Some of the most interesting stories in this election are not getting play on the national stage. I scoured through community newspaper coverage so you don’t have to. Here’s what I found.
Candidates don’t live in northern Manitoba riding, didn’t travel to the riding for a debate
A column in the Flin Flon Reminder reveals that three out of five candidates in Northern Manitoba’s Churchill-Keewatinook Aski riding live in Winnipeg. Despite a push from NDP incumbent Niki Ashton, who actually lives in the riding, for the first time ever there hasn’t been a local candidates’ debate either in person or via phone.
The columnist Jonathon Naylor doesn’t think the lack of a debate — or that the only viable alternative to Ashton, Liberal rising star Rebecca Chartrand, lives in Winnipeg — is that big of a deal. He argues that specific party ridings don’t matter in today’s age of “obedient party mouthpieces” where “modern MPs are little more than automated sets of legs that stand up to vote ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ based on what their party collectively decides (or what their party leader tells them to do).”
SKEENA-BULKLEY VALLEY, B.C.
Green Party candidate endorses NDP candidate
In Skeena-Bulkley Valley it’s hard to imagine a situation in which NDP incumbent Nathan Cullen, who nearly became leader of the NDP, wouldn’t win. The man is beloved even by his rivals, with the area’s Green candidate candidly telling the Terrace Standard she supports Cullen. Although she can’t beat him, she agreed to be the Green candidate because she can be a role model to First Nations youth and encourage the aboriginal vote.
“He has won over the hearts and minds of the whole Bulkley Valley and I am fine with that,” she said. “He’s an awesome guy, but the reason I came into the race, is to get more indigenous people involved in the whole electoral system, to see me as an aboriginal woman running in the federal election, the younger generation will see a role model.”
“Everybody should vote. Go out and participate in this democracy you have.”
SOUTH SHORE-ST. MARGARETS, N.S.
A Green Candidate is walking across his entire riding with duct-taped feet
Nova Scotia’s Shelburne County Coastguard reports that Green candidate Richard Biggar is taping his feet with duct tape every day to stop them from blistering while he walks across his riding of South Shore-St. Margarets, keeping a promise he made at a local debate.
“It seemed simple enough to say it, but I didn’t fully appreciate the size of the riding,” Biggar told the Coastguard after walking nearly 100 kilometres.
CBC Nova Scotia also reported on Biggar’s trek, posting a picture that perfectly personifies politics.
BRUCE-GREY-OWEN SOUND, ONT.
Conservative candidate calls strategic voters “A Bunch of (feet-stomping) little kids that aren’t getting their way”
In the riding of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, with the support of national advocacy group Leadnow, the local ABC group crowdfunded $2,500 to commission a new poll, released Tuesday, so they could better recommend a candidate to get rid of four-term Conservative incumbent Larry Miller. But he couldn’t care less about their Facebook group and plot against him.
“It’s just like a bunch of little kids that aren’t getting their way or don’t think they’re going to get their way so they’re going to stomp their feet and try and get what they want I guess,” Miller told the Owen Sound Times.
And in North Okanagan—Shuswap, candidates are questioning a recent locally commissioned poll and its organizers, with the Liberal candidate suggesting the NDP candidate is a member of the group behind the poll and dismissing the poll sample size. The NDP candidate says she was a member, but stepped down before the election. A previous report by the Salmon Arm Observer spoke with a political science expert who said the poll seemed legit.