NDP candidate Gwen O'Mahony speaks during the all-candidates meeting at Wednesday's Rotary lunch at the Best Western.

NDP candidate Gwen O'Mahony speaks during the all-candidates meeting at Wednesday's Rotary lunch at the Best Western.

Federal election candidates grilled by Rotarians

Candidates running in the federal election for the mainstream political parties in Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon weren't cut any slack in their first all-candidates meeting hosted by the Wednesday Rotary Club.

Candidates running in the federal election for the mainstream political parties in Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon weren’t cut any slack in their first all-candidates meeting hosted by the Wednesday Rotary Club.

Only the candidate for the fringe Western Block Party was spared the hard questions.

Conservative candidate Mark Strahl was asked about his “tainted” nomination and his apparent lack of “real world” business experience.

Liberal candidate Diane Janzen was asked how she could be “truly a Liberal” with her Christian faith and her small-c conservatism.

New Democratic candidate Gwen O’Mahony was asked about her party’s opposition to the purchase of fighter jets when Canadians are sending their sons and daughters “into harm’s way” overseas.

Western Block candidate Clive Edwards pretty much had a clear run at the meeting to present his separatist views unquestioned.

Two remaining candidates, Jamie Hoskins for the Green Party and Dorothy-Jean O’Donnell for the Marxist-Leninist Party, did not respond to invitations to attend the noon-hour meeting.

About his nomination, Strahl pointed out that he was the only candidate at the Rotary meeting who had actually been chosen by voting party members.

“I’m the only candidate at the table that went through a nomination process,” he said.

Strahl agreed that most of his working life has been spent in the political world, the last seven years in Conservative MP Randy Kamp’s constituency office.

“(But) my family is full of entrepreneurs, and I’m certainly aware of the challenges they face,” he said.

Strahl also said his experience included working with businesses that came to Kamp’s office trying to “claw through government red tape.”

“I’ve seen the the problems government can create for businesses,” he said.

Janzen defended her mix of fiscal conservatism and “progressive” social values, and her Christian faith.

“I make no apologies for the fact that I’m a Christian,” she said, adding that she sees “no problem with being a Liberal as well as a Christian.”

But Janzen also said she would defy Liberal Party policy, if it meant voting against her conscience.

“I vote my conscience in all cases,” she said. “Am I a Liberal, yes. Am I a sheep, no.”

Janzen said she “respects the right of everyone” to make their own choices, but she personally has chosen not to support abortion or euthanasia.

O’Mahony said New Democrats support the military, but the party’s problem with the fighter jets is the unknown cost.

“Would you as a business man make a large purchase without knowing the full cost?” she asked.

“It’s not that we don’t support the military,” she said. “The NDP’s problem (with the fighter jets) is we don’t know the full cost.”

She also questioned Canada’s new military direction as “frontline battle” troops, instead of the “peacekeeper” role of the past.

Edwards, whose party is running only five candidates in the election, said the Western Block obviously won’t be forming the next government, but if voters in the riding sent him to Ottawa as their MP, they’d have the satisfaction of knowing he’d be representing their views, not the other way around.

“I don’t understand why we’re fighting overseas,” he said, in response to the question about jet fighters and military spending.

 

“I believe we are actually being conned into going overseas and killing other people in their homeland,” he said.

 

 

Just Posted

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

(file)
Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Most Read