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Daggers out at all-candidates meeting

Four of riding's nine candidates talk



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Wauters again called for more investment in green technologies, which would free up more resources for health care.

Weston pointed to increased health care transfers to the provinces from the federal government, a program that he said former Prime Minister Paul Martin cut to balance the budget. As for the lower corporate taxes, he said any increase was a "job-killing tax."

"How do we afford the social services we are so proud of?" he asked. "We need a strong economy, and to be a place that companies like to exist. Companies like Tim Horton's are coming back to Canada because of the low tax regime, and the Liberals are threatening to kill that."

Legassé's response was to put military costs in real numbers. For example, if we spent $17 billion on war in Afghanistan that represents roughly $100 million for each riding in Canada, while the $30 billion jets represent $200 million.

"One way to get rid of health care is to blow your budget so you can't afford it," he said.

The next question was directed to Weston, and was in relation to the new visa requirements for visitors from Mexico and Venezuela.

Weston explained that the visas are temporary measures to curb the number of refuge claims from those countries and the Czech Republic. "When the number of refugee complaints drops off we will remove that requirement again," he said.

In the meantime, he pointed out the fact that the Canadian consulate in Mexico City added 100 staff to speed up the visa process.

Legassé said he was in favour of open borders with some security, then pointed out that a lot of the risk of open borders is the result of the heroin trade - something he says that the war in Afghanistan has increased.

Veniez said the visa issue is serious and affected Canada's standing with a major trading partner. "What we do with partners is we work out solutions - we don't slap visa restrictions unilaterally with no warning whatsoever."

Wauters pointed out that the number one employer in the world is tourism. "It's more than 10 per cent of global spending, which is amazing," he said. "There are two things we would do, which we've spelled out in our Green Vision document. We'd like to create a Department of Tourism, that's the first point... The second thing is to reverse the government's decision to eliminate the GST rebate for foreign visitors."