Strong statements, sharp retorts characterize candidates' forum

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Confident statements and sharp retorts highlighted the Kings-Hants federal election forum in Wolfville Tuesday evening Sept. 30.

This time there was a full slate of candidates from the four main parties: Carol Harris of the NDP, Liberal incumbent Scott Brison, Conservative Rosemary Segado, and Brendan MacNeill of the Green Party. Segado did not take part in the Windsor forum Sept. 25.

On the government side

Segado delivered the first opening statement of the Wolfville forum. “Canadians will elect a Conservative government Oct. 14,” she said. She said it is seen as the best to manage the economy in uncertain times.

She said the Liberals’ proposed carbon tax would increase taxes and “do nothing to help Canadians. The Liberals had 13 years to do something about greenhouse gas emissions, but did nothing.”

Segado said the Conservatives have introduced real measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Kings-Hants needs an MP on the government side,” she said in her closing remarks.

In the current global economic climate, “Canada needs strong leadership.” It doesn’t need some risky scheme like the Liberals’ carbon tax. “When have you ever heard of a new tax that is revenue neutral?” she asked.

Harris’ ‘picture’

Harris said the gap between the poor and those with advantages has increased over the years.

As a child attending school in Greenwich, she noticed, “something was wrong with the picture. And the picture has not improved.”

She said the NDP intends to provide family program funding from the base, not from the top like the liberals and Conservatives.

In health care, Harris said it is time for the second phase; healthier living to prevent illness and health care expense.

In her closing remarks, Harris said, “I will be there for each vote.”

She reiterated the need to support families, and not just the traditional ones, but also those whose members may be isolated.

She doesn’t see a difference between the approaches of the Liberals and Conservatives.

MacNeill and the ‘party of the future’

It’s not a question of right or left, MacNeill said. “More and more people think the Green Party as the party of the future.”

He noted that the Greens take volunteers away from all the other parties and said the Green Party has already developed a carbon tax program. The Liberal one is a watered-down version.

In his closing remarks, MacNeill said, “I want to see change. I want to see positive change and I want to see real change.”

Brison: constituents’ ideas “Your concerns have become my concerns. Your ideas have helped shape my ideas,” Brison told the crowd at the outset. “There is a lot of collective wisdom in rooms like this.”

He said student aid, a catastrophic drug program, high-speed Internet, energy costs, farm support and food safety are all priorities he holds. He added he was proud to have fought to keep the Kentville research station open.

In his closing remarks, Brison said Nova Scotia “needs strong MPs who will fight for Nova Scotia, particularly against people like Stephen Harper.”

He blamed Harper for squandering the surplus left by the Liberals and making Canada’s economy the worst performer in the G8. “The choice has never been clearer for progressive voters,” he concluded.

To watch videos of the four candidates' opening and closing statements, visit and look under "General News". The videos are entitled "Kings-Hants 2008 federal election candidates".

Organizations: Green Party, NDP, Conservatives General News

Geographic location: Wolfville, Canada, Greenwich Nova Scotia Kentville

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