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This article was published 13/3/2009 (3081 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Winnipeg's two largest active-transportation groups have waded into the River Heights-Fort Garry byelection by suggesting candidate Geoff Currier doesn't believe automobiles contribute to climate change.
Earlier this month, the two groups -- Winnipeg Trails Association and Bike To The Future -- met with Currier and campaign rival John Orlikow to gauge the candidates' positions on active-transportation issues.
According to a summary distributed on Friday, Currier told representatives of both organizations, "I believe that if we were to take all the cars in North America off the road tomorrow, it wouldn't have any effect on climate change."
Currier declined to comment on Friday, except to say he had no idea the groups intended to make the content of the meeting public.
"They never indicated to me this kind of report would be forthcoming," he said.
Winnipeg Trails Association director Janice Lukes, who was present at the March 3 meeting with Currier, said she was stunned by the candidate's remarks.
"It's scientific now. It's not a matter of what you think. Climate change is a fact," she said.
"People really have to have a grasp on climate change if they're going to be building a sustainable transportation system," added Bike To The Future board member Mark Cohoe, who was also present at the meeting.
The groups claim they are not endorsing John Orlikow, even though their candidate summary clearly favours the former Winnipeg School Board trustee over Currier, a broadcaster on leave from news/talk radio station CJOB.
"There was a certain feeling Mr. Orlikow was more willing to work with us. He was more in line with where we see the city moving," Cohoe said.
Orlikow has also been endorsed by the Winnipeg Labour Council in the byelection, though he claims he has refused the left-wing group's endorsement -- while still accepting its help.
Currier has been endorsed by the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg, who have pledged to help get out the vote on byelection day this coming Tuesday.
Up until Friday, the race between the two candidates has been clean, as the candidates have shied away from taking shots at each other.
Orlikow broke the truce on Friday by claiming he was amazed by Currier's comments about cars and climate change.
"That outlines the differences between us, Geoff and I. It really reflects George Bush conservatism," he said.
There are no more debates between the two candidates.
Polls are open on Tuesday until 8 p.m.