With four out of six candidates for the West Niagara riding in attendance, the first of four federal election debates kicked off on YourTV Niagara.
The incumbent for West Niagara, Dean Allison of the Conservative Party of Canada, went up against Nameer Rahman of the NDP, Joanna Kocsis of the Green party and Ian Bingham of the Liberal party.
Not in attendance were Christian Heritage Party’s Harold Jonker and People’s Party of Canada's Shaunalee Derkson, who submitted a video that was shared at the end of the debate.
Here are some stand out moments of the Sep. 7 debate.
Joanna Kocsis — on the timing of the election
“We know that the care work of child care and caring for aging relatives in the fourth wave of a pandemic falls disproportionately on women, that this is not a good time for us to have to be redirecting our energies and our efforts to other things. So I think calling an election at this time was meant to deliberately exclude women from positions of power."
Dean Allison — on the Liberal government’s response to Afghanistan
“There are all kinds of people that helped the allies and I believe what happened during this campaign was absolutely disgraceful, in terms of the timing of trying to get these people out. This should’ve been done months ago. We need to do more to get the people out, that are there now.”
Nameer Rahman — on the Liberal government’s response to Afghanistan
“My wife is Afghan-Canadian and she has family members who are currently being hunted by the Taliban and we reached out to the Liberal government to bring them over and there was no response,” Rahman said. He later added, “There are families out here, who will bring in, will support their family members and won’t ask a dime from the government. But their lives are at risk, these refugees, and we need to do better and I know for a fact that this Liberal government has failed miserably.”
Ian Bingham — on ‘kick-starting’ the economy
“I’m so proud of Canadians every day. I found recently, 92 per cent of jobs in COVID in Canada have been restored versus, I’m to understand 75 per cent of those in the United States. We’re very lucky to live in this country,” he said. “But we need to do more.”
Shaunalee Derkson — on vaccine passports
“This single action will further divide and alienate our people. This also includes family and friends. I can see job loss, small business closures, more unemployment, isolation and depression and many of us are not going to be able to participate in everyday society. This should concern everyone. Everyone should be able to feel free to make their own choices.”
The broadcast of the debate is available on YourTV's website, yourtv.tv/niagara.
Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News