Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Grit hopefuls state their case in Georgetown
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 26 Jul 2006, p. 10

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Four candidates vying for the job of national Opposition leader visited Georgetown Saturday night for the latest in a series of cross-Canada all-candidates meetings. Leadership hopefuls Ken Dryden, Dr. Carolyn Bennett, Joe Volpe and Stephane Dion spoke to approximately 100 people at the Gellert Centre at the meeting organized by the Wellington-Halton Hills Federal Liberal Association. Missing from the lineup due to other campaign commitments were Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae, Gerard Kennedy, Scott Brison, Hedy Fry, Martha Hall Findlay and Maurizio Bevilacqua. After their four-minute speeches and responses to a few prepared questions, it was clear that Dryden and Dion were the favourites among audience members. "Dryden will bring credibility back into politics," said Ted Gorth of Georgetown, while others said Dryden's relatively short two years experience as an MP may put him at a disadvantage. Dion's challenge may be the difficulty some people have with his Quebec accent. But it was his visit to the Limehouse Hall during an ice storm in January that made an impression on Marlene Preston, a retired Georgetown teacher. "Dion was very inspirational. He really wants to change things and is passionate about the environment. He would make a good prime minister." "The warm Liberal welcome I received made all the difficulties of arriving there entirely worthwhile," said Dion, referring to his January visit. Several farmers in attendance, like Ada Kirkwood, wanted to hear about solutions for the agricultural industry. After the speeches, she thought Dion had some answers. He said subsidies need to be maintained for farmers and that he "would dearly love" to help farmers get established in new markets, like wind farms. "We need more innovations like that," said Kirkwood. Volpe has had the bumpiest ride on the campaign trail so far, a fact not lost on many in the audience. He was criticized in the spring for receiving $108,000 in corporate contributions from 20 current and former Apotex pharmaceutical company executives and their family members. His campaign was dealt another blow last week when his campaign manager, Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis, resigned over disagreements with Volpe regarding the current IsraelLebanon crisis. Bennett had the support of several local members because of her strong social conscience. This quality also caught the interest of Eric Fich, 15, who was one of 19 Young Liberal Association members in attendance. He said he liked Bennett and Dion. "I think either of them would be able to fix the problems that were made before."

Liberal leadership hopeful Stephane Dion makes a point while fellow candidates, from left, Carolyn Bennett, Joe Volpe and Ken Dryden look on during Saturday's all-candidates meeting at the Gellert Community Centre.

Post, Patti
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Date of Publication:
26 Jul 2006
Personal Name(s):
Bennett, Carolyn ; Volpe, Joe ; Dryden, Ken ; Dion, Stephane ; Ignatieff, Michael ; Rae, Bob ; Kennedy, Gerard ; Brison, Scott ; Fry, Hedy ; Hall Findlay, Martha ; Bevilacqua, Maurizio ; Gorth, Ted ; Preston, Marlene ; Karygiannis, Jim ; Kirkwood, Ada ; Fich, Eric
Corporate Name(s):
Gellert Centre ; Wellington-Halton Hills Federal Liberal Association ; Limehouse Hall ; Gellert Community Centre ; Apotex pharmaceutical company
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Grit hopefuls state their case in Georgetown