October 7

Regina—Wascana candidates make election pitch to students and public at U of

Students at the University of Regina got a sense of the wide gulfs separating the federal parties on Monday, as they heard from six candidates running to represent the campus and nearby community in Ottawa.The University of Regina Students’ Union’s All Candidates Forum brought together prospective MPs for the riding of Regina—Wascana, which encompasses the university and much of south, east and downtown Regina.Each candidate began with an address to several dozen attendees gathered in a multi-purpose room at the university’s Dr. William Riddell Centre. The crowd included a contingent of uniformed students from Mother Theresa Middle School. The moderator, Dale Eisler, then asked each candidate to name the most important issue in the campaign leading up to the Oct. 21 election.Most candidates used the question as an opportunity to detail their party platforms. Incumbent MP Ralph Goodale framed the election as a decision about who can lead a fair, inclusive, growing country “in the midst of global turmoil.”But he also leapt at the chance to lay out the Liberal record: middle-class tax cuts, an improved child benefit and a million new jobs.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.Conservative candidate Michael Kram, running against Goodale for the second time, also sees an election centred on who should lead. He phrased the Liberal record in rather less rosy terms.“I would say the most important issue in this campaign is the credibility of Justin Trudeau as prime minister,” said Kram.He argued that Trudeau’s credibility has been shattered by the SNC-Lavalin scandal, deficit spending and a broken promise on electoral reform.“Justin Trudeau is not as advertised,” he said, prompting Goodale to quip that Kram’s address sounded like a “commercial.”NDP candidate Hailey Clark said her most important issue is “inequity.” The word allowed her to spell out key commitments from the party platform, including a federal minimum wage, more affordable housing and better living standards in Indigenous communities.She even got a word in about climate change, saying it risks compounding inequities that already exist.The Green Party’s Tamela Friesen aimed to surprise.“You might be guessing that I will say it’s climate change, but it’s not,” she said of her top issue.“It’s fixing our electoral system.”Friesen emphasized the need for more co-operation between parties. She argued that moving to a system of proportional representation would lead to a more co-operative Parliament.Mario Milanovski, running for the People’s Party, said one issue stands out for him “besides the economy.”“For me, personally, the most important issue is immigration,” he said.He warned about refugees entering the country from the United States and called for an immigration system based on “our economic needs.”The Students’ Union had neglected to invite former mayoral candidate Evangeline Godron, who says she is running as an independent candidate for Regina—Wascana after losing the Green Party nomination.Eisler ensured that she was able to speak when she attended. She said her major issue is the state of the foster care [email protected] read more