ANNE ELSPETH RECTOR: Knowing the local candidates in federal election

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Voters often consider local candidates more closely than national ones since they’re more relatable. But before considering my opinions of those seeking to represent Bay of Quinte riding, voters should get to know our candidates… and form their own views.

Representing Liberals is incumbent Member of Parliament Neil Ellis (https://neilellis.liberal.ca), while Official Opposition Conservatives field Timothy P. Durkin (https://www.conservative.ca/team-member/tim-durkin). Leading local New Democrats is Stephanie Bell (https://stephaniebell.ndp.ca) and standing for the Green Party Danny Celovsky (https://www.greenparty.ca/en/riding/2013-35006). The People’s Party of Canada candidate is Paul Bordonaro (https://www.facebook.com/PBordonaroPPC).

MP Neil Ellis chaired the House of Commons Veterans’ Affairs Committee; of enormous import locally, and nationwide. Ellis pushed hard for policies to aid homeless veterans and, if returned, leadership must implement these worthy intentions. Because in bell-weather ridings like Bay of Quinte, incumbents usually carry the edge until retirement – locals favouring attrition over firing.

Former entrepreneur, and lone experienced candidate – twice Belleville’s mayor, Ellis has done a decent job and been responsive whenever I’ve expressed concerns. But I need my government better delivering essential services to Indigenous communities and children; aligning Canada’s laws with United Nations’ Declarations on Human Rights for Indigenous Persons, and constructively implementing recent decisions that have already deemed federal foot dragging must end. If securing a second term, Liberals must prove these weren’t hollow hopes.

I won’t support the People’s Party of Canada given stances inconsistent with my personal principles rooted in human rights and global realities. I can’t support divisive policies, nor Paul Bordonaro, any more than I’d support separatists.

New Democratic Party candidate, gardener Stephanie Bell, embraces “organic farming and biodiversity” and promotes “strong transportation initiatives.” Displaying gravitas and gumption in local debates, Bell hopes fighting climate change together “will lead to a more egalitarian society.” The Green Party’s Danny Celovsky calls; “A clean, healthy and sustainable future… critical for our overall community at the local, national and global levels.” A technology entrepreneur, he’s focused squarely on sustainability.

Certainly, this election, climate trumps cash.

The Conservative campaign fails to connect and, like many Canadians, I’m leery of future goals given certain candidates. I can’t grasp why they chose broadcaster, Timothy P. Durkin. Clearly, Caucasian Christian men are preferred by local Tories. Because in 2013 Durkin wrote a scathing critique in this newspaper echoing remarks made by a Toronto police officer about victims of sexual violence; horribly hurtful words that saw sharp societal rebukes. Slut Walks countered such harmful misinformation and ignorance since women’s clothing doesn’t cause rape, nor any violence. Still, some support perps.

Mostly male assailants choose violence, and their choices aren’t ours. Yet, Durkin chose to publicly blame and shockingly shame survivors of such criminal brutalities. I was appalled at his ‘sweatered’ attack on those who’ve endured enough; righteous revictimization by damaging judgments of insensitive men like Durkin. I’ve chosen to combat violent perpetrators and enablers, not their victims. Durkin decidedly did opposite, as I wrote to counter his dastardly deed, explaining; “Women wearing nuns’ habits and burqas are raped worldwide.” Having ceded moral ground on sharing savage views of violent criminals assaulting women and girls (most under 25): that victims are somehow at fault; this critical coward now seeks to represent thousands of locals who’ve survived sexual violence. Durkin deserves his societal shame.

Three progressive platforms but, only Ellis has the numbers to lead local progressives. To voting then.

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