Canadian Politics from Canada's Centre

Thursday, January 12, 2006

NDP Accuses CIA Of Causing Emigration, During Candidates Debate

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An NDP candidate today accused the CIA of creating problems abroad that result in emigration, during an inter-riding candidates' debate. "It's a slippery slope," said Eric Steedman, the NDP candidate for Westmount-Ville Marie, entering into an obscure comment on the CIA acting "against US policy" and creating refugees.
His remark came on the heels of a statement by Liberal candidate Raymonde Folco. Folco pointed to comments made by Hillary Clinton in the days after 9/11 suggesting that the terrorists came from Canada (a remark carried by most of the major news outlets, I might point out), to back up her well-received argument that the US dominates Canada in negotiated agreements between the two countries. Steedman's remarks, punctuated by "uhs" and "ums," earned no reaction from the audience, and none of the other candidates asked him to explain his assertion.
It was a quiet moment in a debate characterized by them, and by rhetorical questions the obvious answers to which sparked little in the way of noticeable exchanges. The two exchanges which did take place both involved Conservative candidate for Mount-Royal Neil Drabkin.
While responding to a question on immediate reunification of immigrant families, Drabkin said the concrete steps to be taken are to provide resources to deal with immigration. He noted 700 million were offered by Immigration Minister Joe Volpe a week before the fall of the government (when it was already obvious it would fall). Folco answered that in fact, money had been injected earlier. 72 million were put through in April, she said, insisting it did not matter when it was done, simply that it had been done. Drabkin answered that the Liberals had 13 years to do that. Personally, I wonder why declare a $10 B surplus and then put out these offers after the fact. I feel like politicians are trying to buy my vote with my own money, and it pisses me off. Make a proper budget, fool! Then the Liberals will say the Tories would cut programs if they get into power...
The other exchange was when Drabkin drew fire from the Green party representative, who asked him if he felt the Conservatives were being pressured excessively by the US. Drabkin answered that we will be independant, but the people who don't recognize we "live on the same continent" need to wake up.
It's late now, but I'll post further thoughts on the debate tomorrow, including the Green party's policy wiki, the offer by Drabkin to Folco for the latter to change parties, and the Bloc candidate, Meili Faille, applauding Folco's work on immigration.

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