Federal NDP candidate Richard Cannings addressed his supporters at a Meet the Candidate event on Monday morning at his Castlegar campaign office.

Cannings responds to Conservative “misinformation”

Richard Cannings, NDP candidate for South Okanagan-West Kootenay, addressed claims made by the Conservatives at an event on Monday.

With three weeks left in the federal election campaign, NDP candidate Richard Cannings invited supporters and community members to his Castlegar campaign office on Monday morning.

The event was called Meet the Candidate, and Cannings took the opportunity to address some claims the Conservatives have made about the NDP, which he says are misinformation.

A brochure for Conservative candidate Marshall Neufeld that was sent out through the mail claims that the NDP voted no to pension income-splitting.

While the NDP did vote against a bill that introduced pension income-splitting, Cannings explains that doesn’t mean the NDP is against it.

“[Conservatives] say we will get rid of pension income splitting for seniors. We will not, we’re very much in favour of that,” he said. “They just say we voted against it because it was in a big omnibus bill—their budget bill—and we had to vote against those 400-page bills because they contained very negative things for Canada within them.”

The bill in question was Bill C-52, which was actually only 134 pages long. It covered 2007 budget items, including pension income splitting for seniors, but also introduced controversial items, like a new formula for calculating equalization payments that upset Atlantic provinces, especially Newfoundland and Labrador.

Another brochure circulated on behalf of Neufeld claims that an “NDP government would revive gun registry.”

“We will not bring back the long-gun registry. Period,” Cannings said in response.

While the brochure points out Conservatives “scrapped the long-gun registry,” technically it doesn’t claim that the NDP would bring that specific legislation back (though you could argue it’s implied). The brochure instead references an article published by the Toronto Star on December 3, 2014 in which Thomas Mulcair talked about finding a way of tracking firearms while avoiding the pit-falls of the long-gun registry.

But Cannings wanted to make it very clear that doesn’t mean they will bring back the long-gun registry.

“I want that crystal clear,” he said,” because that’s what people care about.”

Asked what his plans are for the next three weeks, Cannings said, “It’s basically the same plans we’ve had for the last few weeks: getting out, talking to people, getting our message out, finding out where our supporters are, getting those supporters out to vote.”

“It’s getting the message out about the importance of this election,” he continued. “Why an NDP vision of Canada is closer to the values of most Canadians then the values of this present government, and we’re finding great support on the door step. People say it’s time for change.”

Supporters at the Castlegar office on Monday morning included Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy and Leo Gerard, international president of the United Steelworkers.