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Environmental threats, high cost of living dominate Nipissing University’s candidates event

Greg Galante, (PPC) said the environmental crisis is a global issue, not a Canadian issue saying his party will 'withdraw from the Paris Accord'
Election Debate~Nipissing University~Sept 7 2021
The candidates prepare for opening remarks at the online debate hosted by Nipissing University's political science program /

The rules were tight, but the four candidates in the Nipissing-Timiskaming federal raised issues impacting Canadians at Nipissing University's candidates event Tuesday night.

PPC candidate Greg Galante emphasized the “trying times” we are living through, and NDP's Scott Robertson mentioned that after knocking on “thousands of doors” his overall impression was “we’re not without hope.”

“The greatest long-term threat” are environmental issues, Liberal candidate Anthony Rota said, which require “bold steps” to manage. Robertson agreed, adding “we need federalism to address the issue,” as “we all have a role to play” in the solution.

For Galante, the environmental crisis is “a global issue, not a Canadian issue,” mentioning his party will “withdraw from the Paris Accord,” and “abolish” the Federal carbon tax, and leave that to provinces to implement as they see fit.

As for economics, Steven Trahan notices “families struggling to make ends meet” with high prices all around. Conservatives would end “price-fixing” and prevent “big companies” from maintaining exploitative monopolies."

Galante worries the government has “incentivized people to stay home” and not work. The People’s Party would also “eliminate corporate bailouts,” and “abolish capital gains tax.”

“Better wages” are required, Robertson said, noting the NDP would work with small businesses to allow an increase in wages for lower-paid positions.

They also plan to “close loopholes for tax cheats,” he added.

Trahan emphasized the need to “stop rising costs” for education, whereas Robertson mentioned “massive investment in housing.”

Rota explained the Liberal’s plan to stop speculative property ownership by foreign investors for a two-year period.

Galante was forced to leave the meeting as his hydro went out. He missed about half an hour. However, when he returned, he emphasized that a vote for him was a “vote for freedom,” and the People’s Party will “protect our constitutional rights.”

The four candidates appeared via Zoom for a debate hosted by Nipissing University’s Political Science Program in tandem with the Nipissing University Student Union.

Miss the event? See it here.

The event was moderated by Tanya Mathews, a political science student at Nipissing.

The rules were simple, and Mathews ensured they were followed throughout the hour.  Rule one was that candidates were to keep to the topic or issue discussed. Rule two was that candidates were only to talk to their party’s policies and could not speak to anyone else’s policies.

This last one somewhat diminished the debate aspect of the event, but it did allow for an orderly and respectful presentation of ideas.

Each candidate had one minute to introduce themselves, followed by general questions on the environment, economy, and social issues.

After the debate, Mathews urged everyone “to register to vote,” and reminded all that the full version of the night’s proceedings will be available on Nipissing University's Student Union website.

Greg Galante has also recorded his answers to the questions he missed due to the power outage, and these can be found on the site as well.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.