The Lakeland riding’s all-candidates forum has gone off without a hitch.
The riding held their all-candidates forum on Wednesday, October 7, in the Civic Centre, immediately following the forum for Battlefords-Lloydminster. Four candidates were in attendance, including Conservative Party candidate Shannon Stubbs, Liberal Party candidate Garry Parenteau, NDP candidate Duane Zaraska, and Libertarian Party candidate Robert McFadzean.
Zaraska, was critical of the Conservative Party, challenging the narrative that they’ve been good stewards of the economy.
“I have very opposite beliefs because our economy hasn’t been doing well. Conservatives have the worst job creation record since World War II and they have the worst economic growth record since the Depression. I mean, our economy is suffering and we’re losing jobs here. We’ve lost 400,000 manufacturing jobs. This [Trans-Pacific Partnership] agreement really scares me because we’re going to even lose more jobs. I’m concerned about the economy, and that’s what’s really motivated me… I’ve got a lot of friends in the oil field. I’m compassionate to them and I’m concerned for them.”
Stubbs contradicted Zaraska’s statements.
“The current budget is balanced,” Stubbs said. “Not only was the budget in 2015 fiscal year balanced with a surplus of $1.9 billion, the estimates are that the 2016 budget has a surplus of $5 billion… This federal Conservative government committed to focusing on economic stewardship and on job creation. Under this government, we have increased the number of jobs, our economy has grown, and our budget is now in a surplus position, which allows us to spend within our means, to focus on our priorities, and to respect future generations.”
Parenteau says that the Liberals are pro-oil, but that the party would run the industry slightly differently.
“We’ll do a definite review of marketing for the oil and gas sector,” Parenteau said. “Production is one thing, however, markets are very central. In order to get those products to market, we’d have a serious look at all the pipelines that we have. I know that our leader is in support of several of those, but there’s also questions about the [Northern] Gateway pipeline. However, with that [Northern] Gateway, we also are aware that we do have a number of negotiations going on. Those negotiations are based around the First Nations in northern B.C. and northern Alberta, as well as the environment. So that’s very important, we’ll have to have a very serious look at that.”
The date of the election is October 19th.