Liberal candidate impresses with personality
MUSKOKA - Liberal candidate and Canadian astronaut Marc Garneau won the praise of Muskokans for his personality.
During a leadership event at the Riverside Inn in Bracebridge, Garneau spoke to about 35 people from throughout Muskoka of his vision for Canada, some supporters and others, who were curious to see what the former astronaut had to say about politics.
Gord Durnan, a Gravenhurst resident who is currently not a member of any political party, said he’s interested in Canada and what makes it work better.
“I think he’s a very personable young man,” he said.
Garneau said his primary message is the economy and he is looking at a diversified economy that includes the well-educated workforce in the country.
He told the audience he wants to see high-speed Internet across the country, allowing people to work from any community.
“In my opinion, there’s no reason we can’t produce a Steve Jobs and an Apple, once in awhile,” he said. “I know that this part of Ontario draws a great deal of strength from the tourist industry, but it can also benefit from the knowledge-based economy.”
Garneau said he plans to continue FedNor grants that help Muskoka businesses.
After he described his view of Earth from space and said there must be a price on carbon as an incentive for people not to pollute, a member of the audience asked why he doesn’t put climate first on his list of importance.
The economy is always first on Canadians’ list with the environment coming in third, he said. “It is important and is tied to the economy.”
In answer to questions from the audience, Garneau said he is in favour of abolishing the Indian Act and replacing it with something new; there is a time and place for Canada to intervene in other countries’ internal affairs, but it needs to be very careful; temporary workers shouldn’t be brought to the country unless there is a hole that needs to be filled; he would like to reassess the need for national daycare; and he supports the arts and would make sure CBC has stable funding.
Alice Currell, a Bracebridge resident and Liberal member, was impressed with Garneau’s presentation.
“I liked the sincerity and the way he spoke and I thought he had good points on all the questions that were asked,” Currell said.
Garneau served in the Navy, was Canada’s first astronaut, and was the president of the Canadian Space Agency, responsible for $300 million of taxpayer money, and used this experience to promote his position.
“There is no rocket science involved in running this economy,” he said.