CHESTERVILLE – Thursday, May 26, was the last chance many SD&SG residents had to hear what their candidates for the upcoming provincial election had to say for themselves.
The All-Candidates meeting held at the Chesterville Legion Branch 434 had more than 50 people in attendance and five of the six candidates vying for the MPP position for SD&SG. The only candidate missing from the group was Claude Tardif from the New Blue party.
Taking part in the event was, Nolan Quinn representing the Ontario Progressive party, Kirsten Gardner representing the Liberal Party, Rémi Tremblay representing the Ontario Party, Wendy Stephen representing the New Democratic Party, (NDP) and Jacqueline Milner the Green party candidate. Speaking for Claude Tardif was Cynthia Pohran. She did not take part in the actual debate, but spoke for Mr. Tardif during opening and closing portion of the debate.
Stephan said during her opening statement that government did not have to deal with issues the same way they always have done, and still expect a different out come. She said the NDP was ready to try out different ideas.
Green party candidate Milner told the audience that her work experience as a small business person and a part-time school bus driver gave her a unique perspective about what residents wanted done.
Tremblay of the Ontario party talked about how important it was to protect individual liberties, and felt his party was determined to tackle the housing crises.
Progressive Conservative candidate Quinn said his experience working with charitable organizations as well as being a small business owner in Cornwall gave him an advantage in understanding what residents expected from their government.
Gardner the deputy mayor of South Dundas said her municipal experience and the fact that she had live in SD&SG all of her life helped her to understand what needed to be done for her fellow residents. She stressed that in this election she was running to help people.
The event was sponsored by the North Dundas Chamber of Commerce, the Dundas Federation of Agriculture, (DFA) and the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce.
Topics ranged from hospital funding for the Winchester District Memorial Hospital, to agricultural land acquisition, to rural internet and maintaining a sustainable food producing and marketing network.
Once all of the candidates had had their opening comments there was a line up of people ready to ask questions of various candidates beginning with event sponsors.
The first question to candidates was from Nanda Wubs president of the North Dundas Chamber of Commerce. She asked Quinn about what the two most important issues were facing the small business community, and what the solutions to these issues were.