Hamilton Spectator: McHale – winner; Hoskins – loser; Finley – chicken

The Hamilton Spectator has confirmed our impression that Gary outshined Dr. Eric during last Saturday’s televised Cable 14 debate  On the eve of the Caledonia debate tonight and the Simcoe debate set for Wednesday, the Spec summed up the Haldimand-Norfolk debate like this:

Simple or smooth — you chooseSpectator political columnist Andrew Dreschel took in six hours of local candidates’ debates and tells you who won and who lost 


Winner: Gary McHale, Independent

Loser: Eric Hoskins, Liberal

With Conservative incumbent Diane Finley apparently chickening out, the stage was set for star Liberal candidate Eric Hoskins to shine.

But the well-spoken Rhodes Scholar and war zone humanitarian was upstaged by Gary McHale, the well-known Caledonia activist (or, if you prefer, rabble rouser) who is running as an Independent.

Hoskins undermined his own position by first identifying the native land claims as the most urgent issue facing the riding, but offered no solution other than a deadline for negotiations which would be tepidly followed by mediation in case of an impasse. Gee, that would be different.

By contrast, McHale promised to rattle cages and maintain a media spotlight on the issue until it was solved, threatening to be the worst nightmare for the OPP and provincial and federal powers that be.

While Hoskins responsibly offered more of the same, McHale dared frustrated voters to take a risky walk with him along the edge

The Hamilton Spectator, Andrew Dreschel, Oct 6/08: Simple or smooth – you choose

Latebreaking news in the Chicken department…

The Cable 14 debate wasn’t to be the last debate Finley skipped – we received word this morning that she was scheduled to appear for a Caledonia photo op at Industrial Drive at 12:00 noon with none other than Jim Flaherty, Canada’s Minister of Finance.

Nicole Lampa of CTV News was calling to ask if Gary would be in the area and available for an interview whereupon we informed her that Gary was on his way to an All-Candidates meeting sponsored by the Simcoe Rotary Club – a meeting for which candidates were asked to arrive at 11:45!

A Caledonia resident has advised us that the Conservatives have sent out an email saying the Prime Minister Harper will be at Mount Hope Airport tomorrow at 5pm.

It is sad that Diane Finley thinks that bringing in the ‘big guns’ one week before an election is going to compensate for her record of avoiding voters. It also proves that Marie Trainer was right on the money about just how effective Gary McHale was going to be in keeping Caledonia’s agony at the forefront of the election:

“Despite the OPP’s and the McGuinty government’s attempts to cast McHale as a troublemaker, Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer thinks his candidacy is positive. With McHale in the race, Trainer says Haldimand’s quest for peace, law and order, stability and justice will feature prominently in the coming campaign. She says McHale will force the other candidates to state their position on the issue of two-tiered justice. “”I definitely think he’ll get some votes,” Trainer said. “No doubt in my mind. We’ll have to wait and see what happens on election night. People will change their minds right up to when they step in the polling booth. He will keep the land claims issue in the forefront.””

Brantford Expositor & Simcoe Reformer, Sept 04/08: McHale seeks H-N seat in federal election

Can there be any doubt whatsoever that it was Gary McHale and his growing campaign strength that forced the Prime Minister’s office to finally pay attention to Caledonia? Finley’s avoidance of voters in favour of cheap photo-opp stunts is an insult to the people of the riding, especially to the victims of race-based policing.

Where have they all been for the last 2.5 years while Gary was being jailed, slandered, beaten and financially ruined while speaking out for Caledonia?

Be sure to read Jeff Parkinson’s take on Finley’s shameless use of the Prime Minister’s coat tails: Desperate Finley brings Flaherty and Harper to Haldimand-Norfolk



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