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Talking points from the election trail

Seems at least one resident on Nairn Avenue in Winnipeg wants nothing to do with the upcoming federal election -- or at least canvassers.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Seems at least one resident on Nairn Avenue in Winnipeg wants nothing to do with the upcoming federal election -- or at least canvassers.

Debate-a-palooza

The federal campaign is now in debate mode, with the French-language debate last Thursday and three more scheduled for the next two weeks. Here's a numerical recap of the first two debates, who talked the most and what they said:

GLOBE AND MAIL DEBATE ON THE ECONOMY (SEPT. 17)

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, left, NDP leader Tom Mulcair and Conservative leader Stephen Harper, right, take part in the Globe and Mail  leaders' debate Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 in Calgary.

JONATHAN HAYWARD / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, left, NDP leader Tom Mulcair and Conservative leader Stephen Harper, right, take part in the Globe and Mail leaders' debate Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 in Calgary.

NUMBER OF WORDS SPOKEN BY EACH LEADER:

  • Conservative Leader Stephen Harper - 4,704
  • Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau - 4,587
  • NDP Leader Tom Mulcair - 4,493
  • Green party Leader Elizabeth May - 0 (she wasn't invited)

 

MOST POPULAR WORDS USED:

  1. Canada/Canadians - 122
  2. Economy - 82
  3. Taxes - 52 times
  4. Deficit or deficits - 41
  5. Debt - 17
  6. Oil - 7
  7. Seniors - 7
  8. Recession - 6
  9. Young people - 4
  10. First Nations - 3
  11. Democracy - 0

 

MACLEAN'S MAGAZINE DEBATE (AUG. 6)

The leaders at the Maclean's National Leaders debate in Toronto, Aug. 6, 2015.

MARK BLINCH / POOL / THE CANADIAN PRESS

The leaders at the Maclean's National Leaders debate in Toronto, Aug. 6, 2015.


NUMBER OF WORDS SPOKEN BY EACH LEADER:

  • Conservative Leader Stephen Harper - 5,324
  • NDP Leader Tom Mulcair - 4,577
  • Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau - 4,521
  • Green party Leader Elizabeth May - 3,594

 

MOST POPULAR WORDS USED:

  1. Canada/Canadians - 164
  2. Economy - 69
  3. Oil - 27
  4. Taxes - 24
  5. Recession - 16
  6. Deficit or deficits - 14
  7. Debt - 12
  8. Indigenous or First Nations - 8
  9. Seniors - 7
  10. Young People - 5

 

Candidate quirks

WINNIPEG NORTH TROUBADOUR

Levy Abad at an all-candidates debate at Sisler High.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Levy Abad at an all-candidates debate at Sisler High.

NDP candidate Levi Abad is like the Woody Guthrie of Winnipeg's Filipino community. He's best known in town for his singing and songwriting, which he uses to raise awareness about migrant, indigenous, farm and poverty rights. He quotes heavy-duty tomes such as Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed, and he was a street-level activist in the Philippines before coming to Canada in 2006. He's even written a song about how The Forks reminds him of his buddies in the labour and democracy movement in the Philippines that have been gunned down or disappeared.

 

WHAT ARE YOU?!

I'M BATEMAN!

A River Heights voter goes all comic-book on a Joyce Bateman sign.

JAMES TURNER PHOTO

A River Heights voter goes all comic-book on a Joyce Bateman sign.


The campaign has already been dogged by the inevitable accusations of sign vandalism, which is almost always the work of teens on bikes rather than rival candidates doing dirty tricks. But one home-owner on Wellington Crescent got creative, Bob Kane-style, with a sign belonging to Conservative MP Joyce Bateman, who is in a tough fight to keep her Winnipeg South Centre seat.

 

RIEL-LY?

Winnipeg Centre Liberal candidate Robert-Falcon Ouellette

MELISSA TAIT / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Winnipeg Centre Liberal candidate Robert-Falcon Ouellette


Winnipeg Centre Liberal candidate Robert-Falcon Ouellette has already earned eye-rolls for frequently comparing himself to Metis leader Louis Riel. RFO frequently invokes his ancestral connection to the Red River Rebellion, saying his race against NDP MP Pat Martin is a similar fight. Now, he's also earned a bit of mockery for a new answer to a question that's long plagued his campaign: what real link to the inner-city riding does he have, especially since he lives in a far-flung south Winnipeg suburb. Now, the Falcon has told the Huffington Post he has roots in the riding because his family lived in the Red River settlement before being driven out during the rebellion.

 

 

Propaganda fact-check

A semi-regular feature scrutinizing candidate campaign bumf. Today, we tackle one section of a recent flyer from Winnipeg South Liberal candidate Terry Duguid, in which he needles the Conservatives for their record on Lake Winnipeg and the environment.

 

1. True. Former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin pledged $120 million over 10 years in the waning days of the 2006 election, but was defeated before he could make good on the promise.

 

2. True. However, former premier Gary Doer, a relentless champion of the expanded floodway, might be irked at Duguid taking credit for the project.

 

3. False. The federal Conservatives have so far spent or committed about $35 million for Lake Winnipeg research, cleanup and transboundary partnerships through the Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative. The initiative is in its second, five-year permutation. Local water experts say it's not enough money, and the 2012-2017 stewardship grants are already gone. But it's not fair to say the Conservatives have failed to act on Lake Winnipeg.

 

4. True. The federal Conservatives tried to close the Experimental Lakes Area in 2012, ending decades of unique, total-ecosystem research that led to continent-wide policy shifts on everything from acid rain to phosphorus in detergent. A partnership between Ontario, Manitoba and the International Institute for Sustainable Development rescued the ELA from shutdown.

 

5. False-ish: So far, Ottawa has paid Manitoba $350 million in eligible disaster financial assistance for the 2011 flood. The province estimates it's owed another $205 million. The cash is slow to flow, but that's common across the country in all DFA payouts. Often, rebuilding has to happen before provinces can send the final bills to Ottawa. And, the feds ponied up in July to help fund a key flood-mitigation project — the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channels.

 

— Mary Agnes Welch, Mia Rabson and Kristin Annable

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History

Updated on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at 11:55 AM CDT: Updated

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