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Tory's words raise eyebrows

Trashes Obama, says NDP rival a socialist

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Barack Obama is the worst president in American history and an NDP MP is a Chinese-educated socialist, according to a Conservative candidate in northern Manitoba.

Wally Daudrich, who runs the Lazy Bear Lodge and Café in Churchill and has been campaigning for months, is under scrutiny for inflammatory comments posted on his campaign website and his Facebook page.

He calls NDP MP Niki Ashton a "back-bench complainer" who has no leverage in Ottawa because her father, provincial cabinet minister Steve Ashton, is not there. Daudrich also condemns what he calls 30 years of NDP socialism for the north's ills and suggests Ashton's Chinese education is influencing her position on local economic issues.

"We need an MP that will protect our jobs and bring new jobs to northern Manitoba," reads one photo caption on Daudrich's website. "Chinese-educated Niki Ashton is a socialist. She consistently berates industry and capital that would bring investment to our area. Niki would export our jobs to China if she had any power."

When Ashton was 16, she earned a scholarship to one of the prestigious United World Colleges. She attended the Li Po Chun college in Hong Kong.

When U.S. President Barack Obama's health care reform bill passed in March, 2010, Daudrich posted a comment on Facebook saying Obama had topped Jimmy Carter as the most inept U.S. leader ever and surpassed Richard Nixon as the biggest liar to occupy the Oval Office.

By midday Saturday the post had been removed from his Facebook page.

Daudrich's Facebook "likes" include right-wing American radio personality Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party of Canada.

Reached Sunday night in Split Lake, Ashton said Daudrich's comments are not new to people in the north who have seen his campaign literature and comments in the Thompson Citizen. Ashton called the comments "bizarre."

"In many ways, this is the real Conservatives, unmuzzled," said Ashton. "In the north, we have so many issues that need to be talked about. This should be about issues, not angry, personal attacks." Daudrich could not be reached for comment by The Canadian Press last week or by the Winnipeg Free Press Sunday.

In a campaign video posted on YouTube, Daudrich includes a photo of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and says his father fled the Soviet Union in 1928 in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, which wiped out much of his family. Daudrich's website says his family's tragic history accounts for his belief in individual rights.

In the same video, which touches on crime, the gun registry and northern jobs, Daudrich accuses Ashton of wooing a foreign environmental activist -- presumably filmmaker Michael Moore -- "to trash our mining industry."

Ashton enlisted Moore's support for a campaign to stop Vale, formerly Inco, from shutting down Thompson's smelter and refinery by 2015, costing 500 jobs.

Conservative party spokesman Fred Delorey had little to say about Daudrich's online posting when contacted by The Canadian Press.

"A lot of people have made a lot of comments about various world leaders," Delorey said. "That's their opinion."

 

-- with files from The Canadian Press

maryagnes.welch@freepress.mb.ca

Spate of debates

 

Provencher

The Steinbach Chamber of Commerce is hosting an all-candidates forum Monday night at 7 p.m. at the Eastman Education Centre. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, the area's Conservative MP and NDP candidate Al Mackling are among those expected to attend.

 

Environment

The Manitoba Eco-Network has organized a forum for Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the First Unitarian-Universalist Church on Wellington Crescent. On hand to debate the environment as an election issue will be Green party candidate Jacqueline Romanow, Liberal party candidate Ilona Niemczyk and NDP candidate Dennis Lewycky. A Conservative party participant is still pending.

 

Arts

Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce president Dave Angus will moderate a candidates forum on arts funding Wednesday at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People starting at noon. Candidates include Conservative Rod Bruinooge, Green Denali Enns, Liberal Anita Neville and New Democrat Pat Martin.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 18, 2011 A4

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Churchill Profile

Current MP: Niki Ashton, NDP
Population: 75,225
Population eligible to vote (Canadian citizens over age 18): 46,245
Major centres: Churchill, Thompson, The Pas, Norway House, Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Flin Flon

Nominated candidates:

Niki Ashton, NDP
Wally Daudrich, Conservative
Sydney Garrioch, Liberal
Alberteen Spence, Green

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