NDP's David Eby criticizes Christy Clark for absence in by-election debates

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      NDP candidate David Eby is criticizing Premier Christy Clark for not participating in all-candidate debates for the Vancouver-Point Grey by-election.

      “She is running a very stage-managed campaign, lots of photo ops, lots of very carefully managed questions—a very Hollywood approach to campaigning,” Eby told the Straight after a news conference in Kitsilano today (May 4).

      Eby, who said he has been doing a lot of door knocking in the area, doesn’t think the premier’s campaign approach will go over well with Vancouver-Point Grey residents.

      “I just don’t think it’s going to fly in this neighbourhood,” he said. “It’s a very educated riding, people know what’s happening, they’re paying attention, and people are very upset, they’re telling me at the doorstep.”

      A debate in Point Grey is scheduled for tonight, following an all-candidates debate held in the riding Tuesday.

      Eby said a proposed debate organized by a health coalition was cancelled when Clark said she wouldn’t attend. Two other media-organized all-candidate debates, including one on Clark’s former radio station CKNW, were also proposed.

      Clark’s campaign manager Michele Cadario said the premier decided to hold two town halls with Point Grey residents instead. Clark is holding a telephone town hall tonight, and a live town hall on Friday evening (May 6).

      “There was many interest groups that wanted to have debates, and debates about particular issues, and certainly none of the groups that were asking were asking about an issue that wasn’t of importance,” Cadario told the Straight by phone.

      “What we wanted to do in the time that we had was try to take advantage of technology, and then also try and say how do we reach as many people in Point Grey as we possibly can,” she added. “We thought this was really one of the best ways to be able to engage every voter in the riding.”

      Point Grey residents will be phoned this evening and asked if they want to ask a question as part of the town hall. Cadario said there is a screening process that takes place as part of the electronic town hall, but only to determine the caller’s name and to avoid duplication of questions.

      B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix argued Clark is avoiding debate with Eby over “stark differences on environmental questions”.

      “Their candidate is avoiding addressing and debating the issues, and it’s no surprise why,” Dix told reporters.

      “Talking about environmental issues is really difficult for her, because she’s in favour of tankers off the coast, she’s in favour of the Enbridge pipeline, and she’s in favour of continuing to use the carbon tax to pay for cuts to the bank and corporate taxes,” said Eby.

      “Those are tough positions to defend in this neighbourhood.”

      Cadario said Clark has been door knocking and meeting with various groups in the Point Grey riding.

      “She’s speaking to the Kits chamber of commerce, she’s been doing a number of coffee parties around the riding, she met with the West Broadway business association, Point Grey business association, she’s met with a group of students, she’s met with a group concerned about climate change,” she said. “So she’s definitely getting out there and meeting with a lot of different people.”

      Clark’s hour-long town hall will take place for an hour at St. Mark’s church in Vancouver-Point Grey at 7 p.m. this Friday. According to a press release issued today, the town hall will be focused on issues around families, seniors and public safety.



      Ray I

      May 4, 2011 at 5:43pm

      Local (untelevised) debates are a waste of time. The parties fill them up with their own supporterswho ask party-prepared questions. There is almost no room for any participation by actual undecided voters. The absolute worst are those organized by special interest groups. They are always hostile to one of the main candidates and are simply opportunities for these narrowly focused activists to hear their own message. I think Premier Clark will get more value from a town hall format where she might encounter an actual voter who isn't bussed in by the NDP.


      May 4, 2011 at 5:46pm

      It appears to be a controlled campaign by Christie Clark - hiding from the tough issues, screening of questions. And is it appropriate that she is appearing in many government photo ops such as the No parking fees in parks annoucement, etc. when she does not even have a seat?? Aren't these photo ops involving paid government staffers? Who is actually paying for her campaign PR? Shouldn't there be an arms length distance between her campaign using government Photo Op announcements to bolster her campaign. Ethically something does not smell right here - because she does not even have a seat.

      glen p robbins

      May 4, 2011 at 6:47pm

      Christy's tactics may yet win her a seat in Point Grey-- but all this chatter is trickling out into the mainstreet in BC - and she is starting to get the bad rep---not wanting to face the people - except people she chooses--and the major knock on Christy - can she stand up to the heat of the public without a bubble.

      Harper got away with it - but he was legitimately elected leader. Campbell same thing - you have to take the title from the champ - bubble or not - but when you have finessed your way into the position as Christy has - you have to prove your worthy.

      She barely won in 1996 - 2001 a leper could have won a seat - she left in 2004 - and has not won an election facing the public since then. (I mean let's be honest Elections BC didn't count the party votes). I have been around politics since 1988- carried old people in my arms to vote to squeak De Jong in - phoned - published - polled - you name it -- sooooner or later you have to win real and honest ------- and Christy is making a name for herself that she may not be truly confident in her abilities.

      monty/that's me

      May 4, 2011 at 7:47pm

      That grade 12 education of hers is at the root of all her hiding. Tonight on TV she is shown accompanied down the hall en route to making another 2 minute announcement, hastily consulting with some man beside her as he tells her what to do. She is a puppet. Who is controlling her strings????? With all this RUDENESS and ARROGANT TREATMENT of the Point Grey residents, I hope they wise up and give her a ticket to oblivion.


      May 4, 2011 at 8:04pm

      why not have brunch @ some swanky downtown T*m*y's n we'll Discuss . . .etc ...................... i'm so pretty in a swanky office in Victoria somewhere dreaming of oil tankers


      May 4, 2011 at 8:27pm

      David Eby would bring something very special to the BC Leg as a strong, caring voice for Pt Grey residents and British Columbians as a whole.

      Christy would NOT. She and her team of Campbell fixers represent evererything that has brought British Columbia to its knees.

      It doesn't have much to do with education BUT rather one's ethical backbone which Eby has in spades.

      Does anyone sincerely believe a highly controlled cowardly campaign bodes well for want ails our political climate?

      Please act with conscience when you vote in Pt Grey - not because of a political label.

      The residents of Pt Grey have a chance to begin REAL change for the better on behalf of BCers who have suffered from old boys politics & are yearning for decency.

      Peter Dimitrov

      May 4, 2011 at 10:44pm

      Yet another "leader" with a grade 12 education, just what BC needs in these times - give me a f**king break! indeed I too hope the Pt Grey citizens will give CC a one way 'ticket to ride' the hell out of their riding and life.

      Adrian brings up some very good points regarding the 'environmental' reasons CC is not keen to meet with citizens in her riding, aside from that, she is all style and very little substance. Indeed, running a Hollywood campaign! Citizens of Pt Grey deserve much better.


      May 5, 2011 at 6:21am

      While I voted NDP in the federal election in the riding, there is absolutely no way I can support David Eby on the 11th. This man is dangerous. I think he purposely finds causes that cause long-term damage to communities. His record is so clear. He supports legalizing drugs, prostitution, and stands for protecting criminals, anti-Olympic protesters, handing out heroin to street addicts. How can anyone think he is capable suddenly of representing the interests of Vancouver-Point Grey? I suppose one could applaud him for taking brave stances on unpopular issues, but how does that equate to him being an appropriate MLA for us? Can someone at the BC NDP tell me why they felt he would be a good choice as candidate? That alone shows a lack of foresight, and most of all, a lack of consideration for residents of the riding. David Eby is the worst possible choice as a candidate, and would make an even worse MLA for me.

      Second Nation

      May 5, 2011 at 8:46am

      I pity the folks of Point Grey - a choice between bad and awful.


      May 5, 2011 at 11:37am

      Madame Most Beautiful Premier Christy will hold her only public forum for one hour tomorrow night at St. Mark's church in Kitsilano.
      St. Mark's church (West 2nd Ave & Larch St.) is nothing more than an over-sized single family house with a peaked roof.
      This will allow for only a very few "selected" attendees to even get in the door.
      Want to bet it will be filled with out-of-riding Youth Wing patronage chasers at least an hour before the official 7pm start!