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2014-05-20 at 15:49

Hudak declines debate

By Leith Dunick,
ROCK 94Your Rock Station, Always has…Always will be! Click Here!

THUNDER BAY - The Northern Ontario leaders’ debate will go ahead on May 26 without Conservative Leader Tim Hudak.

Hudak, who publicly chastised former premier Dalton McGuinty for a no-show at the same debate in 2011, informed debate organizers his campaign schedule won't allow him to attend the one-hour event.

Both Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath  accepted the invitation on the weekend.

Iain Angus of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association said Tuesday organizers were hoping Hudak could find the time to take part in the debate, a lunch-hour affair at the Valhalla Inn.

Angus said prior to Hudak's answer that he couldn't understand why the Conservative leader couldn't free up the time.

“The information we have is that (Hudak) has some schedules that have been locked down, which quite frankly surprises me, ” Angus said. “Given my long involvement in the political process, I know that most campaigns do not lock in more than a couple of days in advance.

“I’m not sure why they would lock themselves in so far in advance.”

It doesn't bode well for the faith the party has in local candidates Harold Wilson and Derek Parks, Angus said.

“Quite frankly, if they’re not (here), it really does not look good for their candidates. It’s like they threw them under the bus,” Angus said.

The Conservatives haven’t won a Thunder Bay seat provincially since 1985, when Mickey Hennessey was elected in the former Fort William riding.

The debate is being co-sponsored by the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association, the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities and both the Northwestern and Northeastern Chambers of Commerce.

Angus said organizers originally supplied campaign officials with three dates to choose from, but did not hear back until the date was narrowed to next Monday, after the host venue was booked for the other possible dates.

Wynne accepted on Saturday, followed soon afterward by Horwath.

Angus said organizers of the hour-long debate will formulate the questions being asked, based on issues facing the north.

Energy and the Ring of Fire figure to be predominant on the list.

One leader who definitely won’t be in attendance is the Green Party’s Mike Schreiner, who was not on the invitation list.

“The approach that we took is we wanted to invite the leaders who currently have seats in the Ontario legislature and were likely that from those three, one of them will become premier,” Angus said.

The news did not sit well with Thunder Bay-Atikokan Green Party candidate John Northey.

“I am concerned about that. The Green Party is running candidates in every riding this election, as we have for the past few elections. Every time we get a five- to seven-per cent ballpark, and that is with largely being ignored by the media,” Northey said.

“It’s very frustrating to see we’re being ignored again on the leaders’ debate, which critical to being heard.”

The debate will be open to the public, but anyone wishing to attend must purchase a luncheon ticket. The event will also be live-streamed online.

Tickets for the debate are $45, which include a luncheon. To register, visit

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We've improved our comment system.
ranma says:
WHO CARES! It's not like our 7 ridings will have any bearing on this election. Once again it will be Toronto and Ottawa who decide for us. It is high time we joined Manitoba.
5/20/2014 3:57:01 PM
passlake says:
It is a shame the green party was not invited. Any party that is running candidates in all ridings should be invited.
5/20/2014 4:17:46 PM
tudor says:
Does Mr. Angus have an office at TBT. He seems to be all over the commentary on so many different topics.

Will Mr. Angus be in attendance at the debate to explain his role in derailing the conversion of Mission Island to burn natural Gas. It was Mr. Angus's motion that stopped the conversion.

Will Mr. Angus be there to explain his role in providing T.Bay with a wind farm on City owned land that they want everyone to blame the province for, but that the city did.

Will Mr. Angus explain the wasted money at the Marina, or his blank cheque attitude towards refurbishing Chippewa that was never completed and took far more of city money that what was initially asked for.
I fail to see how this guy continues to fool the voter.
I see lots of criticism on this site of politicians both federally and provincially, but very little directed towards council and especially this man who is a point man for his party.
I wonder if his last name started with a Y, if he would continually get voted in
5/20/2014 4:18:59 PM
Dockboy says:
The last time I saw Hudak in a debate with McGuinty and Horwath he was pathetic, milktoast! McGuinty tore him to shreds. He's not going to show up for this debate because he's afraid it will happen again, and it will!
5/20/2014 4:21:58 PM
nvjgu says:
Hudak reminds me of Mcguinty. Bla Bla Bla there will be no health care tax said Mcguinty. Out with the Liberals I say.
5/20/2014 4:35:56 PM
Watchmaker says:
Are you supporting the NDP then?
5/20/2014 6:09:22 PM
gremlin says:
The Conservative Party lost my vote when they threw Tamara Johnson under-the-bus.
5/20/2014 5:09:05 PM
Jeannied says:
No kidding! I mean she's so popular. All I see are her signs around town.
5/21/2014 4:34:49 AM
SomeGuy says:
Pretty sure she threw herself under that bus.
5/21/2014 8:20:27 AM
mercy mercy me says:
like porcupines playing with balloons, no surprises here
5/20/2014 5:27:40 PM
S Duncan says:
I don't blame him if he doesn't come here. Why would he?

Thunder Bay is addicted to welfare and government handouts, its no secret. Why would the PCs expend political capital in this neck of the woods?

The PCs are all about efficiency and proper use of money. Wasting time, money, and effort here in Thunder Bay does not fit in with their plans.

I wish it wasn't so, but that's how it is.
5/20/2014 6:15:33 PM
eventscentre says:
I don't know anyone in Thunder Bay who is addicted to government handouts. Most people are hardworking and hoping to get ahead. The quote 'you are the company you keep' comes to mind when I see your post.
5/20/2014 10:20:38 PM
educator says:
Your boy doesn't have the stones to attend a debate in Northern Ontario because he will get his lunch handed to him. He knows it and you know it.

What I find amusing is you seem to think he's the right guy to run the province, yet he won't even come to your neck of the woods for a debate. Speaks volumes about what he thinks about the North.
5/20/2014 11:22:11 PM
Just Sayin' says:
That's because our tax dollars are probably paying for that lunch. Wynne and Horvath are more than interested in eating our tax dollars.
5/21/2014 12:01:05 PM
ibrando says:
He'll get his lunch handed to him? That doesn't even make sense. Maybe I shouldn't point that out. Wouldn't want to hurt your feelings.
5/21/2014 9:24:23 PM
educator says:
Let me educate you then...

Having your lunch handed to you, means you were outperformed and shown up by someone better than you.
5/22/2014 11:43:20 AM
Watchmaker says:
Mr. Hudak has made statements regarding policies for the north (specifically the RoF). Yet he won't come up here to debate them.

I think this says a great deal about his understanding of these issues - he doesn't. Nor do his handlers.

The Conservatives should have been set up (again) to win this election, but their poor choice of their primary, candidate, policies of division etc. are going to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Regardless of the party name, what Ontario needs is a fiscally conservative government that has a social conscience with true leadership at the helm. Instead we get vacant sound bytes from wind vanes and puppets.
5/21/2014 7:43:09 AM
OdieCleghorn says:
*slow clap* See its statements and reasoning like this that a lot of us vote for whichever party has the best chance of beating the Conservatives.

5/21/2014 7:49:41 AM
spazz says:
The Hudak apologists on this thread seem to be skipping over part of the article.

"Hudak was a vocal critic in 2011 when then premier Dalton McGuinty was a no-show at the inaugural Northern leaders’ debate."

It's ok when it's your guy doing it I guess.
I'd also like to point out that I'm not defending McGuinty, I am painting both in the same negative light. If I don't make the distinction I'll have to read a four page essay from S. Duncan on communism.

5/21/2014 1:39:59 PM
progress now says:
Is it possible to find out how to buy tickets for the event?
5/20/2014 6:42:32 PM
verotik says:
All parties that are running in the riding should be invited to the debate.
5/20/2014 9:30:04 PM
maxumpat says:
Its OK Hudak has declined the debate. Northern Ontario voters will decline a vote for him or his party in return.

If we in the north are not important enough for him to attend a measly 1 hour meeting, imagine the representation we would get if they actually got into power.

5/20/2014 10:36:58 PM
yqtyqt says:
Didn't McGuinty skip a similar debate the last election. Apparently he thought he was too important to attend, but the left wing union members voted for him anyways.

Look, Thunder bay is a socialist hotbed and the race usually boils down to which of the two socialist parties come up with the biggest promises, regardless of how deep of a hole they want to create.

This election will be won or lost in the GTA and Ottawa areas. Not Thunder Bay.
5/21/2014 5:45:13 AM
reese says:
A person that was running for one of those so called other parties no one seems to like represents a ward in the city today we should invite them all some day they could be the mayor
5/20/2014 10:57:03 PM
ranma says:
No surprise at all that his schedule will not allow it. Is he so desperate for votes in Southern Ontario that he can't take the time away to deal with the future of this province, ie Northern Ontario.

Well at least the Fiberals and the NDP acknowledge us. Or are they just desperate for decide.
5/21/2014 1:23:26 AM
lori says:
Isn't it funny. S. Duncan that big C conservative is now justifying why Hudak is not coming. Had it been Wynn, we would have been reading 10 different posts from the expert on everything about why she is scared to show up.

As for efficiency with the taxpayer dollar, he also forgets something. That during an economic world boom, the past Tory gov't of which Mr. Hudak was part of, left a $5.5 BILLION deficit after telling Ontario through an election that the books were balanced. And they attained this balance after selling the 407 toll road to Tory friends for pennies on the dollar.

Yes Mr. Duncan, the Tories are the perfect party. They can do no wrong in your eyes.

So let's hear this debate. I actually like Ms. Wynn far more than the previous premier who I was not a fan of. Still a fan of our MPP's. Will not apologize for that given what they have done for our city and region.
Maybe in one hour we can actually hear what the NDP stand for. So far, it is10 cents a day starting in 2 yrs
5/21/2014 6:37:04 AM
yqtyqt says:
Or in one hour we can hear from Mikie & Billie how they will dig us out of the debt hole that we're in. Or explain how they're going to pay for their promises. Why there are 300,000 more civil servants under McGuinty's/Wynne's make work scheme. Or what plan they have for hydro rates. Or what really happened with Ornge and the gas plant cancellations that they claim they have no knowledge of. Or we can hear them beat their chest about the Ring of Fire & why it isn't happening anytime soon. Or why the Police Service Act still allows officers under suspension to collect full pay and benefits. Or how they will fund the Ontario Pension Plan. Or....etc, etc.

We get it Lori. You have your nose placed firmly where it belongs. Vote liberal and wish you children & grandchildren good luck paying off the Libs credit card account.

If the libs get back in power, in 5 years we'll have 1.5 million civil servants. And we'll owe $350 billion (30gs each). The libs have no plan. Nothing but the old one.
5/21/2014 9:28:02 AM
ibrando says:
Give me an L....Give me an I....Give me a B....Give me an E....Give me an R....Give me an A....Give me another L....Put it all together, what have you got? LORI...yaaaaay LORI! Glad to hear you are still a fan of the local MPP's. Guess you also have no problem with the provincial debt which grew by over $140 BILLION under the Liberals. Yep, cheer them on Lori, you don't care being a senior, your grandchildren will pay off the debt. The PC's are exactly what we need right now!
5/21/2014 10:06:43 AM
nvjgu says:
As Far as I'm concerned, they can all throw themselves under the bus.
5/21/2014 6:40:54 AM
CLETE says:
The conservatives are all talk. They talk a good story about northern Ontario and when they get a chance to show they care Hu That runs away with his tail between his legs. All talk no plan.
5/21/2014 8:01:34 AM
jb says:
"The conservatives are all talk."

the same can be said about the Liberals & NDP. They all say one thing and do another. Out of touch with the majority of people and just looking out for their own interests.
5/21/2014 1:12:13 PM
jonthunder says:
Angus, biased NDP should have nothing to do with this. The Chronicle reports Mr. Hudak asked for an alternative date, and Angus is full of we know what. He just cost Mr. Foulds some votes; may as well re-crown Michael now.
5/21/2014 8:24:24 AM
bttnk says:
The fact the Big Angus didn't invite the Green Party is wrong. I don't support the Green Party politically, but they are indeed running candidates in every riding and should have a seat at the debate.

As an aside. I am terribly disappointed in the PC's decision to skip this event. And make no mistake, that is exactly what they are doing. Thumbing thier nose at Northwestern Ontario. This is exactly why they aren't making any progress in this area.
5/21/2014 8:29:19 AM
BuddhaMum says:
Hudak is a dork. He has this grand plan to create a million jobs in eight years by slashing employment in other areas. He wants to get rid of unions and calls the College of Trades written exams "bureaucratic". He wants to replace a SKILLED workforce with people who aren't able to produce high-quality work that demand more pay. Who would you rather have working on your house, Mr. Hudak? A Red Seal Journeyperson or an unskilled worker that doesn't know what they're doing?
Hudak is a dork and a joke.
5/21/2014 8:57:56 AM
YellowSnow13 says:
When skilled trades have problems with the College of Trades then you have to think about this. If you think unions are doing Ontario a huge benefit, think again. I have a huge problem with unions and never want to be part of one in the future. Protecting the guy that does nothing. Protecting the guy that steals from the company. Protecting the guy off because of a bad back yet is caught later shingling his roof. Ya we need unions! Protect your brothers. Especially the ones that take advantage of everybody else. I hope Hudak gets rid of the union.
5/21/2014 12:49:30 PM
BuddhaMum says:
As someone who has a government job and also benefits from a family member in a Union, I respectfully disagree with your comment. Yes, there are people who "play the system" (I see it every day) and it isn't just those who are union members. It's a matter of a few bad apples spoiling the whole batch. SOME people on EI claim they cannot find work yet do jobs under the table while collecting benefits. SOME people are on WSIB for an injury yet manage to find the strength to reshingle their roof. It's not just union members but unfortunately they are the ones most often singled out and criticized.
Unions serve many purposes and protecting the "lazy" worker is not one of them, trust me. Eventually, that person who does not follow the rules and guidelines laid out by their union is made to serve the consequences associated with their misconduct. I have personally seen workers suspended, fined, fired, and essentially kicked out of the union when they commit an offense.
5/22/2014 9:13:21 AM
dynamiter says:
You are kind of delusional Yellow snow. Maybe you should go and try and work in a Republican State in the US. They have no rights and the lowest wages and poorest benefit packages in the modern world. Unions must protect everybody who pays their dues. They therefore tend to represent those who get into trouble. But if management has done their corrective procedure properly then it shouldnt matter. As far as bad collective agreements that is due to bad management - it takes two to sign an agreement. Unfortunately most of these bad unsustainable agreements are in the public sector. You can thank the NDP for those laws ( either by intense lobbying or when they were in power). Some of the successor rights legislation is outrageous. But dont forget bad company's prompted that legislation. Unions are not the problem bad management is the problem and Hudak needs to address that. And if you are a union member do you like them using dues to sponsor political ads - I think not - another bad law
5/22/2014 9:55:12 AM
Renegade120860 says:
Although, they will toe the party line, can't imagine that Harold Wilson and Derek Parks feel that their leader has "hung them out to dry"!

And "BuddhaMum" summed it up well:

"Hudak is a dork"
5/21/2014 9:54:26 AM
Sudbury Yahoo says:
Maybe Hudak, a former northern development minister, isn't comfortable with the subject because he really doesn't know that much about the North.
It's seats he wants, not votes.
5/21/2014 10:18:51 AM
REG says:
When Hudak says he's not coming to the debate that says it all. He must be listening to Harpers buddies. If you won't debate your ideas then you don't believe in them. His is the only job I want to see gone!!
5/21/2014 10:33:24 AM
keiths31 says:
Disappointed he isn't able to come. Still like his policies, but him not showing up will hurt any chance he had of making headway up here.
5/21/2014 10:39:56 AM
dynamiter says:
Please go to the Sunshine list - Just look at the page after page of those making over 100 K. Dont you ever wonder about all of those others who are making less than that? Now if it was a private industry going that far into debt, dont you think that they would look at cutting workforce? You would first look at getting those close to retirement to retire and NOT replace them and then you would look at redundancies? Dont you think that you can find 10% of the jobs that may not be needed or are only nice to have not need to have positions. Seems pretty simple to hit 100,000 number of Hudak's without a whole lot of pain to the public re services.

5/21/2014 12:21:54 PM
tiredofit says:
I suggest you research how many on that Provincial Sunshine List are in Thunder Bay, perhaps a small hand full of upper managers. The vast majority of the government workers you so love to hate on average make about $35-$45 a year. And hey, who needs teachers right?

So, please provide us with a list of the $100k club (Provincial) who live in Thunder Bay.
5/21/2014 8:58:50 PM
dynamiter says:
I am kind of tired of you and your comments. What you said as per normal makes little sense. My point is that there are pages upon pages of people on that list ( and probably twice as many not on that list that make less), so a logical assumption is that some jobs have to be redundant or not needed. Some of these people must be close to retirement. Across the province it would seem to me that cuts of the magnitude that Hudak is stating that he wants should and could be made without impacting teachers, nurses, hydro lineman etc ie the people that get it done. Finally who cares if they are from TBay or not that was not my point. But I do look up what my friends, neighbors and acquaintances make when he list comes out each year.
5/22/2014 12:22:52 AM
lori says:
Ibrando and YQTYQT-- I am voting Liberal for now my third election in a row because in my opinion we have the two best MPP's or even MP's that this region has seen in 50 years. I have said more than once I used to vote Tory here but I digress.

But I am impressed with your concerns for our finances. On some level I share them.

So here is your chance.

Tell me what funding that was received in this part of the region, specifically T.Bay that you would have liked Gravelle or Mauro to say no to.

City uploading


It is great to sit on the sidelines and say they are responsible for the deficit. I didn't realize they had so much power, but tell us all what projects, jobs or support they should have said no too.

When you do, I predict that someone else will likely have a different opinion.

Go crazy.

I cannot wait to see your list.

But no cheating.

Specifically to this city and region. what should they have turned down.
5/21/2014 3:16:07 PM
yqtyqt says:
"I am impressed with your concerns for our finances. On some level I share them" Lets cut the crap Lori. You stand up & cheer every time Mikie, Billie & the rest of your liberal gang dig the debt hole a little deeper. Be honest now, do you sit & watch the mailbox all day hoping for another gov't handout? Do you really have any idea of what kind of damage the liberals are doing to future generations?

"what funding that was received in this part of the region, specifically T.Bay that you would have liked Gravelle or Mauro to say no to" That statement says to me that you are only concerned about your own dot on the map, whether it be on the way to Ft Francis or under the stack in westfort. You see Lori, Ontario is a big province worth seeing. We are all responsible for gov't waste/debt in every corner of the province. I know you haven't left the area in many years, if ever. You should get out sometime.

Get rid of a 1/3 of the 300,000+ civil servants Dalton hired. Its a good first step.
5/22/2014 12:31:36 PM
S Duncan says:
Lori your questions have been answered time and time again.

The only reason you keep asking is you ignore those answers which further discredit the reasoning for your standpoint.

You will never move a discussion forward when you bury your head in the sand and keep repeating the same things, never acknowledging the responses you receive.

You have repeatedly shown everybody on here that your opinion is based purely on selfish greed which trumpets the debt and spending by politicians as long as its spent on YOU.

Enjoy your new PC government. It wont buy you things but it will put money back into the hands of people that earn it so they can spend it themselves rather than wynne throwing it where she can buy more votes from greedy people like yourself.
5/22/2014 2:25:50 PM
BuddhaMum says:

As someone who has a government job and also benefits from a family member in a Union, I respectfully disagree with your comment. Yes, there are people who "Play the system" and it isn't just those who are union members. It's a matter of a few bad apples spoiling the whole batch. SOME people on EI claim they cannot find work yet do jobs under the table while collecting benefits. SOME people are on WSIB for an injury yet manage to find the strength to reshingle their roof. It's not just union members but unfortunately they are the ones most often singled out and criticized.
Unions serve many purposes and protecting the "lazy" worker is not one of them, trust me. Eventually, that person who does not follow the rules and guidelines laid out by their union is made to serve the consequences associated with their misconduct. I have personally seen workers suspended without pay, fired, and essentially kicked out of the union.
5/22/2014 8:56:08 AM
The Beaver..... says:

you forgot Global sticks
and Terrace bay TWICE but we did get a Clover Leave even so it is in a place where it does not any good.
5/22/2014 4:04:49 PM
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