Dirty politics at play in Scarborough-Rouge Park, audience member at debate alleges

News Oct 08, 2015 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Accusations of dirty politics disturbed a debate this week in Scarborough-Rouge Park, even as one riding candidate stayed away.

Liberal Gary Anandasangaree, Calvin Winter of the Green Party, and Conservative Leslyn Lewis were taking audience questions Tuesday, Oct. 6, when a New Democratic Party supporter stepped to the microphone.

Viresh Raghubeer said one of Anandasangaree’s rivals for the riding’s Liberal nomination “was secretly recorded,” suggesting this was done to help Anandasangaree win. That kind of behaviour leads people in the riding to distrust politicians, said Raghubeer, a social worker. “It turns residents off. It turns Canadians off politics.”

Anandasangaree responded this was an “outrageous” assertion. “We as a Liberal Party have been playing fair,” he said.

“I challenge anyone to tell me anything bad I’ve said about my opponents,” added Anandasangaree, who declared himself “sick and tired of the trash people throw our way” in the local campaign.

Though Lewis, the Conservative candidate, and Winter, the riding’s Green, showed up for the West HIll Lions Club event at Heron Park Community Centre, New Democrat KM Shanthikumar was absent. Moderator Demi Patlakas announced he was “under the weather.”

“Let’s not sling mud when your representative doesn’t have the courtesy to come here and face the public,” Anandasangaree said.

Later, Raghubeer said Shanthikumar was also recorded secretly, “to the detriment” of his campaign. Both recordings, he said, turned into a boost for Anandasangaree.

Raghubeer was referring to a tape of the nomination opponent - Anandasangaree had faced three last August - and to a taped phone conversation with Shanthikumar, in which the candidate revealed his personal views against abortion and gay marriage.

According to the Toronto Star, the person who gave the latter tape to the newspaper said he was a “political operative who has previously been involved with the Liberals,” but has “nothing to do with the current campaign at any level.” He spoke with Shanthikumar in Tamil, and pretended to be a supporter and riding resident.

Shanthikkumar could not be reached for comment Wednesday, Oct. 7, but in an interview, Anandasangaree denied having had anything to do with recordings of the nomination opponent or of Santhikumar.

“To me, all these are distractions,” he said. “People are getting desperate, I guess.”

At the debate, Anandasangaree clashed on the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan with Lewis, chosen by Conservatives a month ago after the party dropped previous candidate Jerry Bance, who had been caught on a CBC hidden camera urinating into a coffee cup in someone else’s home.

When a man asked Lewis why Prime Minister Stephen Harper hasn’t supported Ontario’s plan, Lewis said the governments have had discussions on it. When some in the audience disagreed, she said Harper doesn’t believe in Premier Kathleen Wynne’s program.

“He believes that it’s another tax and that it will be very burdensome on small businesses,” she said.

Anandasangaree said the federal government should do pension planning, but “because they’ve failed,” provinces have embraced it.

Lewis said the new federal Rouge Park – stalled because the province won’t hand over its land in the Rouge River Valley – “will create thousands of jobs right here in Scarborough.”

She had tense exchanges with Winter, who said voters can’t take Conservatives seriously on the environment.

Lewis said Harper’s was the first Canadian government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with “fair and ambitious” targets.

At one point, Winter took the microphone away from Lewis as she talked about the Kyoto Protocol. (The moderator had hit a bell indicating she had run out of time.)

“That is very rude,” Lewis said.

Winter apologized, but said the government set emissions targets and didn’t meet them.

When a member of the proportional representation group Fair Vote Canada asked the panel whether a party that gets 35 per cent of vote “should get 100 per cent of the power,” both Anandasangareee and Winter said no.

Lewis didn’t. “That’s our system. Is that not our system?” she asked.

Two possible incumbents declined to run in Rouge Park – created last year by redistribution from parts of the former Scarborough-Rouge River and Pickering-Scarborough East – leaving it an open riding.

Scarborough-Rouge River NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan is running in Scarborough North and Pickering-Scarborough East MP Corneliu Chisu chose Pickering-Uxbridge to run in this election.

In spite of his views on the recording, the Campaign Life Coalition, a national anti-abortion advocacy group, considers Shanthikumar a “pro-abortion” candidate because as an NDP representative, he must back the party’s pro-choice positions in public.

According to its website, Campaign Life has endorsed Lewis, who told the group she will “strive to introduce and pass laws to protect unborn children from the time of conception,” if elected.

In filling out the group’s questionaire, Lewis said she would favour abortion only in cases that threaten the life of the mother.

Another riding debate has been organized by Malvern Votes Thursday, Oct. 8, at Malvern Family Resource Centre on Littles Road from 6 to 9 p.m.

Dirty politics at play in Scarborough-Rouge Park, audience member at debate alleges

News Oct 08, 2015 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Accusations of dirty politics disturbed a debate this week in Scarborough-Rouge Park, even as one riding candidate stayed away.

Liberal Gary Anandasangaree, Calvin Winter of the Green Party, and Conservative Leslyn Lewis were taking audience questions Tuesday, Oct. 6, when a New Democratic Party supporter stepped to the microphone.

Viresh Raghubeer said one of Anandasangaree’s rivals for the riding’s Liberal nomination “was secretly recorded,” suggesting this was done to help Anandasangaree win. That kind of behaviour leads people in the riding to distrust politicians, said Raghubeer, a social worker. “It turns residents off. It turns Canadians off politics.”

Anandasangaree responded this was an “outrageous” assertion. “We as a Liberal Party have been playing fair,” he said.

“I challenge anyone to tell me anything bad I’ve said about my opponents,” added Anandasangaree, who declared himself “sick and tired of the trash people throw our way” in the local campaign.

Though Lewis, the Conservative candidate, and Winter, the riding’s Green, showed up for the West HIll Lions Club event at Heron Park Community Centre, New Democrat KM Shanthikumar was absent. Moderator Demi Patlakas announced he was “under the weather.”

“Let’s not sling mud when your representative doesn’t have the courtesy to come here and face the public,” Anandasangaree said.

Later, Raghubeer said Shanthikumar was also recorded secretly, “to the detriment” of his campaign. Both recordings, he said, turned into a boost for Anandasangaree.

Raghubeer was referring to a tape of the nomination opponent - Anandasangaree had faced three last August - and to a taped phone conversation with Shanthikumar, in which the candidate revealed his personal views against abortion and gay marriage.

According to the Toronto Star, the person who gave the latter tape to the newspaper said he was a “political operative who has previously been involved with the Liberals,” but has “nothing to do with the current campaign at any level.” He spoke with Shanthikumar in Tamil, and pretended to be a supporter and riding resident.

Shanthikkumar could not be reached for comment Wednesday, Oct. 7, but in an interview, Anandasangaree denied having had anything to do with recordings of the nomination opponent or of Santhikumar.

“To me, all these are distractions,” he said. “People are getting desperate, I guess.”

At the debate, Anandasangaree clashed on the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan with Lewis, chosen by Conservatives a month ago after the party dropped previous candidate Jerry Bance, who had been caught on a CBC hidden camera urinating into a coffee cup in someone else’s home.

When a man asked Lewis why Prime Minister Stephen Harper hasn’t supported Ontario’s plan, Lewis said the governments have had discussions on it. When some in the audience disagreed, she said Harper doesn’t believe in Premier Kathleen Wynne’s program.

“He believes that it’s another tax and that it will be very burdensome on small businesses,” she said.

Anandasangaree said the federal government should do pension planning, but “because they’ve failed,” provinces have embraced it.

Lewis said the new federal Rouge Park – stalled because the province won’t hand over its land in the Rouge River Valley – “will create thousands of jobs right here in Scarborough.”

She had tense exchanges with Winter, who said voters can’t take Conservatives seriously on the environment.

Lewis said Harper’s was the first Canadian government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with “fair and ambitious” targets.

At one point, Winter took the microphone away from Lewis as she talked about the Kyoto Protocol. (The moderator had hit a bell indicating she had run out of time.)

“That is very rude,” Lewis said.

Winter apologized, but said the government set emissions targets and didn’t meet them.

When a member of the proportional representation group Fair Vote Canada asked the panel whether a party that gets 35 per cent of vote “should get 100 per cent of the power,” both Anandasangareee and Winter said no.

Lewis didn’t. “That’s our system. Is that not our system?” she asked.

Two possible incumbents declined to run in Rouge Park – created last year by redistribution from parts of the former Scarborough-Rouge River and Pickering-Scarborough East – leaving it an open riding.

Scarborough-Rouge River NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan is running in Scarborough North and Pickering-Scarborough East MP Corneliu Chisu chose Pickering-Uxbridge to run in this election.

In spite of his views on the recording, the Campaign Life Coalition, a national anti-abortion advocacy group, considers Shanthikumar a “pro-abortion” candidate because as an NDP representative, he must back the party’s pro-choice positions in public.

According to its website, Campaign Life has endorsed Lewis, who told the group she will “strive to introduce and pass laws to protect unborn children from the time of conception,” if elected.

In filling out the group’s questionaire, Lewis said she would favour abortion only in cases that threaten the life of the mother.

Another riding debate has been organized by Malvern Votes Thursday, Oct. 8, at Malvern Family Resource Centre on Littles Road from 6 to 9 p.m.

Dirty politics at play in Scarborough-Rouge Park, audience member at debate alleges

News Oct 08, 2015 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Accusations of dirty politics disturbed a debate this week in Scarborough-Rouge Park, even as one riding candidate stayed away.

Liberal Gary Anandasangaree, Calvin Winter of the Green Party, and Conservative Leslyn Lewis were taking audience questions Tuesday, Oct. 6, when a New Democratic Party supporter stepped to the microphone.

Viresh Raghubeer said one of Anandasangaree’s rivals for the riding’s Liberal nomination “was secretly recorded,” suggesting this was done to help Anandasangaree win. That kind of behaviour leads people in the riding to distrust politicians, said Raghubeer, a social worker. “It turns residents off. It turns Canadians off politics.”

Anandasangaree responded this was an “outrageous” assertion. “We as a Liberal Party have been playing fair,” he said.

“I challenge anyone to tell me anything bad I’ve said about my opponents,” added Anandasangaree, who declared himself “sick and tired of the trash people throw our way” in the local campaign.

Though Lewis, the Conservative candidate, and Winter, the riding’s Green, showed up for the West HIll Lions Club event at Heron Park Community Centre, New Democrat KM Shanthikumar was absent. Moderator Demi Patlakas announced he was “under the weather.”

“Let’s not sling mud when your representative doesn’t have the courtesy to come here and face the public,” Anandasangaree said.

Later, Raghubeer said Shanthikumar was also recorded secretly, “to the detriment” of his campaign. Both recordings, he said, turned into a boost for Anandasangaree.

Raghubeer was referring to a tape of the nomination opponent - Anandasangaree had faced three last August - and to a taped phone conversation with Shanthikumar, in which the candidate revealed his personal views against abortion and gay marriage.

According to the Toronto Star, the person who gave the latter tape to the newspaper said he was a “political operative who has previously been involved with the Liberals,” but has “nothing to do with the current campaign at any level.” He spoke with Shanthikumar in Tamil, and pretended to be a supporter and riding resident.

Shanthikkumar could not be reached for comment Wednesday, Oct. 7, but in an interview, Anandasangaree denied having had anything to do with recordings of the nomination opponent or of Santhikumar.

“To me, all these are distractions,” he said. “People are getting desperate, I guess.”

At the debate, Anandasangaree clashed on the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan with Lewis, chosen by Conservatives a month ago after the party dropped previous candidate Jerry Bance, who had been caught on a CBC hidden camera urinating into a coffee cup in someone else’s home.

When a man asked Lewis why Prime Minister Stephen Harper hasn’t supported Ontario’s plan, Lewis said the governments have had discussions on it. When some in the audience disagreed, she said Harper doesn’t believe in Premier Kathleen Wynne’s program.

“He believes that it’s another tax and that it will be very burdensome on small businesses,” she said.

Anandasangaree said the federal government should do pension planning, but “because they’ve failed,” provinces have embraced it.

Lewis said the new federal Rouge Park – stalled because the province won’t hand over its land in the Rouge River Valley – “will create thousands of jobs right here in Scarborough.”

She had tense exchanges with Winter, who said voters can’t take Conservatives seriously on the environment.

Lewis said Harper’s was the first Canadian government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with “fair and ambitious” targets.

At one point, Winter took the microphone away from Lewis as she talked about the Kyoto Protocol. (The moderator had hit a bell indicating she had run out of time.)

“That is very rude,” Lewis said.

Winter apologized, but said the government set emissions targets and didn’t meet them.

When a member of the proportional representation group Fair Vote Canada asked the panel whether a party that gets 35 per cent of vote “should get 100 per cent of the power,” both Anandasangareee and Winter said no.

Lewis didn’t. “That’s our system. Is that not our system?” she asked.

Two possible incumbents declined to run in Rouge Park – created last year by redistribution from parts of the former Scarborough-Rouge River and Pickering-Scarborough East – leaving it an open riding.

Scarborough-Rouge River NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan is running in Scarborough North and Pickering-Scarborough East MP Corneliu Chisu chose Pickering-Uxbridge to run in this election.

In spite of his views on the recording, the Campaign Life Coalition, a national anti-abortion advocacy group, considers Shanthikumar a “pro-abortion” candidate because as an NDP representative, he must back the party’s pro-choice positions in public.

According to its website, Campaign Life has endorsed Lewis, who told the group she will “strive to introduce and pass laws to protect unborn children from the time of conception,” if elected.

In filling out the group’s questionaire, Lewis said she would favour abortion only in cases that threaten the life of the mother.

Another riding debate has been organized by Malvern Votes Thursday, Oct. 8, at Malvern Family Resource Centre on Littles Road from 6 to 9 p.m.