Lib­eral Can­di­date in Stanstead, Talks of Borders

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM - Made­line Mul­hol­land Stanstead

TheLib­eral Party’s can­di­date for Comp­tonS­tanstead, Wil­liam Hogg, made an ap­pear­ance at the Stanstead Gran­ite Mu­seum at 10:30 AM on Tues­day, April 5th. Whether an in­di­ca­tion of the Lib­eral’s PR ma­chine op­er­at­ing at less than op­ti­mal ca­pac­ity, or a gross dis­in­ter­est on the part of Stanstead cit­i­zens, is not clear, but only two cit­i­zens at­tended. Also in at­ten­dance were Stanstead Mayor, Philip Du­til, and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the lo­cal press.

This is in gross con­trast to the Lib­eral Party leader’s an­nounce­ment of his ap­pear­ances. Michael Ig­nati­eff im­ple­mented a cam­paign of pre-recorded, French-only, voice mail an­nounce­ments to all Sher­brooke area num­bers an­nounc­ing his ar­rival the fol­low­ing day in their city. The jokes on face­book re­gard­ing these mes­sages were pro­lific and im­me­di­ate. But I di­gress…

Mr. Hogg’s is­sue of the day was the Canada – U.S. bor­der. The press re­lease we re­ceived spoke of re­cent bor­der clos­ings and the Bloc’s in­abil­ity, or un­will­ing­ness, to pre­vent the clos­ings. Mr. Hogg ex­plained his po­si­tion on the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of bor­der is­sues in the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, ad­vo­cat­ing a Par­lia­men­tary Com­mit­tee in the House of Com­mons that would deal solely with in­ves­ti­gat­ing and re­solv­ing is­sues associated with the bor­der. He ex­plained that four min­istries are presently in­volved in bor­der de­ci­sion mak­ing and pol­icy de­vel­op­ment, adding that this cre­ates con­flict and con­fu­sion. He also stressed a de­sire to work to im­prove com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween Canada and the U.S. on the sub­ject of borders and cus­toms.

Mr. Hogg at­tempted to demon­strate his un­der­stand­ing of the im­por­tance of open and co­op­er­a­tive cus­toms for towns flank­ing the bor­der. To some de­gree he did demon­strate knowl­edge of the pub­li­cized is­sues, but he failed to im­press me that he re­ally un­der­stood the depth of the is­sue for towns such as Stanstead. De­spite to­day’s pur­pose be­ing Mr. Hogg’s pre­sen­ta­tion of his ‘Bor­der Plat­form’, his knowl­edge seemed to be su­per­fi­cial, not hav­ing iden­ti­fied many salient points that rep­re­sent the re­al­ity of life on a bor­der. For ex­am­ple, he failed to state the ob­vi­ous; that bor­der towns are sit­u­ated where they are be­cause

photo Made­line Mul­hol­land

Lib­eral can­di­date Wil­liam Hogg was in Stanstead, yes­ter­day, talk­ing about bor­der is­sues.

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