Danielle Valiquette was acclaimed as the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Green Party of Canada candidate after the party’s annual general meeting Saturday, April 27, 2019 at Grey Roots in Georgian Bluffs. Scott Dunn/The Owen Sound Sun Times/Postmedia Network
The Greens and the People’s Party of Canada both acclaimed candidates for the upcoming federal election in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound this fall.Danielle Valiquette, of the Green Party of Canada, won the nomination after an event Saturday at Grey Roots. Invited speakers including Owen Sound’s former Olympic downhill skier Larisa Yurkiw, who spoke about her personal comeback story and not as a proponent of any specific party.Valiquette, a Grey Highlands municipal councillor, who lives on a 50-acre farm in Ceylon with husband Yves and their three children, canvassed ideas from Green supporters before her uncontested nomination was made official.She said climate change and what is done about it is the top issue facing the world and noted Ottawa, Montreal and Brantford just declared states of emergency due to flooding.“Our Liberal national government and our provincial Conservative government have both offered support now. But how are we going to have real and decisive action on prevention?”She’s hearing about many more local issues of concern in the riding include reliable Internet, attainable housing, sustainable transportation, and a national pharmacare program, she said.Some of the issues raised by supporters in answer to Valiquette’s call for suggestions included:* nuclear generation (Valiquette said it’s a big local employer, have to accept it for now) and related local storage (against it);* climate change and its local impacts,* protection of democracy (move toward mixed-member proportional representation in place of the current first-past-the-post system, Valiquette said).Valiquette said in a news release announcing Saturday’s meeting “I am a good listener and will be a strong voice for the constituency. Things will be done differently, more collaboratively.”Last Thursday, Bill Townsend spoke at his uncontested PPC nomination event at Harmony Centre in Owen Sound.On Sunday in an interview, he said he talked at the meeting about the direction of the new party founded by former Conservative MP Maxime Bernier, who lost the party leadership vote to Andrew Scheer in 2017, and resigned over differences with him last August.Townsend, who lives in Durham, was in radio broadcasting for 20 years, 15 of them with CKNX in Wingham. He shifted from on-air to behind-the-scenes broadcast engineering and now works full-time in Humber College’s media studies program he himself attended.
He said his next step is to raise awareness of this new party’s “small-c Conservative” policies, which he said are based on Bernier’s principles of individual freedom, personal responsibility, fairness and respect.He said the People’s Party of Canada stands for “elimination of corporate welfare, reduction of personal farm taxes (from 15 per cent to 10), the reduction and or elimination of funds going to the U.N. . . . when we have issues at home that need to be dealt with.”“And that money is how he’s (Bernier’s) going to actually pay for to reduce tax rates for farmers and that’s how he plans to actually have a balanced budget in two years.”PPC is also about “smaller government” and “elimination of supply management,” for dairy farmers – the issue Bernier has said he believes led to him being unwelcome in among Conservatives.“It causes an artificially inflated price for staples that everybody needs,” Townsend said.