Goodale tours in support of Denesiuk

The Liberal Party sent in a heavyweight to try and lay claim to emerging federal riding of South Okanagan–Similkameen.

Ralph Goodale

Ralph Goodale

As three new candidates scrap over the emerging federal riding of South Okanagan–Similkameen, the Liberal Party sent in a heavyweight to try and lay claim.

Former Finance Minister of Canada Ralph Goodale, who’s held down a Liberal seat in Saskatchewan since 1993, took part in an open public forum at the Penticton Lakeside Resort on June 27. It was a party event and he was joined by Connie Denesiuk — the Liberal candidate in the new riding.

Goodale discussed issues that are generally top-of-mind in an election cycle – the approach for best growing the middle class; the balance of freedom and security and the idea of electoral reform.

NDP candidate Dick Cannings said he’s glad to see the Liberals holding open forums because “Canadians have some tough questions for them. A lot of Liberals are very disappointed with Justin Trudeau for supporting that surveillance, anti-terror bill.”

After an address to the audience, Goodale fielded a related question from one member of the audience, who felt the government’s need to respond to jihadi warfare by enacting Bill C-51 is its own doing – claiming that Western military intervention in the Middle East leaves citizens of occupied countries with no retaliatory options aside from terrorism.

Goodale said the Liberals don’t agree with every aspect of Bill C-51, but the need for crucial provisions to national security outweighed the concerns.

Knowing that within four or five months there will be a federal election, we can put before Canadians the specific further changes that we would make in the law to make sure that civil liberties are going to be properly protected.”

Goodale also said Liberal support for the bill lead to successful amendments, which took some potency out of its overreaching powers.

It was not based on any calculation in the polls or any perception of political advantage,” Goodale said. “We knew it would be a contentious issue, and we voted in a way that we thought would be right for the vast majority of Canadians.”

The NDP voted against the Anti-Terrorism Act, and Cannings said “If you vote for a bill you support it. The NDP took a stand.”

On the matter of how elections are conducted, both the NDP and Liberals are promising reform, whereas the Conservative Party plans to stick with the status quo.

The traditional Westminster system has served Canada well since 1867 and is the reason Canada is celebrated around the world for having one of the most stable forms of government,” said Conservative candidate Marshall Neufeld. “B.C. has held two referendums… on different hybrid systems of voting — both were rejected — most recently in 2009 where 61 per cent of British Columbians voted to maintain our current electoral system. The Liberals and NDP are going against the wishes of British Columbians when they say they will move us away from the traditional Westminster system of electing MPs.”

Goodale said it’s not right that most majority governments in Canada are elected with a minority of support, which is compounded by the low voter turnout.

Twenty-four per cent gave the Conservatives that lop-sided victory in the House of Commons – that doesn’t reflect the way Canadians voted.”

All three parties have also set themselves apart with tax policies. Goodale highlighted the Liberal Party’s promise to lower income taxes for people earning between $45,000 and $89,000. Cannings said revenues should be coming from big business, stating that lengthy tenures of Liberal and Conservative governments have excessively lowered corporate tax.

We have a lot of room to grow it, we could put it up a couple points and still be well below the American rates. Canada is very competitive for tax rates.”

Revenues from a high corporate tax rate would then be used to benefit families of lower and middle income, Cannings said.

It’s time to get large corporations paying their fair share.”

Neufeld said the Conservative’s record speaks for itself, claiming that the average family of four is paying $6,600 less in taxes this year than they did in 2006 because of tax cuts implemented by his party.

Two days after Goodale’s visit to Penticton, Trudeau visited Vancouver to promise an investment in clean energy and impose a moratorium on crude oil traffic along the province’s north coast.

Cannings said the pledge to ban crude oil tanker traffic is a longstanding NDP policy.

The North Coast of B.C. is too important environmentally to risk any sort of oil accident or oil spill,” Cannings said.

Neufeld believes a ban on tanker traffic would have somber implications. Similarly, he criticized the Liberal’s stance on the province’s emerging LNG industry.

Trudeau is willing to jeopardize LNG projects that will eventually employ 100,000 British Columbians.”

All three major parties are making concerted efforts to appeal to voters in the new riding. The Minister of Defence Jason Kenney was in Penticton last month to support Neufeld in his door-knocking efforts, and Cannings said that a high-profile member of the NDP can be expected to drop in before the fall election, which is scheduled to take place on Oct. 19.






Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

Nominally 'flushable' wipes caused one of Keremeos lift stations to shut down, damaging the pump inside. The Village is asking residents not to flush anything that isn't human waste. (Black Press)
Keremeos reminds residents not to flush wipes after pump damaged

‘Flushable’ wipes caused the pump to seize up and burn out

Twin sisters Kyla, left, and Jordyn Bear have accepted scholarships to play at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York for this upcoming fall. The 17-year-olds dream of playing together for Canada in the Olympics one day. (Jesse Johnston/CP photo)
Lake Country twins inspire Indigenous hockey players

Grade 12 George Elliot Secondary students Kyla and Jordyn Bear earn hockey scholarships at NCAA Division 1 school

The plane blasted through an airport fence and down a hill, before stopping before a cement barrier on Highway 5A, right in front of a school bus. Photo submitted.
Student pilot crashes plane onto Highway 5A in Princeton

Aircraft hit pavement right in front of school bus

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

Ford F-350s have been targeted in the North Okanagan by auto thieves since February 2021, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP data shows. (Gene J. Puskar - The Canadian Press/AP file)
Auto thieves target older Ford F-350s in Vernon: RCMP

Vernon Mounties remind all motorists no vehicle is immune to auto crime

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP were present at the McDonalds in Armstrong Thursday, April 15, 2021. (Tomer Joury - Facebook)
Police handle ‘high-risk’ situation at Armstrong residence

A woman was apprehended and taken to hospital under the Mental Health Act; no charges laid

Most Read