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At one point she asked the audience if they knew what level of security Kent was, then promptly said it was a maximum-security penitentiary.
Besides that she touted the Liberal Party’s Green Shift, a multi-fold plan to cut emissions by taxing fossil fuels while lowering other taxes. She also kept her answers brief, often directing people to the Internet to get more information. It was a welcome approach for a young audience not accustomed to federal election campaigns.
Sweeney, however, isn’t the only one taking on Chuck Strahl in Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon. There’s also Helen Kormendy, a Village of Ashcroft councillor carrying the flag for the NDP.
A child and youth mental health clinician by trade, she’s a well-travelled candidate, having been to Ireland, Argentina, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
A lifelong New Democrat, she feels that Strahl has a strong commitment to public life, but she also doesn’t think this election is about him.
“I think it's about his party and the issues that they bring forward,” Kormendy said. “I don’t think they're good for Canada, I think Canada needs Jack Layton as the leader, and we really have to look after average Canadians and their families.”
The Green Party has a candidate in Barbara Lebeau. She did not return a request for comment for this story and did not attend the all-candidates meeting at Pemberton Secondary School, but she did make an appearance in Pemberton on Oct. 4.
Then there’s Harold Ludwig, the candidate for the Christian Heritage Party. At the all-candidates meeting he tried to convince the audience he wasn’t running for a “scary right-wing fringe party.” He then proceeded to say his party respects the Charter, with particular emphasis on the part of the preamble that recognizes the “supremacy of God.”
He also talked about how “radical abortion activists” killed Bill C-484, legislation that would have made it a more serious criminal offence to harm a pregnant woman. He also made particular mention of his party’s opposition to same-sex parenting.
It was later confirmed with the moderator that candidates had, in fact, been told that they would be speaking to teenagers.
Canadians go to the polls Oct. 14 th . And though Pemberton may not make a big demographic dent within Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, it nevertheless bucked the trend in the last election. Most of the community’s votes went to Liberal Sweeney, while the second most votes went to Strahl.