By Roy L Hales
Conservatives Refuse To Participate
According to event organizer Ashley Zarbatanay, “The Conservative Party did respond, but they told me that they would not be sending their candidate to our all candidates debate. They said that it was not part of their strategy.”
“At first they tried to make excuses. They were unable to make the date. So I said that I would change the date to make it more workable for them.”
“They said, ‘No we just can’t take a whole day to go to Cortes.’ “
“I said, ‘Ya, it’s an hour and forty -five minutes.'”
“Then he said, ‘Well, it’s both ways.'”
“Yes, but other candidates are using that time to meet and greet with people, Cortesians. “
“He said, “That’s not part of our strategy.'”
Cortes Is Not Considered Important
There are more than 600 adults on Cortes Island and the vast majority will most likely vote in the upcoming election.
The Conservatives ” … basically refused because we are not considered important to them and I think that is very indicative of how Shelley Downey will treat us if she becomes the M.P. It makes me worried that she will not be willing to represent Cortesians,” says Ashley.
Not An Isolated Experience
This is not an isolated incident. There are many reports of the Conservative government trying to control messaging and avoid awkward questions during the later part of the Harper era.
The Conservatives were the only party that declined my request for an interview during the 2015 election. Someone from the local candidate’s office phoned to ask about my questions and, learning that pipelines were on my list, said they would pass.
Though they have a new leader, the Conservatives appear to be conducting themselves in a similar manner during this election. Cortes Currents has emailed Shelley Downey’s office numerous times requesting an interview, and has yet to receive a reply.
Cortes Island’s All Candidates Meeting
Cortes Island will hold its’ all candidates meeting at Mansons Hall, on October 12, 2 – 4 PM.
“Come listen to the Federal candidates explain their positions and try to win your hearts,” says Ashley .