Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Editorial: Tory time
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 18 Jan 2006, p. 6

Full Text

Eighteen months ago health care was the key issue surrounding the federal election campaign. During the current campaign health care has received only a passing notice as the focus has been on what type of government Canadians desire. From our perspective (and we're not alone here) this election has boiled down to two choices-- Stephen Harper's Conservatives or Paul Martin's Liberals. In many of Prime Minister Martin's speeches, whether it be about getting tough on crime, bringing accountability to government or improving social programs, we have heard him begin sentences with the phrase, "We are going to..." The fact remains the Liberals have held power for 13 years and, while they have done a credible job in dealing with the deficit and building a surplus, one can't help but wonder how much more time do they need to fix what ails this country? We can't forget-- nor should voters-- the sponsorship scandal. High level Liberals stole millions of taxpayers' dollars and yet they want Canadians to ignore that fact. Coupled with the billion dollar human resources boondoggle, the flawed and hugely costly gun registry and the Option Canada scandal which broke last week, one can only wonder what next can we expect from the party which has managed OUR money for the past 13 years? Throughout this campaign, the Liberals have looked anything like a polished group ready to govern. Martin especially has often looked unprepared, doddering and unfocused-- not exactly prime ministerial. To be sure, Stephen Harper's Conservatives have run the better campaign. He has managed to temper the reservations many Canadians have about him and some members of his party. He has managed to keep in check-- or eliminate-- the radical right wingers the former Reform party was infamous for. More elected Tories from Ontario would only strengthen the party and keep it from listing too far to the right. The Conservatives have laid out an ambitious platform and one we believe that would deal seriously with criminals, benefit the provinces, bring more accountability to government and be better for many Canadians. While we are not naivé enough to believe a Conservative government would be immune from scandal, we believe the Tories have earned the right to govern. Locally, we heartily endorse incumbent Conservative Michael Chong. In the past 18 months he has shown a desire to make the Wellington-Halton Hills riding work despite our contention that this riding's layout was, and is, a mistake Elections Canada should fix. Chong has proven to be a hard-working representative for this area in Ottawa and we believe he should be given consideration for a cabinet position within a Harper government. Liberal Rod Finnie appears, by all accounts, to be a straighttalking pragmatist who truly cares about the people in his riding and his country. While he would make a good local representative, he is not an improvement over Chong. Noel Duignan of the NDP is a veteran of these campaigns and while he is likeable, his party's policies would be ruinous and far too costly for this country. His leader, Jack Layton, appears to be more of a bad salesman than a potential prime minister. Brent Bouteiller (Green), Mike Wizniewski (Independent) and Carolann Krusky (Christian Heritage) offer alternatives ranging from the unworkable, to the unrealistic, to the positively frightening. In the end, however, the choice rests with you, the voter. We urge all residents to make their own informed choice Jan. 23.

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18 Jan 2006
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Harper, Stephen ; Martin, Paul ; Chong, Michael ; Finnie, Ron ; Duignan, Noel ; Layton, Jack ; Bouteiller, Brent ; Wizniewski, Mike ; Krusky, Carolann
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Editorial: Tory time