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Tbnewswatch Local News
Wednesday May 27 2015
7:52 PM EDT
2014-05-27 at 07:38

Debate protest

Labour leaders, social activists and anti-turbine farm protesters marched Monday outside the Valhalla Inn, which hosted the northern leader
Leith Dunick,
Labour leaders, social activists and anti-turbine farm protesters marched Monday outside the Valhalla Inn, which hosted the northern leader's debate.
By Leith Dunick,

THUNDER BAY - Monday’s northern leader’s debate wasn’t just a forum for politicians to trade barbs with one another.

A few dozen labour leaders and social activists saw it as a chance to get their message across to Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, seeking a voice and a spot on a party platform.

Terri Carter, chairwoman of Poverty Thunder Bay, said it’s important the plight of the poor become a topic of conversation during the election campaign.

“They’re not talking about poverty, not all of the leaders, anyways. We want to get it out into the discourse about raising Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program amounts and the minimum wage (raised) to $14 an hour. And we also want affordable housing,” Carter said.

Carter said too many politicians are only concerned about who they can drag to the polls on June 12, and only pay lip service to the disadvantaged in society.

“It’s the poor. They don’t get out to vote. They’re just not talking about it,” she said.

Mike Bisaillon drove 13 hours from North Bay to march outside the debate, held at the Valhalla Inn.

A corrections officer by trade, he was on hand representing the Ontario Public Service Employees Union to show support for Horwath and disdain for Conservative Leader Tim Hudak, a much-publicized no-show in Thunder Bay.

“When I hear Hudak talk about the Ring of Fire, and yet he won’t show up in the area where it would affect the most people, I would really have to wonder about his sincerity,” Bisaillon said.

“When I hear him talk about jobs, really? You can’t show up at a debate and make a point to the people it will most affect? You can’t even back up your platforms? It makes me angry. And it tells me you don’t care about working people and you don’t care about the North.”

Suzanne Pulice was there to speak up for health care, which she sees going downhill fast.

The Unifor member said the end of the federal health accord means a nationwide loss of $36 billion federal dollars pulled from health care.

“Ontario is going to be the worst ones hit,” Pulice said.

Locally missed home-care visits are proving to be worrisome, she added.

“There’s money going into home care, but it’s not being spent appropriately. Staff aren’t being trained appropriately. They’re not tracking the missed visits and these are affecting people, especially our most frail and our elderly.”

The group of placard-carrying protestors also included the Nor’Wester Escarpment Protection Committee, hoping to convince political leaders to put a stop to a planned wind turbine farm on city-owned land along the south-side mountain range.

Ron Lappage said the message is simple – the turbines don’t belong on the mountains and Horizon Wind Inc.’s plan won’t go away.

“We just want to draw it to the attention of the public again that it’s not a dead issue and unless something happens, it might still happen that something is built.”

Social issues drew a smattering of attention during the debate, which focused mainly on the Ring of Fire, Aboriginal matters and energy costs.

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Stephen says: far as I can gather this non-debate -since only two representatives of the several political parties involved were there (some were not even invited) was about...oh, we don't know because Dougall Media only had a bunch of stuff about some union people that showed up outside.
5/28/2014 4:22:40 AM
Leith Dunick says:
You're joking, right? We had a full wrap of the debate (, we got reaction from two mayors and First Nations (, plus this story, and not only did we stream the event live, we also posted it permanently to our YouTube page, with a link on our site.
5/28/2014 8:41:07 AM
sinkoreswim says:
If minimum wage goes up your cost of living will go up even higher the very next day. Nobody should be paid $14 an hour for asking "would you like fries with that?" There is a reason people get paid a low minimum wage.

If your not able to cut the mustard on a job at McDonald's, Walmart, or Tim Hortons than its time to DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET A BETTER JOB!
5/27/2014 11:39:36 PM
tiredofit says:
That's the problem. Most people working at minimum wage are well educated. Every second person working in a call centre has a college or university diploma, there just aren't enough good paying jobs out there.

Guess what, a good education cost money as well. It's tough to save for anything and survive on $11 hr. The extra $3 that would be paid would be pumped back into the economy (trickle down effect).
5/28/2014 6:19:03 AM
S Duncan says:
so they wasted their money on education. now they are in debt because financial bottom lines are driving the colleges and universitys.

increasing minimum wages just makes us less competitive and causes further job loss like the liberals love to do (hydro costs anyone?)

tireofit, you seem to really have adopted the entitlement moniker you are now wearing.

perhaps that's why people think they are entitled to the welfare dome too?
5/28/2014 11:38:14 AM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
That 3 dollars will be sucked up by landlords here so fast that their poor tenants heads will spin...
6/1/2014 7:18:30 PM
Geezer1 says:
The Liberals have added the Ring Of Fire to a list of billion dollar promises after wasting as much on boondoggles in the past few years alone. As a passive investor in Ring Of Fire mining developments I naturally take interest in the Liberal Party's continuing announcements that they are going to spend $1Billion on a transportation route with or without Federal government participation. I have checked every press release from Cliffs Natural Resources to see the response because they would be the major beneficiary of this taxpayer largesse. Not a word of comment has been issued by Cliffs - so one can conclude that they simply don't believe or trust them, and nor should we. The Liberals have failed us by wasting a decade talking to the media instead of coming to the table with all stakeholders to work out a plan of action. The Conservatives have proposed a Public/Private Partnership agreement whereby enduring commitments are made by all parties. They have the plan that will work for all of us, not just their friends.
5/27/2014 7:17:44 PM
Clobbering Time says:
Why is this petty bickering allowed on this site??
5/27/2014 4:58:39 PM
ibrando says:
Sure hope Bisaillon took the day off work to drive to Thunder Bay and protest. Hate to think he expensed this to the taxpayers.
5/27/2014 11:10:50 AM
tiredofit says:
Even if he was paid it would have by the union which collects it's money from the members. If he took a vacation day or personal, he's entitled to it.
5/27/2014 1:29:06 PM
yqtyqt says:
And there goes that magic word. Entitlement. Spoken like a true civil servant. Entitlement the words that unions hold on to.

Tiredofit. Go talk to those who have worked hard all their lives and tried to makes ends meet under the weight of taxation and hyfro increases. Entitlement. The magic union word.
5/27/2014 3:52:24 PM
tiredofit says:
I work in the private sector, I'm given personal days, vacation days, therefor like him, or you for that matter, I'm ENTITLED TO TAKE THEM.

You're implying that it may come at the cost of the tax payer. guess what, he's ENTITLED to it.

I've worked hard all my life, went to school, got a good education, make a dam fine wage, all without a union, and I've earned my ENTITLEMENT, just like everyone else.

From the Dictionary: ENTITLEMENT - Verb: to give (a person) the right to do or have something; qualify; allow. the state of being entitled.

It's not limited to Union workers, to suggest otherwise shows true ignorance of the English Language.

For the record, I'm dead set against unions and I have worked for many over last 40+ years.

As for the prison guards, let's just privatize that while you're at it, $11 hr guards can do a fine job (NOT).
5/27/2014 7:19:49 PM
ibrando says:
You don't really get it, do you tiredofit?
5/27/2014 4:30:10 PM
yqtyqt says:
Actually, there is an argument for the very poor across Ontario. The really disadvantaged, the ones who have been passed by in life. I wish that government could help them out. The two left wing parties seem to be focused on collecting union votes. The right wing party is focused on trying to kick start a poor economy.

The severely disadvantaged just want the basics.

In my opinion, there is only so much money in play in Ontario. The more we spend on debt servicing costs, the more we spend on patronage, the more we spend on increasing the lot for well paid public servants, the less there is for the really needy.

They don't vote, they don't attend pay only political debates, they don't have the health care they need. They are the ones who are forgotten about. Amongst the political parties, they add no votes or political gain.

It really is unfortunate. I'd rather vote for spending money on shelter, food, and health benefits for these people than for buying political power & MPP seats
5/27/2014 11:06:01 AM
tiredofit says:
Well said. Sadly, if the PC's do get in, they are the ones that will be affected most by the cuts, just like the last time the PC's were in power. No one is denying that the systems is abused by a few, but we created a society in which we allow this to happen. You shouldn't punish an entire group for the actions of a few, but they are easy target for all governments.

Drives me nuts that Feds will spend billions on foreign country aid, yet spend little at home in many cases. But that's a different election.
5/29/2014 8:08:04 AM
newCoach says:
The city owns the property, the city agreed to let the turbines go there. If you wish to go to court and fight this project I hope your group has deep pockets.
5/27/2014 9:59:01 AM
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