Later today, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper will be in Sault Ste. Marie. As part of his visit, he will be speaking at Algoma’s Water Tower Inn, in front of a handpicked group of people who were subjected to a rigorous application process in order to attend. Those interested in attending the event had to apply, then wait for 48 hours as they were put through a vetting process by the Conservative Party of Canada and local Conservative candidate, Bryan Hayes.
“The process just to attend is cumbersome and demonstrates that Stephen Harper, Bryan Hayes, and the rest of the Conservative party are only interested in speaking in front of an audience that is not only carefully selected and vetted, but largely made up of Conservative supporters,” says Terry Sheehan, local Liberal candidate.
Over the course of this campaign, Liberal candidates across the country, led by Mr. Trudeau’s own example, have made themselves available for almost any and all media and have hosted events and gatherings that are open to everyone.
“A key part of our platform for real change is creating an open, accountable, and accessible government,” says Sheehan. “Earlier in this campaign, Justin Trudeau visited Sault Ste. Marie and as part of his visit he stopped by my campaign office on Queen Street. In the lead up to that event Mr. Trudeau and the Party encouraged the event be one where everyone was welcome. There was no vetting process or audience control,” says Sheehan.
In attendance were people from Batchewana to Echo Bay, First Nation leaders, and even those of different political stripes.
“There were more than 100 people outside our office because they couldn’t fit. Mr. Trudeau took time to chat and shake hands with many of them,” said Sheehan. “This is the type of leader our country deserves; one who is confident and respectful enough to speak to anyone and takes any and all questions.”
The secretive way in which this event has been organized and how it will unfold is strikingly similar to how Mr. Harper, the Conservative Party and the PMO have conducted themselves for the last 10 years. Much of which, came to light during the last part of the Mike Duffy trial. This was also evidenced in the lead up to this campaign when many key members in the Conservative Party decided to not seek re-election. Among them key Cabinet Ministers who grew tired of Mr. Harper’s ever controlling manner of leadership and governance.
“Canada deserves better, the Sault and area deserved better” says Sheehan, “and I am prepared to work for real change that will re-establish a government that respects everyone, not just those of a particular party stripe.”