Patrick Burger, Guy Lauzon, Bernadette Clement, Elaine Kennedy
CFN- It was a feisty debate at the Civic Complex last night. Three of the four candidates were ready for battle and battle they did. The Green Party Candidate, Elaine Kennedy, was much more circumspect about the election preferring to talk about the environment and communication in general than to attack the other candidates or their parties.
NDP candidate Patrick Burger appeared as a seasoned Professor with a well prepared lesson plan. He attacked both the Liberal and the Conservative platforms with facts and presented his own party’s platform well. He particularly attacked Mr. Lauzon’s statements on his and the Conservative party’s records and their plan for the future. Incumbent Conservative MP Guy Lauzon directed most of his criticism towards Liberal Candidate Bernadette Clement attempting to draw an analogy of the Federal Liberals to the Provincial Liberals. Liberal candidate Clement was on the defence right from the opening remarks but did get her kicks in on Mr. Lauzon.
The most contentious local issue discussed this evening was that of the Chemical Tanks on the waterfront. The Liberals and NDP claimed that the placement of the Chemical Tanks on the Cornwall waterfront was a Federal Conservative decision and Mr. Lauzon contended that it was the local City Council who was responsible.
The best line of the night was when Mr. Lauzon declared that the dairy farmers were ecstatic about the Supply Management portion of the TPP agreement and Bernadette Clement replied, “I haven’t met any ecstatic dairy farmers in a while”.
The most boos (the only candidate booed) of the night were directed towards Mr. Lauzon.
The audience appeared to be made of more Liberal and NDP supporters that Conservative.
Members of the audience lined up at the microphone to ask questions of the candidates but the majority of the questions were to rehash topics already covered during the debate or were asked by a shill of the candidate targeted with the question.
At the end of it all, it appeared that the NDP Candidate Patrick Burger gave the best performance at this debate. He came well prepared, was not overly dramatic or loud, and criticized the platforms and performances of the other parties without getting overly personal. Liberal Bernadette Clement was articulate and well informed but defensive throughout much of the debate. Incumbent MP Guy Lauzon targeted the Liberal party and candidate without replying to the NDP criticisms and relied on reading newspaper articles to support his record. Green Party candidate Elaine Kennedy was not engaged much in the contentious issues and did not participate in the bickering between the other three candidates.