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My Local Liberal, Deborah Coyne
12/01/2006

My local Liberal candidate is Deborah Coyne. The Toronto Star spoke to her and reported this:

Coyne also remains a champion of strong federalism. She served as constitutional adviser to former Newfoundland premier Clyde Wells, who in 1990 helped scuttle the Meech Lake Accord that would have given Quebec a form of special status. She views current Conservative and NDP leaders as pandering to Quebec.

"If (Stephen) Harper has his way, or Layton has his way, the only thing holding Canada together will be a string of Tim Hortons drive-throughs," she said over lunch this week.

That's rich with irony. Who is she kidding? Paul Martin has been eroding federalism just as quickly as he can. Martin was a Meech supporter, and would implement it if he could. Instead he's going all-out with asymmetrical federalism.

Coyne has an interesting profile, and I certainly admire some of the work she has done. One of her volunteers came to my door on Tuesday night, and I felt sorry for her. It is hard enough knocking on doors for a winning campaign.

She left behind Coyne's flyer which, at first glance, presents the Liberal record in a very compelling way. It lists acheivements under topics like "Cities", "Economic Record", "Health Care" and "Cutting Taxes". However, when you examine some of these bullets you realize they aren't all of what they seem.

For example, under "Cities", they claim "$350 million in new funding for the TTC", but last I heard very little of that promise had been delivered.

Under "Health Care", they claim "Reduced waiting times", but the reality is that they have put in place a process whereby the provincial health ministers will make some commitments to reduce wait times by 2007. There's a big difference, especially since wait times have gone up during their mandate.

Under "Environment" they talk about the "One Tonne Challenge", but ignore their failure to deliver a Kyoto plan that can accomplish anything at all.

And, under "Global Leadership", they talk about "Ongoing debt reduction for the poorest countries" and "Funding to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria" when even Martin's friend Bono has abandoned him.


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