Who Wants to Burn Away Hours of Our Precious Time Listening to More Propaganda from Doug Ford Hacks Anyway
A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted May 20th, 2022 on Niagara At Large
I turned on the radio a few days ago to a provincial election debate featuring Niagara Falls Riding candidate, NDP incumbent Wayne Gates and his Liberal challenger Ashley Waters.
It was a good, informative, civil debate between the two candidates, and for a couple of moments I began to shutter as I tried to image what the tone of that debate would have been like if the Doug Ford Conservative candidate Bob Gale had decided to participate.
As a journalist who has had the misfortune of watching and hearing Gale speak for the past almost eight years as a Niagara regional councillor for Niagara Falls, those trepid words from Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ come to mind – “The horror. The horror.”
It has been repeatedly mentioned in Niagara media outlets that outside of Niagara West Riding MPP Sam Oosterhoff who to his credit is the only Ford Conservative candidate in the region who has decided to participate in debates, Gale, along with St. Catharines Riding Ford candidate Sal Sorrento and Niagara Centre Riding Ford candidate Fred Davies, for whatever reason, would not.
Depending what mood you are in, you may be pleased that these three Tories chose to be a no show, as in who wants to suffer through an hour or more of hearing them reciting carefully scripted talking points condensing the same steamy piles Ford and Company have been shoveling out for the past four years.
Their absence also leaves one to wonder if they are just feeling so confident or smug about their chances of winning that they feel they don’t need or want the exposure a candidates debate offers? Or are they or their party handlers afraid that they may get on the debate stage and screw up?
Whatever the reason, and putting aside my preference for an empty chair over the presence of Gale and the others, I agree with a number of my fellow citizens out there that their absence shows a lack of respect for voters and for a debate process that has been a long-standing tradition in our democracy.
Something else to think about as those of you of voting age prepare to go to the polls this coming June 2nd.
Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
Now here is a news release three of Niagara’s NDP incumbent candidates circulated on this issue the May 19th –
Niagara NDP incumbents demand Ford explain why PC candidates are hiding from voters
NIAGARA – Niagara’s three NDP incumbents, Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls), Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre) and Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines) are asking Doug Ford to explain why his local candidates are hiding from voters as he stops in Niagara.
All three PC candidates in their ridings have refused to attend debates or have been unwilling to grant interviews with local media outlets about their plans for Niagara. In comparison, all three NDP candidates vying for re-election appeared at every debate they were invited to, so they could share their plans and vision for Niagara.
The Niagara NDP candidates are asking Ford to explain Niagara voters why his candidates don’t feel like voters should be able to hear from PC candidates about their plans for their communities, and why they have refused to speak with local media.
A Footnote from Doug Draper at NAL –
To watch and hear a sample of Niagara Falls Riding provincial Conservative candidate Bob Gale in action, here he is as Niagara Falls regional councilor at a July 5th, 2018 Regional Council meeting, questioning a representative from the Ontario Ombudsman’s Office who had been investigating the CAO hiring controversy at the Region.
To watch, click on the screen below –
As I said earlier – “The horror. The horror.”
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