ryan Cleary are competing for the seat in St. John's South-Mount Pearl. (CBC )

Sparks flew at a candidates' debate Tuesday night about whether Stephen Harper and the Conservatives can be trusted to follow through on a financial commitment for the Lower Churchill power project in Labrador.

"The party will deliver on its commitment to fund that project. If not, I will resign," Conservative candidate Loyola Sullivan told opponents in St. John's South-Mount Pearl.

"I ask Ms. Coady - will she put her job on the line over the Lower Churchill?"

Liberal incumbent Siobhan Coady, who won the seat in 2008 amid an "anything but Conservative" campaign that shut out the Tories in Newfoundland and Labrador, nodded that she would.

"If they were so serious, [the Conservatives] would have been able to do something in their budget to ensure that was the case," she told the forum. "They did not."

NDP candidate Ryan Cleary said Sullivan's promise could not be trusted.

"Everybody knows what a promise from Stephen Harper is worth," said Cleary.

Gun registry attacked, defended

Meanwhile, the long-gun registry — and the Conservatives' oft-repeated vows to abolish it — surfaced during the debate.

"The Conservative party doesn't support the long-gun registry and the billions that the Liberals wasted on it, and their parties voted to retain that," said Sullivan, who often lumped the Liberals and the NDP together during the debate.

"The bottom line is it's there," Cleary said. "More than $1 billion has been spent in a billion-dollar boondoggle, but it's there."

Coady had the last word on the subject.

"My husband has a rifle … There's nothing wrong with registering it," she said.

"I register my dog. Go register your gun. It's not that difficult."

With files from Zach Goudie