Perth-Wellington candidates meet in Moorefield

Perth-Wellington federal candidates at an all candidates meeting in Moorefield on October 3, 2019. (Photo by Adam Bell)

All six federal candidates in Perth-Wellington attended a meeting hosted by the Wellington County Federation of Agriculture in Moorefield on Thursday.

Rural issues were at the heart of discussions, with everything from labour shortages, supply management, climate change and protestors on farm properties.

Those taking part were Conservative incumbent John Nater, Liberal candidate Pirie Mitchell, New Democrat candidate Geoff Krauter, Green Party candidate Collan Simmons, Christian Heritage Party candidate Irma DeVries, and People’s Party candidate Rory Tekanoff.

All six candidates agreed on one thing, the rights of farmers to deal with protestors on their farms was something the next federal government must take seriously.

Conservative candidate John Nater says voters should be voting for who they think is the person best equipped to represent the riding, and represent them in Ottawa. He says his commitment to work hard for the riding continues. He says there is more work to be done, and that Perth-Wellington “is one of the greatest places on the earth”. He says he will continue to push for more ride-share programs, as well as better internet for rural residents.

Liberal candidate Pirie Mitchell says this election is an important one, not only for Canada but for the world. Mitchell says Canada “is one of the biggest polluters per capita in the world”, saying the country is worse than China in that regard. He says the country must start doing its part to cure climate change. He decried the Conservatives for staying the course on their lack of action of climate change.

New Democratic candidate Geoff Krauter says his party understands “the vital importance of climate action”, saying many farmers saw some of the effects this year with an inability to get crops in the ground as they are able to normally. He says the priorities of the NDP are different from the other parties, and says big polluters will pay their fair share. He says the party is ready to invest in farm families, and they will not set policy based on lobbyists or powerful corporations. He says they have a plan to switch to renewable energy that will not leave farmers behind.

Green Party candidate Collan Simmons says while his party’s “central plank is climate change, we do have a very full platform”, and encouraged everyone to take a closer look. He says the social platform can provide the local population what they need, with farmers no different. He says Canadians need to better be able to support medication, and universal pharmacare will do just that. He says in regards to climate change that change is hard, but it’s coming, and hopefully people will identify what they have been doing so they can start doing what they need to do to mitigate climate change’s effect.

People’s Party candidate Rory Tekanoff encouraged voters to go to the party’s website and look at the policies proposed, saying veterans have been poorly treated the last several years, and also says changes to foreign policy could save the country billions of dollars. He is asking voters to focus on the platform of each party and decide which party reflects their morals or values. He says “it’s time to do politics differently”, and put Canadians first.

Christian Heritage Party candidate Irma DeVries decried the legitimacy of government in general. She called the right to life the most important right, and a building block of society. She says the party supports reducing chemicals in water and air, and they want to protect the environment. She says all candidates offered perks and handouts in exchange for their vote, while her offer will cost less, and cut down on “so-called progressive policies” of both current and former governments.

Just under 100 people attended the event held at the Maryborough Community Centre.