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April 21, 2011 permalink
Andrew Skinner is running in the May 2 federal election to represent the riding of Prince Edward-Hastings. Mr Skinner's family was attacked by CAS in the past. Two press articles are enclosed.
Candidate wants investments in education, not prisons
EMC News - Belleville - While he doesn't like labels, Progressive Canadian Party candidate Andrew Skinner would consider himself an average blue collar worker and a red Tory. This is the 39-year-old's first foray as a candidate in the electoral process which he sees as an opportunity to move away from American style politics. He hopes voters will embrace what he calls Canadian values, which is what he sees this election is about.
"We've seen since Harper's been in power, it's almost an American style of politics," he said.
The PCP is a national party born out of what Skinner calls the "hostile take over" of the former Progressive Conservatives when they merged with the then Canadian Alliance party which was the renamed Reform Party. The more left leaning Tories who didn't want to follow the hard-right shift instead formed the Progressive Canadian Party, which is left leaning on social issues and conservative on financial issues.
"People ask if it's a new party and I say no. It's not a brand new party, it's a party based on old values that we trace back to Sir John A. Macdonald," he said.
Skinner believes the core issues of this election are the direction and values of the Canadian voter. He sees the issues as a choice of priorities. The proposed get-tough-on-crime legislation by the previous government for longer prison sentences and the mega prisons they would spawn is an issue cited by Skinner. The Harper government said $6 billion in prison infrastructure would be needed as a result of more inmates, critics have claimed that number to be several times higher. Skinner said the direction is the result of an American ideology and isn't supported by Canada's dropping crime rate statistics. "Is this a direction that Canada want's to go? I don't think so," he said. "Six billion is better spent on education than prisons. The PCP party's platform includes universal access to postsecondary education. Skinner believes education and crime are directly linked through the cycle of poverty.
"One of the best ways to get rid of crime is to eliminate poverty" he said. "Education is the best way to do that."
He sees an educated workforce as a sound investment by government, helping boost the economy and thus government revenues.
Skinner was born in Napanee and raised in the Quinte area in a military family. As a child he spent four years living in Germany when his father was stationed there. Once his father was released from the military his family relocated to Trenton where Skinner attended Trenton High school. In the mid 1990s he attended the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton, taking Avionics Engineering Technology. After working for SPAR aerospace where he worked as an avionics technician implementing the Avionics Update Package on the Canadian military fleet of C-130 Hercules aircraft. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the downturn in the aviation industry, Skinner joined the Canadian Forces.
After finishing at the top of his class at the Borden military school he was given his choice of postings, he chose to return to the Quinte area and was posted at CFB Trenton.
After his release from the military in 2006 he began turning his attentions to social advocacy and politics. Skinner has three children with his partner Lindsay.
Source: Belleville EMC
Six candidates, but debate has definitive blue and red tinge
Prince Edward-Hastings all-candidates debate
There may have been six candidates on the stage but crowd reaction indicated there are only two parties in the race to represent the people in Prince Edward-Hastings.
The first federal election debate in the local riding had the crowd of roughly 200 people reacting strongly to comments made by Conservative incumbent Daryl Kramp and Peter Tinsley, his Liberal opponent. While NDP candidate Michael McMahon and The Green Party's Pat Larkin each scored applause and the occasional laugh at the Empire Theatre, the debate had a strong red and blue tinge throughout the evening.
It took only minutes for the crowd to become vocal Monday night as Kramp was booed seconds into his opening statement saying he is not in favour of "an election forced upon us by the opposition." He told the crowd the election prevents Canada from moving forward as the Conservative government has had to stop its work.
Kramp was also called a "liar" by one man in the audience as he talked about the need for environmental stewardship, something his government has been instrumental in providing.
The Conservative government was criticized only minutes later when McMahon said he was proud to be involved in the "necessary election" as parliament has become an embarrassing "gong show."
In a theme that would rear its head often throughout the night, McMahon questioned Prime Minister Stephen Harper's approach to governance and his values.
"Stephen Harper's conservative values aren't my values," he said.
Progressive Canadian Party candidate Andrew Skinner carried on with McMahon's criticism of Harper's approach comparing it to an "American style" of politics. He said Canadians have grown tired of the "force, deception" in Ottawa and the "erosion" of Canadian values.
Tinsley was rewarded with applause and some laughs as he looked out at the crowd and said he was happy "no one's been thrown out tonight or vetted out by Facebook." He said he had nearly become a Canadian disengaged with the country's political system due to Harper and the Conservatives but was prompted to seek office due to a fear of Harper's politics.
Larkin was less critical of the current government as he said there is a need for Canada to return to the grassroots level. There was a time, he said, when Canada was a world leader and it is time the country reclaim that title, one that can be achieved through a Green government.
However, as he did in his closing remarks, Larkin told the crowd the most important thing residents can do on may 2 is to simply vote.
"The key to this election.... no matter who you choose to support, is that you get out and vote," he said, a comment met with loud applause from the crowd.
That was similar to independent candidate Tim Hickey's opening remarks as he told the crowd "this election is about you." He too touched on low voter turnout stating people have become "uninspired and disenfranchised."
"That is a vote of non-confidence," Hickey said.
Though the crowd settled down as the debate continued there were reactionary moments. Kramp was booed again later in the evening as candidates were questioned about their views on coalition governments.
The incumbent MP said while coalition governments are allowed and recognized in Canada's political system he cannot support a coalition that would involve the Bloc Quebecois, a party aimed at breaking up the nation, he said. Canadians who want to "prostitute" their principles can support such a government but he will not, Kramp said resulting in numerous attendees booing and one man hollering "Shame."
While the other candidates all expressed their willingness to work with a coalition government, McMahon said the issue is not with all parties working cohesively, it's with Harper who, he added, doesn't want to work with others.
"We don't need to keep having elections. The problem is Stephen Harper," he said.
One point all candidates did agree upon is the inclusion of ballot boxes at post-secondary institutes. Asked to express their views all said it is imperative to get young people involved in the political system and to have them vote during elections.
Kramp said young people "have an amazing ability" to set the path for Canada's future and could do so if they would only vote.
Hickey said it would be "great" to see ballot boxes at colleges and universities as low voter turnout is a growing problem across the country. That low turnout, he said, is directly related to "the trust, the confidence has been broken. We have to generate some serious debate. The answers aren't in Ottawa."
Learning to speak to those younger Canadians in a language they understand is key, said Larkin. He said people can do their banking over the Internet and people should be able to use the same tool when it comes to voting.
The crowd, however, gave McMahon the most positive response when he said he absolutely supports the idea of ballot boxes at universities. Such a step, he said, would engage younger people who, currently, allow the older generation to select their government.
"They wouldn't let their grandparents choose their dates. At least, they shouldn't," he said.
Source: Belleville Intelligencer
Andrew Skinner commented on the debate:
During a live TV debate, I made specific references to federal transfer funds and one specific corporation that is funded through these funds to the tune of $1.4B.
Part of the issue in dealing with this is the Federal transfer funds that provide the provinces and municipalities money to carry out conditional funding incentives.
One of these is the incentive to apprehend children.
Source: Facebook private message