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October 04, 2008

People of Peterborough Speak Out: What's On Their Minds as They Prepare to Head to the Polls

People of Peterborough Riding are expressing strong opinions during this election -- many by writing Letters to the Editor of The Peterborough Examiner. Here are a few brief excerpts, just to give you a flavor of the issues being talked about in our riding. If you click on the link at the start of each letter, you can read the full text on The Peterborough Examiner website.

MP Challenge: "MP Dean Del Mastro's comment that no one will "shove (the Little Lake project) down the community's throat" indicates that if a sufficient number of citizens express disapproval the plan will be scrapped. He should show his respect for our community by telling us exactly how he will measure public support for his plan. If he announces a shoreline referendum he will be a champion of democracy."
- John Baker, Peterborough

Del Mastro's claims don't stand up to scrutiny: "While our current member of Parliament is good at quoting numbers, they bear no resemblance to facts. He gave the following incorrect information at the all-candidates debate held by Curve Lake...."  [ Related link ]
- Chadwick Cowie, Hiawatha First Nation

Del Mastro promises misleading: "Dean Del Mastro made several grand promises in the weeks leading up to the election. One of these is to build a grand party palace on the banks of Little Lake, by what appears to be a specially selected developer.....Mr. Del Mastro is tellingly silent on the essentials. All we're really getting in this process is a bunch of inch-high headline promises that are likely not even worth the price of the newsprint they're printed on. Surely Peterborough voters won't be misled by this nonsense?
- Kathy Woodcock, Knox Street

Riding needs a fresh start: "Dean Del Mastro appears to be the most partisan politician in the history of Peterborough riding. He not only squanders our hard-earned tax dollars attacking other politicians...he divides our community by pretending that his opponents oppose his rail plan."
- Helen McCarthy, Peterborough

Tories waging propaganda war: "The campaign for this election began two and a half years ago when Steven Harper took office. The barrage of attack ads that we have seen since goes beyond normal mud-slinging -it is propaganda, a focused program of persuasion and manipulation. The arguments typically appeal to emotions rather than reason. Never in the history of Canada has a standing government made such efforts to minimize their political opponents....Here in Peterborough, Dean Del Mastro has conducted a similar propaganda campaign. On a biweekly basis, Mr. Del Mastro has sent out "the pamphlets." What is interesting about these flyers is that they are little more than name calling with absolutely no details or substantiation. This is a classic propaganda technique. What kind of a representative would conduct such a campaign against his constituents?"
- Alan Buchkowski, Hastings

The art of hypocrisy: "Imagine my surprise on reading Dean Del Mastro's description of this riding: after a brief mention of children playing hockey, he goes on to tout the richness of Peterborough's arts! ... I find Mr. Del Mastro's apparent pride in the local arts scene disturbing. I would ask him to please not use the arts like this, unless he is willing to confront Mr. Harper on his appalling stance. It only makes him look like a hypocrite. And I don't vote for hypocrites."
- Kate Story, Peterborough

Tory message holds: "The funny thing is, when I began looking online for information I didn't see where any cuts have been made, what I found was an increase in government spending....it was the cold hard facts presented to me by MP Dean Del Mastro that spoke the loudest. He explained how hundreds of thousands of dollars had made their way to Peterborough for projects like the Festival of Lights, Peterborough Folk Festival and the major refurbishment to the Market Hall."
- Mike Theobald

[Please note: Link embedded in letter above provides a factual clarification re: the arts funding cuts. It also links to a lengthy discussion on other aspects of Dean Del Mastro's campaign that Mike Theobald initiated in the  comments below that post earlier in the week.]

Arts funding fundamental: "Funding for the arts should be a no brainer. It would appear that it is Mr. Harper who is out of touch with ordinary folks and their cares."
- Dan Murphy, Peterborough

Tories will take us to dark age: "Think twice before you put an "X" beside the name of the local Harper lackie."
- Brian Bird, Peterborough

Portrait's exposure was off: "Unjust characterization of candidates detracts from the real business of elections -making decisions based on facts."
- Marilyn Tudhope, Peterborough

MP silent on pension cutback: "Dean Del Mastro would get my vote and I'd promote him far and wide if he would tell me why my old age security was reduced! But since he hasn't even had the courtesy to return any of my calls regarding this issue, this loss of income for me and likely others, I guess he loses my vote and the vote of friends etc. when I tell them how mean the Conservatives are."
- Lily Rosebush, Peterborough

Too tight to cell tower location: "I write this letter sitting in my garden looking at a cell tower that was brought into our neighbourhood in April of this year. Not only did our MP Dean Del Mastro not respond to our appeals for help, the tower is now sitting on property owned by Mr. Del Mastro's mother, who is getting paid a monthly fee to host the tower. And although Mr. Del Mastro says he has nothing to do with this small piece of property that sits beside the Del Mastro car lot, he likes to park his cube van promoting the Peterborough rail line right beside the tower on this property he says he has nothing to do with. Talk about adding insult to injury....We need the help of our federal MP to get this cell tower removed. We invite all of the candidates to visit our community, hear our story and have a conversation with us on how to move forward on this very serious issue. Mr. Del Mastro's slogan is 'a safer, stronger, better Canada.' Well with the cell tower in my backyard on his mother's property, I know I am not safer. My neighbourhood is surely not stronger and folks, my neighbourhood is definitely not better!
- Jill N. Jones, Ware Street

Train talk is premature: "....we did have a little problem recently in the south end, a cell phone tower on Del Mastro property on Lansdowne Street. We collected probably as many signatures opposing the tower as Mr. Del Mastro got in favour of the mythical railway. But we got no enraged outburst for our petition, not even an acknowledgement that we exist with a tower in our back yards. Mr. Del Mastro, get it down and you get our votes!"
- Pat Power, Ware Street

Better transit solutions than a train: "A Peterborough train would be nice, but the practical and affordable solution for improved transportation between Toronto and Peterborough is to get out a bucket of paint and give our buses a lane that will enable them to get in and out of the Big Smoke without getting stalled in traffic. HOV lanes aren't just greener, they are more financially responsible, because they make more efficient use of the transportation infrastructure we already have."
- Clifford Maynes, Peterborough

Bus is the ticket: "Peterborough wake up. We don't need a MP pushing for the wealthy, we need someone who cares about the less fortunate and those struggling to make ends meet and our seniors. That's who will get my vote."
- Margaret Nold, Peterborough

Harper, Conservatives have abandoned environment: "Less than two years ago, it seemed that Canadians had finally woken up to the reality of climate change and were ready to support tough government action. However, looking at voting intentions in this election, it's clear we have slipped back into complacency.... Stephen Harper is hoping to convince us it can be business as usual and that now is not the time to bring in change. The subliminal message seems to be that the warnings of scientists don't really need to be heeded. The lack of a viable program on the part of the Conservatives is profoundly destructive. It sabotages any claims to environmental leadership that Canada may still have in the world and, on a more personal level, simply destroys hope in the future."
- Drew Monkman, Peterborough

Cost of growth is too great: "It is well past time for this community to recognize that there are and must be limits to growth if we are to survive. "Empty" land is generally either agricultural fields, which we are foolishly allowing to be covered with subdivisions, or wetlands crucial to flood control and waterfowl habitat, or forests, which supply oxygen we need to breathe. Shoreline is particularly critical as the cradle of aquatic life."
- Joan Reeves, Peterborough

Clear discussion of issues needed: "As citizens we must not value low taxes over services we need, especially for our children. We can't skimp on education and health services for them and then put our failures into expensive prisons and rehabs."
- Betty Borg, Gifford Drive

Not so nice guy: "Does a leader have to bully you and lie to you for you to think him a fit leader?"
- Catherine Kaye, Fraserville

Harper's Teflon mystery: "Stephen Harper is Teflon man; nothing sticks to him. Can someone explain why? Experts condemn his policies, but Harper just promises more of the same. First, there is global warming....Second, there is his policy on youth crime....Third, Harper espouses laissez-faire economics at a time when the financial system in the United States is near collapse because of the absence of adequate regulation. Fourth, Harper justifies cuts to arts funding....What am I missing?"- Alan Slavin, Peterborough

Tory path to US: "A vote for the Conservative Party will result in a deterioration of Canada that we have not as yet experienced, similar to where the United States is today."
- George Kerr, Peterborough

Health care on death bed: "If voters search the Fraser Institute website they'll easily find an article titled 'Kill the Canada Health Act.'....Harper's Conservative cabinet is full of former Mike Harris ministers....Get ready to take out a mortgage to pay for major surgery. ....Our tax cutting Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty, has taken too much out of the government revenue stream to allow us to weather the gathering economic storm and properly maintain important programs like health care. Voting Conservative will be a grave mistake for all Canadians who care about our universal health care system."
- Scott Cisco, Hastings

Harper claims, Liberals do: "When Mr. Harper came to power Canada had a strong economy, a healthy government surplus, and we were paying down the debt. Now, the surpluses are gone so we can't afford as much debt reduction and the North American economy is a mess. And, lo and behold, the Conservative government has been outspending Paul Martin's Liberals, who Tories love to portray as tax and spend types"
- John Hoffman, Morrow Street

World is in peril and Harper is shovelling quicksand: "This election has a fundamental theme that underlies all of the political rhetoric: individualism versus community values. The difference is huge: the global climate and worldwide poverty demand government intervention if our children's children are to survive. Instead, Stephen Harper's Conservatives ask us to choose lower taxes, appealing to our self-interest. They refuse to include the environmental and social costs of meeting individual needs. The remaining parties -Green, Liberal, NDP -understand that we have to maintain or raise taxes to combat the most serious environmental, economic and social threats ever to face the country."
- Linda Slavin, Peterborough

Non-vote is a vote for winner: "If you don't vote or if you spoil your ballot you have just voted for the party with the highest number of votes, no matter which party wins."
- Len Colp, Bailieboro

Vote with my heart or with my head?: "This is a difficult election. For the first time in my life, I am an undecided voter. I have a Liberal sign on my lawn and an NDP sign and if the Greens call I'll take a Green sign too. I'll draw the line at the blue sign or the Bloc, but that's as far as I can go."
- Margaret Slavin, Lake Street

Vote for a better future: "If you care about the future of the country and our children and grandchildren please vote for a candidate who cares about the environment and the economy, which are closely linked issues."
- Vivian Heinmiller, Peterborough


Related:
Thinking of Voting for Dean Del Mastro? Make Sure You Have All the Facts
Election 2008 Riding Profile - Peterborough: Includes Some Comments from Around the Web
Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro (Peterborough Riding) Voted Against....
Letters to the Peterborough Examiner re: Little Lake
Take Down the Cell Tower Citizens' Action Group: Info Gathering Sun. Oct. 5th

ELECTION HOT BUTTON ISSUES
Little Lake | Train | Economy | Environment | Arts and Culture | Crime | Aboriginal Issues |  Children/Families | Women's Issues |  Election Issues | Ethics | Political Campaigns | Peterborough
 

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