Liberal heavyweight stops in Penticton to give support

As three political newcomers scrap over the emerging federal riding of South Okanagan–Similkameen, the Liberal Party sent in a heavyweight.

Ralph Goodale

Ralph Goodale

As three political newcomers scrap over the emerging federal riding of South Okanagan–Similkameen, the Liberal Party sent in a heavyweight to try and lay claim.

Former Finance Minister of Canada Ralph Goodale, who’s held down a Liberal seat in Saskatchewan since 1993, took part in an open public forum at the Penticton Lakeside Resort on June 27. It was a party event and he was joined by Connie Denesiuk — the Liberal candidate in the new riding.

Goodale discussed issues that are generally top-of-mind in an election cycle – the approach for best growing the middle class; the balance of freedom and security and the idea of electoral reform.

NDP candidate Dick Cannings said he’s glad to see the Liberals holding open forums because “Canadians have some tough questions for them. A lot of Liberals are very disappointed with Justin Trudeau for supporting that surveillance, anti-terror bill.”

After an address to the audience, Goodale fielded a related question from one member of the audience, who felt the government’s need to respond to jihadi warfare by enacting Bill C-51 is its own doing – claiming that Western military intervention in the Middle East leaves citizens of occupied countries with no retaliatory options aside from terrorism.

Goodale said the Liberals don’t agree with every aspect of Bill C-51, but the need for crucial provisions to national security outweighed the concerns.

“Knowing that within four or five months there will be a federal election, we can put before Canadians the specific further changes that we would make in the law to make sure that civil liberties are going to be properly protected.”

Goodale also said Liberal support for the bill lead to successful amendments, which took some potency out of its overreaching powers.

“It was not based on any calculation in the poles or any perception of political advantage,” Goodale said. “We knew it would be a contentious issue, and we voted in a way that we thought would be right for the vast majority of Canadians.”

The NDP voted against the Anti-Terrorism Act, and Cannings said “If you vote for a bill you support it. The NDP took a stand.”

On the matter of how elections are conducted, both the NDP and Liberals are promising reform, whereas the Conservative Party plans to stick with the status quo.

“The traditional Westminster system has served Canada well since 1867 and is the reason Canada is celebrated around the world for having one of the most stable forms of government,” said Conservative candidate Marshall Neufeld.  “B.C. has held two referendums… on different hybrid systems of voting — both were rejected — most recently in 2009 where 61 per cent of British Columbians voted to maintain our current electoral system.  The Liberals and NDP are going against the wishes of British Columbians when they say they will move us away from the traditional Westminster system of electing MPs.”

Goodale said it’s not right that most majority governments in Canada are elected with a minority of support, which is compounded by the low voter turnout.

“Twenty-four per cent gave the Conservatives that lop-sided victory in the House of Commons – that doesn’t reflect the way Canadians voted.”

All three party’s have also set themselves apart with tax policies. Goodale highlighted the Liberal Party’s promise to lower income taxes for people earning between $45,000 and $89,000. Cannings said revenues should be coming from big business, stating that lengthy tenures of Liberal and Conservative governments have excessively lowered corporate tax.

“We have a lot of room to grow it, we could put it up a couple points and still be well below the American rates. Canada is very competitive for tax rates.”

Revenues from a high corporate tax rate would then be used to benefit families of lower and middle income, Cannings said.

“It’s time to get large corporations paying their fair share.”

Neufeld said the Conservative’s record speaks for itself, claiming that the average family of four is paying $6,600 less in taxes this year than they did in 2006 because of tax cuts implemented by his party.

Two days after Goodale’s visit to Penticton, Trudeau visited Vancouver to promise an investment in clean energy and impose a moratorium on crude oil traffic along the province’s north coast.

Cannings said the pledge to ban crude oil tanker traffic is a longstanding NDP policy.

“The North Coast of B.C. is too important environmentally to risk any sort of oil accident or oil spill,” Cannings said.

Neufeld believes a ban on tanker traffic would have somber implications. Similarly, he criticized the Liberal’s stance on the province’s emerging LNG industry.

“Trudeau is willing to jeopardize LNG projects that will eventually employ 100,000 British Columbians.”

All three major parties are making concerted efforts to appeal to voters in the new riding. The Minister of Defence Jason Kenney was in Penticton last month to support Neufeld in his door-knocking efforts, and Cannings said that a high-profile member of the NDP can be expected to drop in before the fall election, which is scheduled to take place on Oct. 19.


Just Posted

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
UPDATE: Fire above Naramata is an illegal open burn

Smoke is still billowing from the blaze Friday morning

Rob and Anthony are the city’s new parking ambassadors who are sharing information with businesses and the public about the new pay parking. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Penticton hires team to inform people on city’s new pay parking system

The pair will spend at least a month helping businesses and residents navigate new pay parking system

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

Keremeos’ heritage Grist Mill and Gardens. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Keremeos Grist Mill looking forward to restrictions easing with exclusive concert planned

Juno Award-winning folk artist Valdy is set to take the stage

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

A search is underway for David Borden in Oyama, since he was last seen Wednesday, June 16. (Contributed)
Search underway for missing Okanagan man

Vernon Search and Rescue, RCMP checking via land, water and air

A truck rolled several times off Highway 6 in Coldstream Thursday night, sending two to hospital. (RCMP photo)
Rollover near Vernon sends 2 to hospital

Highway 6 closed temporarily while emergency crews extricated occupants

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister speaks at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski
Provincial leaders want more federal money for health care, plan to meet in fall

Premiers ask Ottawa to increase its share of overall health spending to 35 per cent from 22 per cent

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

Most Read