Candidates debate in ADFW

The political leaders are slugging it out in the final days of the election campaign. And their candidates were doing the same Monday night in one of the Hamilton ridings that could be a close race on election day.The battle tonight was in the riding of Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Westdale. Like it’s long, drawn-out name the riding stretches across a wide swath of rural and urban land here in Hamilton. Tonight’s turn was Waterdown in the Flamborough area.Candidates from the three main parties were at an all-candidates meeting. They covered issues such as schools and the cost of stopping a proposed quarry development in Carlisle north of Waterdown. But they were also very much on the same wavelength as their leaders. The Conservatives and NDP attacking the Liberal government’s record of scandal — with the the Liberals taking shots at the Progressive Conservatives Million Jobs plan.P.C. candidate Donna Skelly: “Asking people to take a two-year wage freeze isn’t unfair. It is fair — because the private sector has been bearing the brunt of this scandalous incompetent government for 11 years. Give us two years to clean the house, get our finances in order.”Liberal candidate Ted McMeekin: “A lot of economists have resonated around that on the so called million-dollar plan. I don’t think there’s an economist anywhere in Ontario who thinks that’s a serious proposition. The choice is clear, you can cut the lowest corporate taxes in the jurisdiction and assume trickle down. Trickle down doesn’t usually work because the greedy sponges at the top hold on to things. You can buy into a race the bottom.”NDP candidate Alex Johnstone: “You have to ask yourself if you want four more years of scandal or a whole bunch of jobs being slashed by the Conservatives. Or do you want accountable, honest, do-able solution that come with an Andrea Horwath NDP government.”Again, this was just one part of the riding, where the Liberal decision to cancel the slots in racetracks programs badly hurt the rural community that relies on horse racing. But some of the people at tonight’s debate liked the Conservative message.

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