Federal candidates talk immigration

All candidates were present at the chamber of commerce debate last night as the election reaches the final stretch. Although they are starting to look weary they are all still punching to score themselves the seat to represent Chatham-Kent-Leamington on October 20th.

One of the interesting questions that was posed to the candidates was how they thought increasing immigration could help boost Chatham-Kent. Dave Van Kesteren of the Conservative Party was the first person to answer the question. Mr. Van Kesteren was the first to answer the question in which he said that immigration makes a positive impact on the local economy. He also said we need immigrants to do the jobs that other Canadians just won’t do. He didn’t elude to exactly what jobs those would be.

Tony Walsh the local New Democratic Party candidate was the next person to answer the question. He also said that immigrants made a positive impact on Chatham-Kent. Additionally they also fill up a lot of positions that need to be filled. Mr. Walsh also went on to say that the NDP want to make it easier for immigrCKLcanants to come to Canada and to settle here.

Katie Omstead of the Liberal Party said that Canada faces a crisis in which senior outnumber young people and one of the ways we can fix that problem is through an increase in immigration. Mrs. Omstead went on to say that through the temporary foreign workers program people should more easily obtain citizenship. In addition to that the Liberal Party also supports a program of reunification in which an immigrant who lives in Canada will be able to bring the direct family here after they arrive so families aren’t split apart.

Mark Vercouteran of the Green Party had only one thing to say, that being there is many Syrians trying to immigrate to Canada who have an advanced knowledge of farming. This could be very beneficial to Chatham-Kent as we currently have an again farmer population with very little youth planning on taking up their parents profession.

Other points of the night included a jab at Dave Van Kesteren by Mark Vercouteren during a discussion about retirement age in which Mr. Vercouteren said ” Dave will need to start worrying about that in a few years”, a hit at the conservative candidates age.

The overall debate winner for the night judged by the reaction of the room was Katie Omstead. As each candidate gave their closing remarks they were given an applause from the audience. When Katie Omstead got her turn she was given a roaring and quite long applause from the room signalling the crowd was very pleased with her performance in the debate.

As the election draws close to an end there is no clear candidate in Chatham-Kent-Leamington as the Liberal Party, NDP, and Conservative Party are all fairly even echoing the national polls.

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