Niagara riding debates continued Wednesday evening as the candidates vying for the member of Parliament seat in the St. Catharines riding battled it out on YourTV Niagara.
The incumbent for St. Catharines, Chris Bittle of the Liberal Party of Canada, went up against Krystina Waler of the Conservative Party of Canada, Trecia McLennon of the New Democratic Party (NDP) and Catharine Rhodes of the Green party.
Rebecca Hahn of the People’s Party of Canada was not in attendance at the debate; instead, she was given the opportunity to speak in video shared at the end of the debate.
Here are some stand out quotes from the Sept 8. debate:
Chris Bittle on supporting small businesses post pandemic
“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we said we would have Canadians’ backs and that included business throughout St. Catharines, throughout Niagara, throughout Canada. We stepped up with wage supports, we stepped up with rent relief. We stepped up with additional supports for the tourism sector and other highly affected sectors. We’ve been there for small businesses from the start.”
Krystina Waler on Trudeau’s reaction to Taliban occupation of Afghanistan
“I want to be clear. Justin Trudeau knew that there was a war breaking out in Afghanistan before he called this election. He knew that we’d be leaving Canadians behind and he wanted to focus on an election instead of helping our fellow Canadians and our Afghan-Canadian allies escape the Taliban. It is unacceptable,” she said. “The Taliban are not our brothers and we need to help these people.”
Trecia McLennon on access to clean drinking water across the country
“The NDP is the party that will name environmental racism for what it is, and say that things like boil water advisories that have had to continue in Indigenous communities is completely wrong, and would stop immediately under an NDP government. Making sure that everybody in this country has clean drinking water is a priority. Clean drinking water is a foundation to a strong community and we would be committed to ensuring that every community across Canada, just like you won’t go to Toronto or Montreal or Vancouver and not find clean drinking water, we want to make that true for anywhere we go in Canada.”
Catharine Rhodes on repairing relations with the Indigenous community
“Indigenous peoples are not the past. Indigenous peoples are the first Canadians and our future and we honour them. We, at the Green party, would honour the treaties and respect all of the rights of the Indigenous peoples. We would implement all 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation commission, right away. We would ensure access to clean drinking water, to education and to housing for Indigenous communities and would recognize the rights of non-status and Métis peoples as Indigenous, as we know that they have been left out of the community by current legislation.”
Rebecca Hahn on her party’s campaign platform
“I will oppose Bill C10 and C36 as they violate our freedom of expression. I will oppose vaccine mandates as they violate our right to liberty and autonomy,” said Hahn. “We’re going to balance the budget by eliminating deficits through spending cuts, such as corporate subsidies, foreign development aid and we’re going to defund that CBC.”
Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News