On September 9, 2015, Strathcona candidates Linda Duncan (NDP MP) and Eleanor Olszewski (Liberal candidate) debated legal issues which are central to the upcoming federal election. Closing remarks were omitted from the debate, but the candidates were pleased to provide closing remarks for Ms. Magna Carta’s blog. Please see below, and check back tomorrow for a link to the debate video!
"We have witnessed a decade of Conservative regressive measures changing the face of Canada, marring our international reputation, diminishing our Charter rights, showing disregard for the rule of law and the judiciary, eviscerating our once strong environmental protection regime, and abrogating Treaty rights. It is time for a change in governance to restore our basic democratic rights beginning with an elections process that supports the right to vote and reflects all preferences through proportional representation. Canadians are calling for a genuinely balanced and diversified economy, one that restores open transparent decision making and restores the balance between development and environment. My twice tabled Environmental Bill of Rights would enshrine those rights and duties. We need a government that honours the UNDRIP and delivers on a respectful nation to nation relationship with indigenous Canadians. We must restore our once lauded international reputation and uphold our obligations and commitments to human rights and environment, including missing and murdered indigenous women and the plight of refugees. This is your time and your choice. I encourage you to play your part in helping to deliver better governance.”
“Thank you for inviting me to this debate in celebration of democracy's birth certificate – the Magna Carta. With the election a little over a month away, it is an optimum time to reflect upon the foundations of our government and the values that make us Canadian. I believe that Canadians' faith in government has never been lower – that unprecedented power has been concentrated in the hands of the Prime Minister and his office and that our government operates in a culture of secrecy, control, and hyper-partisanship. I also believe that a Liberal government, under Justin Trudeau, will bring about the sweeping changes that we need in order restore a sense of trust in our democracy.
This includes enhanced access to government information, restoring relevance to Question Period, electoral reform, and an end to the "first past the post" voting system, the unmuzzling of government scientists, return of the long form census, an equal number of men and women in Cabinet, and the formation of a Youth Advisory Counsel so that young people can provide advice to the PM on issues that concern them. These proposals form part of the Liberal plan for a fair and open government.
We have many challenges ahead of us – from the threat of climate change to the Syrian refugee crisis; from missing and murdered Aboriginal women to affordable housing. We can make better decisions with a fair and open government that reflects the values and expectations of Canadians. And in so doing, we can remain true to the living document that is the Magna Carta.”