Thursday, October 9, 2008

Haldimand "Federal Election 2008 My Predictions for Haldimand/Norfolk"

I thought it was time for me to tread in risky waters and voice my opinions on the Federal Election of 2008. As the long weekend is on our doorstep, most of us will be enjoying the beautiful weather this weekend, family and friends and a feast for Thanksgiving. Then we will "all" be going to the polls on Tuesday October 14th! So this will be my last post on the Federal Election.

I am going to give my predictions and I look forward to hearing yours!

First my opinions on the Leaders of the main Parties;

Elizabeth May I believe did an excellent job in proving that the Green Party is more than a one-issue party. She also expressed her support of the proportional voting, and mentioned that Dion and Layton were not in agreement, while Harper supported proportional voting. May states "Vote with your Heart".

Stephen Dion stated that the Green Shift Plan is revenue neutral and are tax cuts, when in fact the plan is neither neutral nor a tax cut. I think most Canadians are not buying into his plan and he has tried to back peddle his way out, but it certainly doesn’t look good when a promise is being broken half way through an election campaign. Dion also stated I say the truth better in French then English, I have no idea what that means but it is a bit scary. Dion also states that the Liberals are centre, I thought they were left. So does he mean that they lean one way one day and the next day they lean another way?

Jack Layton criticised Dion for being absent in the house and said that he is the only voice against Harper. When speaking to the press after one of the debates, Layton said he was not interested in the job of the opposition party. He also states that the PM does not care about Canada or Canadians! Yesterday Layton compared the times we are in with the depression, now that scared the hell out of me. When asked by the press to explain what he meant, he dodged the question.

PM Stephen Harper I believe is very grounded and at a time of great turmoil in the world’s economy we need a Leader that is not going to scare us half to death. Harper has admitted that we are in tough times, but reminded us that out of the G7, Canada is the strongest Country. Harper also reminded us that Canada has tight controls on our banking system and we are not in the same situation that the US is in.

Now back to the local candidates and issues.

During the Liberals contest/nominations in Haldimand/Norfolk there were three nominees. Eric Hoskins, Victoria Young, and Ken Hewitt of Caledonia. When it was all said and done, Eric Hoskins won by "1" vote over Ken Hewitt. If Ken Hewitt had won and was running as the Liberal candidate for Haldimand/Norfolk would things have been different? Would Gary McHale have ran as an Independent in Haldimand/Norfolk against Ken Hewitt? Just a thought!

Another thought as I am talking about nominations/contests. Each association (Liberals, NDP, Conservative, and Greens) had their contests and chose their "Candidate" that will best represent their parties. It is now our responsibility to choose the candidate that represents the "Party" we want to see in power.

Back to my thoughts on the local Candidates in Haldimand/Norfolk.

Steven Elgersma Christian Heritage Party; God love him! Steven has a good sense of humour, he made us chuckle a few times during the debate in Kohler. Last election the CHP party garnered around 559 votes and I predict their votes will be around the same.

Ian Nicols, NDP; I didn’t find him very knowledgeable about local issues. His answer for the land claims was ridiculous. He basically stated that if elected he would make everyone sit at the negotiating table and not leave until it was done! This is not a "realistic" answer. The NDP platform in my opinion would put us on our knees. Last election the NDP garnered around 6500 votes and I don’t see a lot of gain in their numbers.

Eric Hoskins, Liberal; He hasn’t lived here in many years. He didn’t seem to be in touch with what the issues are in Haldimand, especially in regards to the farmers. He had no real answer for the Land Claims issues, but had lots to say about what Finley and the Conservative government has not done. The Liberal Green Shift plan is too risky for me in these uncertain times. The Liberal platform would also put us on our knees. I will talk about my predictions for the Liberals later on in my blog, as this one gets a bit tricky! Bob Speller lost his seat to Diane Finley; he garnered around 18,500 votes.

Stephana Johnson, Green Party; Stephana is very knowledgeable on the party platform but seems to be out of her realm against the feuding that is going on between the Liberals, Conservatives and the Independent. Again the economy is in turmoil and I think the carbon tax is a hard sell. The Greens carbon tax includes a 1% hike in the GST as well. The Green party garnered around 560 vote’s last election and I predict that they will get around the same this time.

Diane Finley, Conservative Party; Diane Finley is not only our MP for Haldimand/Norfolk she is a cabinet minister, which means she is in the elite circle of "24" of the closet people in Canada to PM Stephen Harper. This is quite an honour to be chosen out of 308 MP’s across Canada. Diane Finley defeated Bob Speller the Liberal MP in Haldimand/Norfolk in 2004; he was also a cabinet minister.

During the debate in Kohler when she was accused of not being here for the residents of Caledonia, she went on to explain how her week goes. She goes to Ottawa on a Sunday night and comes home on a Friday night. She attended over 300 "official" functions in the last 2 ½ years. But it seems for many in Haldimand County this has not been enough! You can be the judge on that one.

As the incumbent she is in the most difficult seat out of all the candidates, and spends most of her time defending what she has been doing. This is not unusual as every election whether Municipal, Provincial or Federal the incumbent is always in the same position. Diane Finley won the last election with around 25,800 votes.

Gary McHale, Independent; Gary has been a voice for many residents in Caledonia/Haldimand for the last two years. He has stated many times that he has put his life on virtual hold to fight for their rights. I have had dealings with Gary McHale in the past and we have always agreed to disagree.

This is an excerpt from Gary’s campaign site;

If Dr. Eric doesn’t understand that the media are one of the most important weapons against injustice and political ineptitude, then he needs to throw in the towel right now. The use of media as a tool of change is not the only thing he doesn’t grasp. As Gary said last night, neither Hoskins or Finley understand that the Caledonia issue isn’t about land claims, it’s about the lawlessness that has victimized innocent people for more than two years. If Hoskins can’t even admit or understand that race-based policing exists, how could he possibly work to stop it?

Now when I look at the bigger picture of what is facing Canada, I wonder what will Gary McHale actually achieve if elected as an MP? Is this the right time for an Independent in Haldimand/Norfolk? Gary McHale states the Caledonia issue is not about the "Land Claims" it is about the "Lawlessness", is this not a Provincial matter?

A few points about an Independent, they come with no baggage, no party platform, and when elected usually have a very difficult time in the House. They are a voice, but how strong is that voice? In the past Independents have crossed the floor to gain a stronger voice. If Gary McHale is elected as our MP will he cross the floor to gain a stronger voice? If so, what party would he cross over to? Another question here is does an Independent have this choice, or are they asked?

The last time an Independent ran in Haldimand was in 1984, with around 55,000 votes cast he garnered around 560 votes.

Before I give you my "Party" of choice, I would like to say "Kudos" to all of the candidates in Haldimand/Norfolk. "Kudos" to their strong voices, and the belief that their party has the best platform. I know from experience that this is not an easy task.

During the referendum in the Provincial election we were asked a question in regards to "Proportional Voting". I voted no as I just wasn’t sure about some of the changes. One in particular was the "apparent secret" names in an envelope. I won’t get into this right now, but my point is that until our system changes we are voting for a party platform, not who we like or don’t like.

Unlike May’s stand I say, "Vote with Your Head".

I can almost bet a dollar that if we are in a "Minority" government again, with Jack Layton as the opposition party we will face another election within a year!

I believe that the Conservatives are the best choice for the times we are in. We need stability; we need a Majority government. We don’t need massive changes in our system in times of global uncertainty.

My vote goes to Diane Finley of the Conservative Party.

Here are my predictions;

NDP, Greens and CHP will come in with around the same numbers as last election.

Independent Gary McHale will take around 2000 votes, and the fight for the seat will be between Finley and Hoskins. I believe this will be a very close race, but my prediction is that Finley will win her seat.

The Liberals are strong in Norfolk and the Conservatives are strong in Haldimand.

My prediction is that Gary McHale will take votes away from Finley in Haldimand, which in essence are votes for Hoskins.

Now just to add a twist here, in the last election there were about 6500 votes separating Speller and Finley. I believe if Ken Hewitt had been the candidate of choice for the Liberals, he would have won the seat. Here is my reasoning; he would have taken votes away from Finley, add into the mix an Independent taking votes from Finley and well there you have it!

I am not an expert on Politics, but it has been enjoyable.

My belief is that "Every Vote Counts". Make your "Vote Count" on October 14, 2008!

Your Predictions?


  1. You clearly missed the debates in Simcoe. Three separate times Finley went down in flames. She has not been there for Caledonia, Tobacco farmers and individuals in her riding.

    Your view is typical of why Canadians have so little true representation in Ottawa. People vote blindly for a party regardless how bad the local MP and the Party has treated the riding. It is because of this blind voting by Canadians that the parties get away with not truly helping people in their riding.

    Donna, generally I see your view as quite reasonable however, your blind devotion to Diane because of the PC party is exactly why she and other MPs get away with this crap.

    Sorry to say, Donna, but you are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

    Your way of thinking will only make the problem get worse, but hey you live in Dunnville and are unlikely to be hospitalized by the violence in Caledonia.

    I only hope the next time you try to run for council, people remember your support for Diane.

  2. Ouch Donna did you feel that?

    This person did not read what your wrote. They are talking from the heart. You are not part of the problem and I for one thak you again for your coverage of the issue during this election.

    What has happended to residents of Haldimand? Why can a person not debate instead of speaking in this manner!

    You did not come across to me as being blind nor devoted to anyone. You simply stated your opinion, and as you have said before, thank goodness we live in a country that we have the right to have our say.

    I say "Kudo's" to you Donna for speaking clearly, with your head and not "personally" attacking anyone.

    I cannot say as much for the above poster.


  3. On Thursday, October 2, 2008, I went to the All Candidates Debate in Dunnville. I would like to take a minute to give my impressions of the candidates.

    The Conservative Party candidate, Diane Finley, was not in attendance. I think this sums up exactly what she stands for. The comment was made by the Christian Heritage Party candidate that he was sure she had a good reason; however, she did not deem us important enough to give that reason to.

    The Christian Heritage Party candidate, Steve Elgersma, seems to be a good man with strong convictions, but he is a little to extreme to earn my vote.

    The Green Part has a very progressive platform. Although the party leader, Ms. May, did an excellent job in the Leaders Debate, our local candidate, Stephana Johnston, was not prepared for our local debate and although sincere, I fear is not ready to represent us in Ottawa.

    The Liberal Party candidate, Dr. Eric Hoskins, is a great representative of his party and was by far the best politician at the debate. However, outside the Liberal Party Platform, he presented no ideas of his own. And like a good politician, he flip-flopped on many issues. For example, he said that he wants to see more development in Haldimand and he stands for saving farm land. Forgive me if I am being dense, but I don’t understand how you can have it both ways.

    Dr. Hoskins did make a very valid point about independent Gary McHale. If you support Mr. McHale’s efforts in Caledonia, don’t send him away to Ottawa with your vote. Keep him here, working for his cause, drawing attention to Caledonia’s concerns in a way that no politician, independent or otherwise, can.

    These conclusions leave, for me, only one option and one candidate – NDP candidate Ian Nichols. He was very well prepared for the debate. He understands his party’s platform, but is not blinded by it to the point that he forgets about his local constituents’ concerns.

    Unlike what Dr. Hoskins said in his closing statements (a very unprofessional comment, I might add), a vote for the NDP is not a vote for Finley. A vote for Ian Nichols is a vote for the people. For a Party Leader with the people at heart.

    We aren’t happy with Finley. We are not impressed with the Liberals. But we are NOT America. We are NOT a two party system. Don’t throw your vote away by voting for someone you don’t believe in to stop someone you don’t believe in from getting elected. There is an alternative, and the majority WANTS an alternative. I know who I am voting for.

  4. Donna you hit the nail on the head. Until our system changes in Canada, we vote for the party, not the candidate.

    I won't tell you where my vote is but I will tell you that it is not with the Independent. I would never vote for an Independent.

    Besides a vote for the Independent would be a wasted vote, we need him so desperately here to keep laying charges. He will have no time for that if he was in Ottawa. Of course I am being sarcastic!

  5. I will wait until the moment I walk into the voting booth. While I am disgusted with the party structure in this country it will be essential to vote strategically on October 14, 2008.

    There are effectively three choices that I will consider on October 14, 2008.

    The first is Diane Finley, a member who has done little to enhance the fortunes of the residents of Haldimand/Norfolk since she was first elected. Diane is a ladder climber which has been obvious from her roles in the Harper government. She sees Haldimand/Norfolk as nothing more than a vehicle to get her a seat so she can play at the National level. Anyone that portrays her as anything else with regard to this riding is misleading you.

    The second is Eric Hoskins, a wannabe member doctor who proclaims many successes in foreign countries helping improve the lot of the underprivileged in third world countries. If you look at the list of countries he proclaims as successes you will find a number of them are countries still in the throes of war and deprevation. Mr. Hoskins while being born in Simcoe is really a Toronto based MD who like Finley is really interested in the fortunes of participating at the National level and simply sees Haldimand/Norfolk as a vehicle to get elected. He was parachuted into this riding with the sole objective of unseating Diane Finley. He does not really understand the issues facing residents in Haldimand/Norfolk nor does he seemingly care.

    The third choice is Gary McHale, an independent. Certainly Mr. McHale understands the law and order issues in Caledonia/Haldimand/Brant and has been a stalwart in fighting for those trapped and affected by the law and order issues of the past two and one half years. We all owe Mr. McHale our thanks in dealing with these Provincial issues. However, there is less of an understanding by Mr. McHale of the Land Claims issues facing both Six Nations and the residents of Haldmand and Brant Counties. By saying "give them the land" if a land claim is valid demonstrates a lack of understanding of the history affecting these negotiations. The majority of the claims would be rendered invalid by the 1844 surrender and those that would likely have some validity will be related to a failure in fiduciary responsibility by the Crown resulting in a financial settlement. Land is not one of the considerations in the Land Claims issues facing residents of this area as was said by Jim Prentice in a letter dated October 13, 2006 "The Six Nations' lawsuit involves allegations of breaches of fiduciary duty in the administration of Six Nations' lands and assets. The claims focus on how land and money were managed as opposed to ownership and a return of lands." While I along with others have been frustrated with the time table for negotiations, I believe Mr. Prentice expressed the negotiating position of the Federal Government which is not about the return of lands but rather money. The occupations, blockades, violence, indimidation, interference in development by Six Nations as well as Land Ownership and Title are not a Federal issue but rather a McGuinty Provincial issue. I would vote for Mr. McHale if I thought that vote would affect whether I thought Hoskins or Finley were going to be elected and my vote for Mr. McHale would keep it from either of them. I wouldn't waste my vote on any of the other candidates since voting for Mr. McHale sends a message to the other two.

    So I don't really know which way to vote today and will decide on October 14, 2008 since nobody has yet demonstrated to me they have earned my vote.

  6. Donna you are Brave! My votes goes to you!

  7. I have to agree with the first poster. I will not vote Diane in this time around. To vote her in gives us the same old , same old. She has blown her chance by not being available.
    McHale has promised to be "a thorn in their side if elected", that IMO does not get us any further ahead.
    I would like to see Hoskins get in for Haldimand/Norfolk and Harper at the healm in Ottawa with a minority gov't. This time around I am voting for the man not the party as I have done in the past.
    I have seem a lot of Hoskin signs around on properties where they were die hard PC's.
    It will be interesting to say the least.

  8. My vote Donna goes to the Liberal Party. I would like to see a minority government again and give them a chance to make this work. All the major Leaders in this Election have got to know that we as the people will not put up with them playing games. I have always been a Liberal and I am not about to change my vote now. I like Dr. Eric Hoskins and he has my blessing.

  9. Thanks everyone for your comments.

    Let's get the percentage of voters to 70% across Haldimand/Norfolk. No matter what the outcome is our voices will be heard loud and clear!

  10. I disagree with the first poster on the following;

    "People vote blindly for a party regardless how bad the local MP and the Party has treated the riding", "Your blind devotion to Diane because of the PC party is exactly why she and other MPs get away with this crap".

    Donna you are not blind and you have provided a great service during this election campaign. Thank-You! You did not publicly support Diane Finley nor the Conservatives through the last couple of weeks. You posted as much information about the party platforms and the individual candidates as they released the information. You have just today, your last post before the election given your predictions and who you are going to vote.I have no doubt you as most people do have thought long and hard the issues. It is clear that the first poster is very angry and lives in Caledonia.

    The first poster also states; I only hope the next time you try to run for council, people remember your support for Diane. that is very childish. If you decide to run in the next election I hope to goodness that you would not be judged that way!

    The following post is very true and people should be aware of what level of government oversees what. The poster states; The occupations, blockades, violence, indimidation, interference in development by Six Nations as well as Land Ownership and Title are not a Federal issue but rather a McGuinty Provincial issue.


    Green Candidate Warns Against Strategic Voting

    Haldimand-Norfolk, October 9, 2008 – Haldimand-Norfolk Green Party candidate Stephana Johnston is warning voters to beware of strategic voting schemes. Johnston notes that there is an extensive campaign aimed at stopping the Harper Conservatives by voting “strategically” for the candidate who has the best chance of beating the Conservative candidate on a riding-by-riding basis.

    “This is an attempt at do-it-yourself proportional representation,” says Ms. Johnston. “There could be a lot of unintended consequences.” Johnston says the electoral system is seriously flawed but these attempts to woo voters from smaller parties will have a negative effect. The Green Party is finally being taken seriously in this election and Ms. Johnston fears a loss of momentum could result if voters opt to switch their vote based on strategy.

    “Here in Haldimand-Norfolk, we don’t even have the level of polling that gives voters enough information to vote strategically,” explains Johnston. Last year, the Green candidate worked on Fair Vote Canada’s campaign for electoral reform as recommended by the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly.

    “Voters should be able to vote for their convictions and not for the lesser of two evils,” adds Johnston. “People deserve the right to vote for something they want rather than holding their noses and voting against what they don’t want.”

    Johnston sees a silver lining in the strategic voting controversy. “At least Canadians are starting to see the shortcomings of the present system,” she says. “That’s the first step toward reform but we need to really reform the system and not simply try to work around the present unfairness by limiting our democratic choices.”

    Johnston also notes that the Green Party depends on federal funding which is based upon the number of votes received. “When a Green supporter votes for a different party, federal funding for the Greens is lost.” Though the approximately $1 million per year the Greens get is small when compared to the amount the big, old-line parties get, it is essential for the Greens in paying salaries and keeping offices open in Ottawa.

    For further information, contact:

    Jim Elve
    Campaign Manager for
    Stephana Johnston

    Green Party of Canada

  12. The fact that Ken Hewitt lost the federal Liberal nomination by "1" vote is a load of Liberal manufactured BS. I spoke with one of the scrutineers in that nomination process, who claimed that in all the years of being involved in politics, this nomination process had a definite stink attached to it. Ken Hewitt was added to the Liberal nomination process as a way of trying to secure some support for the Liberals in Caledonia. I beleive that he was going to lose by "1" vote at the same time he was asked to run. The real battle was between Young and Hoskins, with the loser getting the nomination in Hamilton Centre (as a parachuted, hand selected candidate). If it weren't for the legal action being taken by those involved in the Caledonia Class Action law suit against
    Mr. Hewitt, he may just have run as an independent in this election. Too bad, because he probably would have easily defeated both Hoskins and Finley.

  13. My predictions Donna;

    Finley Wins!
    Hoskins Very Very Close!
    McHale 585 votes!

  14. The New Democratic Party hopes to get a big boost this election. They want to form government, really they do. They are taking care to refer to the Liberals in only dismissive ways, implying they are no longer relevant, which is an understanable strategy for them.

    buzz marketing

  15. What does Finley do right???? She does not address any issue it seems. The following article in the Simcoe Reformer makes me sick:

    Finley apologizes to distraught grandfather at all-candidates debate
    Posted By Barbara Simpson, SIMCOE REFORMER
    Updated 1 hour ago

    A teary-eyed Waterford-area grandfather accused MP Diane Finley of neglecting his children and grandchildren Wednesday night.

    At the Simcoe all-candidates’ debate, Bill Mason stumbled through an account of his two grandchildren — four and seven — falling ill from food in May. He said he turned to Finley and her office for support in determining what was the cause of their illness — even signing away their privacy, so her office could launch an investigation.

    “I came to your office in person with my files and photos,” he said, wiping back tears. “To this day, I’ve never received a call or e-mail from your staff members.”

    Choked up, he asked, “Why in my children’s moment of need did you not fulfil your promise? I accuse you and your staff of apathy.”

    The other candidates, as well as the audience, remained quiet, as Finley struggled through an apology.

    “I offer you my heartfelt apologies,” Finley said. “The lady who was working on the file hasn’t been there since August, but that’s no excuse.”

    This wasn’t the only tough question candidates faced from audience members at Wednesday’s debate held at the Park Place Banquet Centre. War resisters and their supporters asked Finley why her government didn’t support American dodgers remaining in Canada when they acknowledged that the war was unjustified. A Caledonia resident — and admittedly an Eric Hoskins supporter — accused Independent Gary McHale of stirring up trouble for both parties involved in the land claim. And even a 10-year girl got up on her tiptoes to reach the microphone and asked candidates how they’d save Norfolk County’s fresh water.

    But what was most striking was how the orange and green stripes came onto their own on the stage — asking tough questions and giving tough opinions — at their last all-candidates night before residents go to the polls Tuesday.

    When discussion turned to a much rumoured Nanticoke nuclear power plant, NDP candidate Ian Nichols refuted Liberal candidate Eric Hoskins who claimed the Liberal party didn’t have plans in the works for a nuclear plant. Hoskins added that the final decision would be left up to the community.

    “You bought the land,” Nichols mumbled as Hoskins tried to douse the flames.

    Green candidate Stephana Johnston also directed some heat onto the Conservative Party, especially about its laissez-faire attitude toward the crumbling economy.

    “On television, he’s trying to appear warm and fuzzy, but he’s panicked,” she commented, reminding the audience that it was his own government who called the election.

    Johnston also took aim at the proposed Conservative bill to dish out adult sentences to children as young as 14 years old.

    “Fourteen year olds don’t need to be thrown in jail with adults,” she exclaimed to a roar of applause. “What kind of justice is that?”

    Article ID# 1240941

  16. You consider yourself limited in politics. This is so very true. Mrs D. Finley and her husband were unemployed individuals some 15 years ago. They were employed by our provicial MPP who is still disgusted in their people skills and attitude that D. Finley and her husband have towards people of Haldimand-Norfolk. Politicians must have some sort of principles, Toby has these. Ms.D. Finley and her husband have no priciples and those that support her are just upholding their attitude. Ms. Finley and her husband deal with us in Haldimand as stepping stones for their own personal gain. Those that vote for her MUST give their head a shake!!!! Finley says she meets with the PM daily so is she is forming the message to benefit her and Doug. People are beliving her and her husbands lies. Remember you get what you vote for and for 3 years she has bone nothing this will never change with her representing Haldimand-Norfolk.

  17. This is why I will not vote for McHale. This is a partial account of what was printed in the paper.

    Name: Gary McHale
    Age: 47
    Political Affiliation: Independent
    Resides: Binbrook
    Family: Wife Christine
    Gary McHale puts a strikingly new meaning into independent candidacy.

    McHale has always been a self-starter - whether that be the accounting software business he first started up or the later wildlife photography CD venture he spearheaded with his wife Christine. But what he is most well-known for is his two-and-a-half year battle to protect Caledonians caught in the crossfire of the Six Nations land claim.

    "There are a lot of things affected by Caledonia," said McHale, also founder of the well-known website "That shuts down business to Nanticoke and the industrial park. Port Dover is affected by tourism."

    But McHale, of Binbrook, doesn't want to be known as a one-trick pony by his fellow candidates - who have turned to calling him that in fear of the votes he is now receiving, he claims.

    "The vast majority of people agree with me," he said. "I think in general most Canadians are fed up with their elected officials."

    McHale has specific solutions to most of the daunting issues facing both Norfolk and Haldimand counties, including infrastructure. One example is the Nanticoke pipeline that could feed both counties with fresh water.

    "One of the many commitments I'm making is getting the government to finish the pipeline," he said, adding that the current crumbling infrastructure was created in the 1940s.

    He also has his sights set on widening Highway 24.

    "You can't attract businesses if they can't get to the markets," he said.

    But he also realizes that simply widening a stretch of highway won't have businesses knocking at our doors. Sometimes politicians have to go pounding on theirs.

    "We really need the different levels of government to promote an area," he said. "There's no reason why an MP can't go along with councillors to attend sales meetings."

    But while most would support his initiatives, the public is left questioning if an independent candidate can truly accomplish much in the House of Commons.

    "I think it's a lot easier," he refuted. "I'm not going to be gagged by the party."

    He said he would use his allotted time in the House of Commons to do what he's good at - embarrassing politicians.

    "You gotta embarrass them," he said. "That I do through the media. That I do through kicking and screaming in the House of Commons."

  18. Good analysis Donna.

    And I agree. I'll be voting PC.

    I also think Finley HAS been involved more than people think.

    As far as McHale? He's a non-starter in this and is only looking for further audiences to stir up anti-native sentiment. I don't believe he gives a rat's butt about anyone but himself.

    Haldimand would be much better off if he were to go back to Richmond Hill and find a new hobby. He's a side-show at best.

    Again, great blog here.

  19. The above poster said, They were employed by our provicial MPP who is still disgusted in their people skills and attitude that D. Finley and her husband have towards people of Haldimand-Norfolk.

    This is hearsay and propaganda. If this is true the MPP should have posted it themselves and put their name to it, until that happens, this is not credible!

  20. Thanks again everyone for your comments.

    Here is an article by Karen Best;

    Down to the wire

    Candidates make emphatic pitches in Dunnville and Caledonia


    Dunnville and Caledonia residents exhibited a high interest in the federal riding campaign by attending all candidate meetings over the past week.

    More than 100 attended the Dunnville Oct. 2 meeting sponsored by the Dunnville Chamber of Commerce and The Chronicle. On Oct. 6, the Caledonia legion hall was filled by 200 people on chairs and another 200 standing around the room, in the kitchen and in hallways. According to some reports over 100 were turned away.

    The two meetings covered a variety of issues. As predicted by Coun. Don Ricker, several questions unrelated to Six Nations issues were asked in Dunnville. Coun. Lorne Boyko helped sort through written questions from the public and moderator Marg Clark kept the meeting moving smoothly.


    Hoskins said he was ready to roll up his sleeves, work hard and identify organizations to overcome challenges in a respectful and proactive manner. McHale presented himself as an advocate fighting on behalf of the people. Over the past two years, he said he paid dearly for his persistent stand against two tier justice and advocacy for federal protection of charter rights.

    Dunnville will not be forgotten, candidates promised. Nichols said he will be on the streets talking to constituents. Elgersma was described by an audience member as an honest politician when he said his prospects of going to Ottawa were not that great but if he was sent he would represent his community. Johnston would meet on any issue to share ideas. Hoskins said people in the riding will always be his focus. People in government do not want him in the riding but whether elected or not McHale said he will continue fighting for the people.


    At the Dunnville meeting, few candidates exhibited knowledge about Haldimand County's $56 million recovery plan which was sent to both the provincial and federal governments. Hoskins, who has met with developers, said solving the land dispute impasse is essential as is MP ownership of the issue.

    McHale accused Finley of failing to fight for county infrastructure money but instead paid $16 million toward Ontario's purchase of Douglas Creek Estates and $10 million for county OPP costs. Nichols said he would sit at the negotiating table. Johnston agreed that infrastructure can bring back jobs but also expected polluters to clean up the air and water in the riding.

    Asked how candidates will work with the county, Nichols promised to work with all levels. McHale said he has worked with Mayor Marie Trainer and was interviewed by media with her on a few land dispute issues. He would be willing to take county concerns to Queens Park and file police complaints if council is threatened again.

    Finley said she has worked with Haldimand council to arrange meetings and secure membership on side tables working on Six Nations related issues. Later Coun. Craig Grice said he arranged the only meeting he and Trainer had with a federal minister and that Finley had not done much for council. Finley said at the candidate meeting that she wanted to continue working on the county recovery plan to get infrastructure build in order to attract business to Haldimand. Significant progress has been made and an announcement will be made after the election, she added.


    Asked about rising gas prices, Johnston said her party will attempt to convince oil companies to reduce their profits. Hoskins said the Liberals will not increase taxes on gas for four years and as proof of climate change concerns, the party will invest $25 billion into alternate energy sources.

    McHale wanted the GST dropped off gas and the competition act enforced when all gas stations change their prices at the same time. Along with hiring an ombudsmen to scrutinize actions of the oil industry, Nichols wanted shifts to greener technology. Elgersma promoted alternate fuels derived from farm products.

    Finley spoke about the Conservative $200 billion program for biofuels which would provide farmers with more markets and drivers with cleaner fuel.

    To help the manufacturing industry, the NDP will invest in business and promote job training. McHale said Canada needed to set standards on imported products so they meet the same stringent requirements of Canadian products. Jobs will increase as the $33 billion Building Canada fund finances road and other construction, said Finley.

    To eliminate childhood poverty provide jobs for their parents, said McHale. Through the NDP poverty elimination act, poverty will be eradicated by 2020, stated Nichols. If people live according to God's commandments, their barns will over flow, added Elgersma.

    Livable incomes and elimination of taxes on wages below the poverty line were suggested by Johnston. The Liberal platform aimed to cut child poverty in half and slice family poverty by 25 per cent plus invest in infrastructure and child care, said Hoskins.

    To help business, Finley said she will continue to ask the province to enforce the rule of law for all and will fight to get more than the county's share of a federal $40 million infrastructure fund.

    Referring to closing Caledonia businesses and the exodus of Wal Mart, Hoskins expressed support for the county recovery plan and the benefit of promoting Caledonia in a positive manner. When fear grips a community, people act on primitive emotions, said Johnston. By eliminating fear and loathing, confidence in the economy can be restored and rational behaviour can lead to resolution, she added.

    When job loss was raised, Hoskins said the Caledonia issue was having the greatest impact in the riding and that improvements rely on Prime Minister involvement and setting deadlines so progress can be made.

    Lawlessness in Haldimand County is a deterrent to business investment so arrests and negotiating with peaceful natives is the answer, said McHale. He also said victims of violence in the dispute should be able to put liens against federal transfers to Six Nations. Taking a different tack, Nichols said peaceful resolution done in a respectful way will reduce anger and bring prosperity. Elgersma said it is important to move beyond past mistakes and to rely on documents to determine land ownership. By adhering to peace, respect and dignity, nation to nation resolutions can be reached, said Johnston.


    In Dunnville, someone asked candidates about their opinion of the Kelowna Accord. First Nations and federal officials established the accord in 2005 but under Stephen Harper's government it was dropped in 2006. The accord addressed education, child care and housing in First Nations communities.

    McHale outright rejected the accord because there is no accountability for the $20 billion given to native bands. Instead he wanted payments directly to individuals so they could address their own poverty and drinking water issues.

    All along the NDP remained committed to the accord, said Nichols. Elgersma dismissed the assertion by some that First Nations were sovereign.

    Referring to the federal Indian ministry and the Indian Act as patronizing, Johnston wanted money given to First Nations communities who know best how to use it for their people. Along with supporting implementation of the accord, the Liberals will make country wide improvements in health care and child care, added in Hoskins.

    In Caledonia, Finley said the federal government was involved from the very beginning in 2006 and began negotiating immediately. Her statement was later described by McHale as "a bold faced lie". He believed the federal government became involved after a judge ordered it to appear in court in the spring of 2006.

    Finley also said the federal government has demonstrated its desire to negotiate but was disappointed with rejection of a $26 million settlement for the Welland canal flooded lands and the $500 million counter offer from Six Nations. This is a 2000 per cent increase, she noted.

    Referring to little Liberal government action on the Plank Road claimed filed in 1987, she said the best negotiator, Ron Doering, is at the table. Suggestions for mediation were offered by a candidate with no real solutions, she added.

    Hoskins described the Caledonia issue as the most pressing in the riding and planned to tackle it head on. He said individuals can sue, get arrested, stand on a soapbox or hide in Ottawa but those choices won't advance a solution.

    Hoskins told the audience that federal legislation has established a land claims tribunal composed of judges. Once a specific claim is on the file for three years, it will go to the tribunal to decide its legitimacy, he e also referred to binding and final claim arbitration under the law if the court could not settle it. Basing the Plank Road claim on the 2006 occupation by Six Nations, he said time for negotiations will end in 2009 but he will look into the tribunal option as soon as Oct. 16 when the law is in effect.

    Shortly after the tribunal was proposed in June 2007, Doering told media that the Six Nations talks were in a unique process outside of the claims policy and would continue in that vein. As well, compensation limits of $150 million maximum do not apply, he added.

    The tribunal was created to prevent actions in the future, noted Finley who felt it was important that negotiators were motivated to reach a settlement and stated that deadlines and an "or else" threat were detrimental to the process.

    Nichols believed deadlines are not conducive to negotiations. McHale wanted the politicians out of the picture and get the issue transferred to the courts. If it is their land, give it back, he added. He also said Caledonia is held hostage when First Nations issues arise in other communities but no one but him was prepared to stop that. Johnston said this dispute could go to the United Nations which created a declaration of aboriginal rights.

    Hoskins was surprised to hear about returning land when the government always negotiated financial settlements.

    Hoskins was asked to comment on closing a smoke shop on Caledonia's Argyle Street. He responded that all Canadians need to abide by the same rules and laws and illegal smoke shop issues belong at the negotiating table.

    Facing the Caledonia audience, Johnston said First Nations were in the area for 14,000 years, were not conquered and had a right to their land. If Six Nations people are given the respect and dignity they deserve, the dispute will be over in five to 10 years, she added. Later she said Six Nations did not want aboriginal title extinguished or to be assimilated. Inciting and influencing them is not helpful, she added.

    Hoskins reminded the audience that a Caledonia resident begged Prime Minister Stephen Harper to go to his town but Harper told him it was a provincial issue. The Liberal candidate wanted to create a multi-level committee. Membership would include Haldimand-Norfolk and Brant MPs, Haldimand, Brant and Brantford mayors, OPP and Brantford police and aboriginal leaders. During monthly meetings, members can share information and coordinate response to move forward, he added.


    With the potential for an environmental assessment for a nuclear power plant in Nanticoke, candidates were asked about their views.

    Elgersma preferred clean coal but Johnston was forthright in denouncing nuclear power as unsafe, dirty and expensive. She urged people to attend a November energy symposium to learn more.

    Hoskins took the issue to jobs which he said was a real concern with the coal plant shutting down in 2014. Along with exploring all options, he wanted people to participate so the final solution will be something they are comfortable with.

    McHale said very little information has been released on problems with nuclear energy and the benefits of clean coal power generation and recycling coal waste. To make a safe choice, people need to understand ramifications that can occur over 20 years, said Nichols.

    Nichols believed the Liberal government would stick a nuclear plant in Nanticoke.


    Asked about the Liberal green shift's tax effect, Hoskins said the program will give polluters incentive to clean up their act. A family of four will pay about $1 a day in carbon tax as their share of the $15 billion of the annual tax haul. This entire amount will be given back to people in tax cuts that will include a $1,700 tax refund, 10 per cent less taxes for incomes under $37,000, an extra $350 per child and $100 for just filing a return, he explained.


    Elgersma, McHale and Nichols supported 50 per cent federal funding for Medicare. McHale also wanted to see tax breaks to encourage medical professionals to serve in rural communities, to see tax benefits given when people provide long term care for relatives in their homes and to see certification of foreign doctors.

    Combining health care, sports and culture in one ministry will make it possible to prevent illness and promote a healthy lifestyle, said Johnston.

    Hoskins said the Liberals will accelerate transfer payments to the provinces including millions for prescribed medication for catastrophic illnesses including cancer. He also said the party would invest millions in training more doctors and nurses.


    To establish sustainable agriculture, Nichols will consult with farmers. Family farm food production is the safest, noted Johnston. Clear labelling, local purchases and safety nets to ensure a decent living will assist farmers, said Hoskins. Increasing personal tax exemption to $20,000 will help farmers, added McHale.

    If farm corporations are hurting farmers, Nichols will work to change that. McHale pointed out that the NDP think corporations are illegal when instead they create jobs. A $1.2 billion risk management program will assist farmers, said Hoskins. Factory farms produce unsafe food and absolutely should pay taxes, added Johnston.

  21. Who in there right mind wants an MP in Haldimand/Norfolk that says this?

    "You gotta embarrass them," he said. "That I do through the media. That I do through kicking and screaming in the House of Commons."

    Diane Finley has my vote. I agree with another poster whos said Diane has been here more than people know.

  22. And now McHale is accusing the Liberals of being in some sort of top secret smear campaign against him. LMAO!

    Good lord McHale! Everything he writes is a smear against somebody or some group, and now that someone calls him out, he announces to the world that it's a conspiracy.

    Have you ever seen such a crybaby in your life?



    And he wants to go to Ottawa? Give me a break!

    I can hardly wait to see who he will blame and sue after he loses.

    Read this nonsense:

    Hero Member

    Posts: 918

    Last Minute Liberal Smear Campaign
    « on: October 10, 2008, 10:19:13 PM »


    Last Minute Liberal Smear Campaign

  23. I would like to say "Kudos" to all of the posters! Thank you for the posting of information I missed and thanks for being involved in what I can say has been the most interesting Federal Election that I have witnessed!

    I would also like to say "Kudos" to all the candidates!

    "Make your vote Count" "You make a difference"

  24. Hope the Hoskins wins in Haldimand/Norfolk and Harper as PM.

  25. If you decide not to vote for Finley, place your x with the Green Party.

    I am voting for Dinae Finley, but as you have made clear Donna, I am voting for the Party not the Candidate!

    Thanks for the great coverage!

    Great Blog!

  26. Conservatives win with a majority government.

  27. I am done with Finley. Always voted PC but she is not getting my vote this time. It won't be a green vote either or McHale.

  28. It will be interesting to see what people post if McHale wins.

  29. There are over 110,000 people in the riding and about 80,000 registered to vote.

    He's lucky if he gets 1,000 votes. (if that)

    We'll know at around 1:00 am

    My actual prediction is 321 votes for McHale

  30. Thanks again for your comments and predictions. I am sure there may be a few more posts here after the election results have come in.

    Again "Kudos" to all the candidates that spent the last 5 weeks campaigning. And "Kudos" to all the posters!

    I sure hope that those that do not win respect the "wishes" of the residents of Haldimand/Norfolk!

  31. I forgot to do my predictions;

    Finley (Conservatives) 22,500
    Hoskins (Liberal) 19,500
    Johnston (Green) 825
    Nicols (NDP) 6,400
    Elgersma (CHP) 610
    McHale (IND) 1,500

  32. Well, all the political pundits are already remarking on how McHale hijacked enough protest votes away from Hoskins to ensure that Finley won.

    And Gary's goal was to oust her and win?

    Too funny! No wonder Diane was silent all along. Gary was doing half her campaign work for her !

    Classic !!

  33. Glad to see Harper won but four more years of Finley is four more years of the same, NOTHING!

  34. Well, Well, another election done and gone and what did we learn from this particular election? IMO what we learned was that in tough economic times the majority of people have spoken loud and clear. It is not the time for radical change, no different than what most of us doing during tough times in our personal finances. If Gary McHale had not been in this race, nothing would have changed here in Haldimand County either. All Gary McHale did was take votes away from Finley. The liberals and the NDP did themselves in!

  35. Donna one very good thing happended here during this election. All of the candidates spoke publically that the Land Claims issues was the number one issue in Haldimand. Now is the time to put them all to task!

  36. Christian Heritage Party Steven Elgersma 500, Conservative Diane Finley 19,657, Liberal Eric Hoskins 15,577, Green Party Stephana Johnston 2,041Independent Gary McHale 4,821,NDP-New Democratic Party Ian Nichols 5,549

    Total number of valid votes: 48,145

    Polls reporting: 238/238 Voter turnout: 48,145 of 78,784 registered electors (61.1%)

  37. McHale says, you have made your bed now lay int it? Does that mean he is going to go away. What a looser, he could have done the right thing and congratualted the winner!

    Posted By Reformer Staff

    Canadian Press picked Haldimand-Norfolk as one of 10 bellwether ridings in Canada to watch in yesterday's federal election, and the riding did not disappoint.

    More than half of the 238 polls in Haldimand-Norfolk had to report last night before incumbent MP Diane Finley, minister of immigration and citizenship in the Harper cabinet, pulled away from Dr. Eric Hoskins, a star candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada.

    Finley's win contributed to an enhanced minority government for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. As of press time, Conservatives were declared winners in 144 ridings to the Liberals' 74. Harper needed 155 seats to claim his coveted majority, but Finley said an enhanced minority will do just as well.

    "The Prime Minister made it very clear all along that he was expecting a minority government," Finley said at campaign headquarters. "What was important was that this government had a fresh mandate so that we knew we enjoyed the confidence of the people." Finley described the 37-day campaign in Haldimand-Norfolk as "hard fought."

    Hoskins put up a good fight, but Finley said he was hobbled by an unpopular Liberal leader -- Stephane Dion -- and the equally unpopular centrepiece of his campaign -- a $15 billion carbon tax.

    "People I talked to either didn't understand it or were scared of the Green Shift," Finley said.

    At Hoskins's campaign headquarters, the same sentiment was circling.

    Hoskins's father Bill, for many years a local Conservative activist, said his son was held back by the public image of Liberal leader Stephane Dion and the fact he was going up against a sitting member and a cabinet minister.

    "He put up a really good fight," said the elder Hoskins. "He was fair, honest, no shenanigans, and he played it square. You win some, you lose some."

    Initially running neck-and-neck in Simcoe, the room fell silent as Finley clearly pulled away within minutes.

    "It's hard to know why people vote the way they do," Hoskins told the Reformer as defeat appeared more and more certain.

    "I'm happy with how I've done here."

    Eric Hoskins -- a world-renowned humanitarian doctor, Rhodes scholar, and a recipient of the Order of Canada who grew up in Simcoe -- said he will sit down and talk with his wife Samantha Nutt before deciding what they will do in the future.

    The rest of the candidates were also caught off guard by the results.

    From what these candidates saw on the campaign trail, anybody but Finley would be in power.

    "I'm personally surprised," Ian Nichols, NDP candidate said. "After criss-crossing across the riding here, many were upset with her lack of representation. They didn't think they could trust her."

    But, he said, it is historically a Conservative riding and maybe it's a case of voting party lines, not local leaders.

    "It has to be," he said. "The silent majority spoke this evening because large grounds said they were not going this route again. But maybe we were talking to the minority."

    Independent Gary McHale said this riding has made its bed and will now have to sleep in it.

    "Finley has done the worst job of any MP in Canada and by her getting re-elected it shows that Canada will never hold their government accountable," McHale said. "How you hold them accountable for their actions is to vote them out of power."

    He also agreed that strong Conservative party lines are responsible for the outcome.

    Green Party candidate Stephana Johnston wished Finley well.

    "She has done the best to her ability to do what is best for this riding," she said. "And congratulations to her. Her people have done a tremendous job to get her re-elected."

    On the other hand, Johnston was unhappy with the defeat of Green party leader Elizabeth May.

    "It baffles me completely," she said. "I can't understand voters who would re-elect these ministers who will privatize and deregulate, which is the undoing of the US economy."

    Steven Elgersma of the Christian Heritage Party was happy to see the Conservatives in a minority government, if they were to be in government at all, despite having worked with them for 20 years.

    "They never ask what God thinks," he said. "All they are interested in is power. They don't listen to the smaller parties. They do what they think will help them gain power."

    Article ID# 1247262

  38. Everyone should now duck !

    The lawsuits and legal threats from McHale will come hot and havy now.

    I can hardly wait to read all the bitter letters to the editor from his followers calling everyone in Haldimand clueless and stupid.

    Congratulations Donna on your candidate winning.

  39. McHale got 4821 - so much for all the great predictions on this site. I am sure he got more from Caledonia than Grice so what does that mean? Hey, Donna, did McHale get more from Dunnville then you did?

  40. Donna I thought your predictions were pretty good, you gave McHale more than I would have. What is with this poster that keeps attacking you and when you ran in the municipal election? You didn't even run in Dunnville, little they know. It is someone on McHales campaign I am sure, as you did not endorse him. How childish people can be. They should get their facts straight before they post.

    This poster also said that McHale received more votes than Grice? Again they don't have the facts straight!

    As far as attacking you, you did not run in Dunnville, so once again get you facts straight before you post!