Schmale and Forbes to face off again; NDP says it will be election-ready

Green Party still looking for candidate

By Kirk Winter

Jamie Schmale and Judi Forbes, for the Conservatives and Liberals, are the only local candidates who have declared their intentions for the expected election.

With a fall federal election a real  possibility, the Conservatives and Liberals locally appear to be ready with two familiar faces. 

Incumbent Jamie Schmale of the Conservative Party of Canada has already been nominated by his party executive and will be running for a third time, first elected in 2015.  

Jame Schmale, Conservative.

The governing Liberals will be running Judi Forbes again, who was acclaimed as the Liberal candidate for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. Forbes ran a solid campaign during the last federal election, finishing second to Schmale in 2019, winning 26 per cent of the popular vote which amounted to just over 17,000 votes for her.

Navdeep Bains, the national campaign co-chair for the Liberal Party of Canada said with a strong focus on important new engagement with Canadians, “the Team Trudeau nominations process help ensures we are ready to re-elect our dedicated Liberal team in parliament and to continue to elect even more talented, diverse and hardworking community leaders as Liberal MPs across Canada.”

Bains told the Advocate that “the hope and hard work of Liberals across Canada will ensure our candidates and teams are ready to run competitive campaigns…including right here in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock.”

Judi Forbes, Liberal.

The Green Party of Canada which won almost 8.5 per cent of the popular vote in the last election are still on the lookout for a candidate.

Tom Regina, a spokesman for the party locally, shared via email with the Advocate, “If you, or someone you know, would be interested in standing to represent the Green Party here, now is the time to make your voice heard.”

The Greens have been in the news often of late as its leader, Annamie Paul, tries to stave off a prolonged attack from within her own party. The Green Party has suspended Paul’s funds to run in Toronto Centre where she has run before. There is also talk of revoking her Green Party membership, leaving the question of their national-level leadership up in the air.

While ignoring these issues, Regina said that “managing change” will be at the heart of the next election.

“Environmental advocacy tops the list and has far reaching impact on issues such as climate, social justice and equity. Electoral reform and universal basic income are also important but, in our riding, there is significant concern about development…Finding a balance between preservation and growth is of the utmost importance in HKLB.”

Barbara Doyle, NDP.

Barbara Doyle, federal riding president and former candidate for the New Democratic Party in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, told The Advocate that they too are without a candidate, but that the process to nominate would only take 15 days if there is a contested nomination. Regardless of the candidate selected, the party is hopeful on improving on its’ third place finish in 2019 where they received 14.7 per cent of the popular vote with almost 10,000 votes cast for Doyle.

Doyle cautioned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about calling an election.

To do so “when the country is still not fully vaccinated and under different levels of health care protection protocols across the country due to COVID-19 seems like an unnecessary risk,” she said.

“This may put both the public and the election workers at greater risk, or alternatively, people may feel uncomfortable still waiting in lines to vote. There is also a huge financial cost to election preparation and execution, a cost that will add to the taxpayer burden on top of the pandemic relief funding,” she said.

Doyle said the reality is that once a government goes into election mode, work stops and everyone’s focus goes to campaigning to get elected.

The former NDP candidate says the community is “dealing with devastating losses of life, of jobs, in a housing crisis, deep challenges with economic recovery and added stressors for families coping with major impacts of online learning, loss of access to support and medical services, and isolation and mental health impacts from COVID-19 lockdowns and stay at home orders.”

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