October 13, 2019
At the Killaloe debate last week somebody asked the question "Do you think democracy is being served (because Cheryl Gallant voluntarily chose not to show up and take part)?" All the candidates there answered, in one form or another, "No."
My question now, to those candidates who will be attending the YourTV debate, is Do you think democracy is being served when half the candidates are being prevented from showing up and taking part?
If the answer is "No" again, then what do you intend to do about it? I'm pretty sure that if you all "worked together" like you always say you will, you can get things done, right?
October 12, 2019
Me and four other candidates have been excluded from the YourTV debate on Tuesday. Here is the text of my press release today:
Petawawa, ON, For Immediate Release - A debate scheduled for Tuesday evening on Cogeco's YourTV is excluding half of the candidates running in the federal election taking place in just nine days.
According to the debate questionnaire, only candidates from the following parties had been invited: Conservative, Green, Liberal, NDP, and PPC. The remaining five candidates were not invited.
"My team has attempted to contact YourTV for more information but they are refusing to get back to us," said Dan Criger, an Independent candidate in the riding. "I don't know why they would not invite me, since I have more support than most of the parties they did invite, and I was the first to register with Elections Canada in this riding."
On October 9 an all candidates debate was held in Cobden where organizers would not permit candidates to criticize Conservative incumbent Cheryl Gallant. "And now Cogeco will not allow her to be challenged by candidates outside the political establishment. This goes a long way to explaining the past 20 years," said Dan Criger, referring to Ms Gallant's 20 year reign in the riding.
It is not known at this time who of the five invited candidates has accepted YourTV's invitation. The PPC previously complained to the Leaders' Debate Commission when Maxime Bernier was not invited to the national Leaders' Debate. Nor did the PPC, who have been vocal on 'free speech', comment on the limiting of free speech at the Cobden event - which they attended.
According to CRTC rules television stations are required to provide equitable treatment of all candidates when it comes to debates.
iv. Public Affairs* – In-depth examinations of candidates and issues, profiles of candidates, debates, and under the editorial control of the licensee.
Equity requirements apply within each of the categories of paid time, free time, news and public affairs programs.
...section 3 of the Act requires that “the programming originated by broadcast undertakings should be of high standard” and that “the programming provided by the Canadian broadcasting system should provide a reasonable opportunity for the public to be exposed to the expression of differing views on matters of public concern.” Licensees have an obligation under this section to ensure that their audiences are informed of the main issues and of the positions of all candidates and registered parties on those issues. Section 3 of the Act must also be applied when presenting public affairs programs, such as party or candidate profiles, features on certain issues or panel discussions.
October 7, 2019
Why I am not attending the All Candidates Night put on by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture on October 9:
The OFA has said they will not allow candidates to "comment" on Cheryl Gallant during the event, or question her motives. All across this riding I have talked to thousands of people, and the clear majority of them have given me unsolicited "comments" on Ms. Gallant. Of course the OFA is "allowed" to silence people during their event; I don't dispute this. But just because somebody is "allowed" to do something, doesn't mean they should do it. What if a question from the audience asks the candidates what they think of the past 20 years of representation in this riding? Will the candidates be obliged only to praise Ms Gallant? Or will the question be disallowed and the questioner silenced? I will not enable this.
When I go to Ottawa I will not only allow your voice to be heard, I will make sure that it is heard. If a person or organization deserves criticism, you can count on me to surely deliver that criticism. I have much criticism about Ms. Gallant, the policies of the Conservative Party, Liberal Party, Green Party and the NDP. I believe in accountability, and I will not be silenced.
I will not spend 20 years on the back benches embarrassing this riding. I will fight for you, your family and this riding so that we all have a strong and stable future.
The OFA has said,
"The Federation will not allow comments ... against Ms. Gallant or our organization at the candidates night."
"I do not believe that it is right to bring it up in a public meeting what her motives were..."
"... comments from one candidate about another candidate will not be allowed or will attacking one political party over another be allowed."
I would like to address some of the issues raised by the other candidates and parties recently.
First off, I see two themes running through the policies of many of these candidates and parties: treating the symptoms and extravagant spending. More on this later.
Illegal drug use
There is an opioid crisis that has not passed our community by. For example the Pembroke Regional Hospital regularly treats drug overdoses. The chic solution to drug use these days seems to be legalization, a stance taken by the Green Party, Libertarian Party, the NDP and implemented by the Liberal Party. The solution to crime and social problems is not to change the laws so that criminal acts are no longer illegal.
All parties focus on treatment of current addicts, which is great in the short term, but that is all it is - short-term thinking, which is the hallmark of politics today. These types of short-term, finger-in-the-dyke fixes do not address the real issues or look at long-term prevention.
Perhaps instead of treating the symptoms we should be treating the causes. In the present case these causes include the breakup of families and communities, low paying jobs, poverty, hopelessness, and a multitude of other social issues that legalization and treatment completely ignore and that are making their way, slowly but surely, into the Ottawa Valley.
The solution to the drug problem doesn’t involve legalization or quixotically attempting to cut off the supply, but on reflecting on a society in which destructive drug use has become normalized and is no longer even newsworthy.
A closely related issue is mental health.
It is well accepted that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) very often have a tremendous impact on later life (mental) health and well-being. While we should certainly be spending resources treating adults and children suffering from mental health issues, more resources should be spent in prevention of these ACEs and other causes of mental health problems.
Mental health and drug use often have the same or similar causes: the breakdown of families and communities, violence, poverty, materialism, etc. Perhaps it is time for some soul searching. Our own prime minister says that Canada has no core identity. If a country has no core identity, then how can its citizens? If individuals are left to drift any way we please with no common goal or moral guiding principle, is it surprising to see psychological pain and suffering? Extremes are not healthy for society. Extreme and radical individualism breaks apart families and communities as sure as collectivism does - only the path is different.
A similar lack of reflection is seen when it comes to the environment. News story after news story exposes the hypocrisy and luxury of people who lecture us to consume less. For example, “the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sparking a row when it emerged they took four private jets in 11 days, despite speaking in support of protecting the environment,” and “(the Duchess of Cambridge’s) dresses had their own seat, to make sure they were kept flat.” It grinds my gears to read this when the government imposed carbon tax forces a pensioner in the Ottawa Valley to choose between turning the heat past 17C during a cold snap and buying their grandson a present. (Source: https://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/1180773/Kate-Middleton-news-Duchess-latest-dress-today-Prince-William-pregnant-today)
Half of all carbon emissions are created by the wealthiest 10%, yet it is the 90% who are the ones expected to reduce their consumption. It should not be about trying to live in a science fiction world powered by rainbows, or telling seniors to keep their heat at 17C during a cold snap so the wealthy elite can continue to fly around the world in their private jets, but instead, we should start by examining our overly materialistic society (which also contributes to the breakdown of families and communities). I would encourage those who are happy paying the carbon tax to live on $15,000 for an entire year (or the equivalent for their family size) and try to see first-hand the choices the government is forcing us to make.
How soon will it be before air travel is out of reach for the 90% and proper nutrition is only for the elite, while the rest of us eat Soylent Green in our unheated hovels? These are serious ideas being proposed today.
Superhero movies like the latest Spider Man that is on its way to a 600% profit of over $1 billion are vehicles only for excessive profit and greed. How many private jet flights and how much CO2 was emitted in the making of movies like this? And for what? A movie of little entertainment value and even less cultural and spiritual value. Movies like this are targeted to and make their money from the same children who, without seeing the contradiction, lecture adults on climate responsibility. The responsibility should lie with the biggest polluters and their enablers, but the Cult of the Celebrity forbids this common sense approach..
This summer, before the election was called, the current government went on a spending.spree - a regular occurrence before an election. Since the election all parties have made tens of billions of dollars in new spending promises. None of them, however, have shown any tendency towards fiscal restraint whatsoever. It is spend, spend, spend, with no plan about where this money is coming from. Sure it sounds good, a few billion more for healthcare here, a few billion for housing there, no problem! But there is a problem, beyond the source of this money; at the very least it sets a poor example for young people who see successive governments borrowing and spending without a plan to ever pay it back.
A younger constituent recently asked me “Why should me and my generation show fiscal restraint when all others before me haven’t?” When you live in a society you can be a giver or a taker. You can be a net contributor or you can live off the wealth of others. If all you want is “more free stuff” then you will have a difficult choice to make since all parties are trying to buy your vote with exactly that platform. When elected I will help you succeed on your own. Your success is my success, and I want us all to succeed together.
Politicians try to buy your vote with your own money, except that now they have famously run out of your money and are now using your children’s money and your grandchildren’s money. “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.”
Proper economic and fiscal management is one key to successful and healthy families. Since families are a microcosm of communities, and communities a microcosm of a country this principal of sound management is never out of place. Temporary overspending and deficits are one thing if they are balanced with repayments, permanent deficits are something else entirely.
This idea of what is good for the smallest unit (the family) is good for the largest goes beyond just economics and finance. Strength, Truth, Wisdom, Principled Leadership, Purpose all contribute to healthy families and healthy communities and healthy countries. Instead of policy making that is designed to annoy the opposition of the day and hoodwink the public into believing their short-termism is a substitute for real solutions, politicians should find common sense solutions.
I am spending much of my time going door-to-door meeting residents of this riding to hear their concerns first hand. Similarly, I spent the last several weeks meeting with the mayors of this riding to hear their concerns. A few mayors absolutely refused to see me. We need to take back our communities from politicians who think they are too good for us and think we can be bought with our own money and promises of quick fixes and easy solutions.
There is little need to further comment on Justin Trudeau’s entitled upbringing and the poor choices that result from it, or Andrew Scheer’s one year of real-world experience or any of the other leaders and politicians who can never know or appreciate the people of the Ottawa Valley. If the voters of this riding are as fed up as I am with out-of-touch politicians who ignore us and are so short-sighted to only offer us too-good-to-be-true quick-fixes, then I offer them a fresh conservative perspective as an alternative this election.
North Renfrew Times article, August 7, 2019
July 6, 2019
Why you should vote Independent
If there is a minority government, and it looks like there will be, then that is when an Independent MP is most important and most powerful.
If the Liberals win a minority, then they will work with anyone other than the Conservatives, so no Conservative MP will have a voice in government. If such a thing is possible, the situation would be worse for Renfrew County than it is today; the Liberals will have to try to collaborate with the NDP in order to govern, and if you think what the Liberals are doing now is bad, wait until they team up with the NDP. A Conservative MP in this riding will have even less influence than she has right now (i.e. none).
If the Conservatives win a minority, they too will need allies to govern. And besides allies, they will need all of their MPs to follow Andrew Scheer unconditionally. Even less MP dissent will be allowed than is presently allowed (again, none). A minority Scheer government will need to find allies on the left in order to govern because they will be the only “conservative” party (in name only, unfortunately) in parliament.
So that is why we need an Independent MP in this riding. Regardless of who wins the minority, I would work with them because they will need my support to govern, and recognising this, I will only give them my support if I get something in return. And what I would want in return is what is good for Canada and Renfrew County. I would never support any legislation that did not benefit the people of Renfrew County in one way or another; the government (Liberal or Conservative) would have to include provisions that benefit the people of this riding in any legislation they want passed. Would a Liberal or Conservative MP do this for you? No they would not. They never have, so why would they start now?
June 17, 2019
My latest video:
June 1, 2019.
I am proud to announce that I am running for Member of Parliament for the riding of Renfrew - Nipissing - Pembroke.