Further to the St. Catharines Standard's (Sept.27, 2007) story, “Go Transit a go with all candidates”, (regarding the all-candidates debate held at Ridley College in St. Catharines on Sept.26, 2007), here’s what some audience members asked during the question session which didn't make it into the paper:
-a man to Jim Bradley: “Political integrity has become a key issue for me. You need to convince me that I should vote for you, knowing that that vote would re-elect the party leader who has devastated the meaning of integrity. Just to clarify, I think he should have resigned after he broke his promise – and that wasn’t even on your party’s mind.” [Bradley blamed his party’s broken promises on the deficit].
-a man to Bradley: “Over the years I have appreciated the fact that at the faith-based school that my children attend, you have made many laudatory comments about contributions such schools make. Now your leader says that people like us are a threat to social cohesion in Ontario, and segregationist. And I presume that would include other non-public schools like Ridley, for instance. So I would appreciate knowing whether you agree with your leader on that.” [Bradley agreed while trying to appear that he didn’t agree.]
-a boy to Bradley: “In my school there are split classes in every single grade, and over thirty kids in each class. Do you believe this is an improvement in the past four years?” This young student’s question actually elicited outright laughs from the audience. [A chagrined Bradley bafflegabbed his way through that little inconsistency from his Liberal’s last election promise to cap class sizes, by using rural schools as his excuse. (How many rural schools does St. Catharines have, anyway?) I’m sure the boy, and most everyone else, was probably more confused after Bradley’s answer.]
Bradley said about healthcare: “First of all the Liberal Party in Ontario and Canada believes in public healthcare, and the delivery of public healthcare. We had instances where we saw for instance, radiation treatment going to the private sector that could have been delivered at Sunnybrook hospital by the public sector. That was reversed because what happens when you allow it to go private is that it takes resources and personnel from the public sector and goes to the private sector, so while it may be an illusion that you are reducing the wait list, what in fact you are doing is simply moving to private health care.”
What Bradley fails to see is that, for suffering patients, wait-lists are not “an illusion”; and, that wait-lists are not a result of any alleged failure by the private sector - they are a predictable consequence of the ideological health-care monopoly which Bradley and his rigid Liberals unreasonably cling to. Also, Bradley simply ignores that the same tired allegations he still propagates today in Ontario were put forward by Ted Marmor (witness for the defence) during Quebec’s 2005 Chaoulli Supreme court trial – and were dismissed.
All in all, Liberal incumbent Jim Bradley’s performance was tired, uninspired, and wholly unsatisfying.