Niagara Region Liberal candidates get chance with Trudeau during Welland whistlestop

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Published September 7, 2021 at 1:54 pm

Two of the Liberal incumbents and one hopeful candidate in the Niagara Region certainly had their Labour Day (September 6) plans rewritten when leader Justin Trudeau came by for what will likely be his only sojourn into the region during this shortened campaign.

While the Welland stop might have been better known for Trudeau and his entourage being pelted by debris by loud, angry, mask-free “anti-vaxxers” as the Prime Minister himself referred to them, it was also a chance to talk to workers at local steel production facility Valbruna-ASW.

Welcoming both Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Niagara Centre MP and candidate Vance Badawey, who came in on the Liberal sweep of 2015, remembered the local businesses lost under the Stephen Harper government and a former MP.

“Under 10 years of a Conservative government, we were left behind. We had an NDP member of Parliament for six years who did nothing to fight for this industry, or for Niagara,” he said.

“Overnight, throughout Niagara Centre, we lost John Deere, Energex Tube, Hayes.-Dana, the pulp and paper mills in Thorold, just to name a few – all gone. We lost our manufacturing core.”

As the former Mayor of Port Colborne, Badawey knows the area well.

“Although not the Atlas Steels we all remember, on this Labour Day, while visiting Valbruna-ASW, we reflect on the resilience of Canadian workers and their commitment and dedication to our communities. Valbruna-ASW is a testament to that resilience as they all work hard to re-establish a household name in the City of Welland.”

St Catharines MP and candidate Chris Bittle, who also came in on the 2015 Liberals sweep, reflected seeing his party back the Canadian worker.

“When Donald Trump decided to rip up NAFTA, our government pushed to ensure a good deal for Canadian workers – even when the Conservatives wanted us to cave. And when COVID-19 hit, we stepped up to ensure workers had the support they needed. From the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit- we were there for workers.”

Andrea Kailer, who’s hoping to take the Niagara Falls seat from Conservative Tony Baldinelli, took time as part of the group to reflect on the meaning on Labour Day.

“Labour Day is an important opportunity to reflect on the contributions that workers make to the fabric of our community. Workers and their unions have long been at the forefront of the fight for good jobs and better wages, and for that we owe them our thanks.”

(Photos courtesy of Vance Badawey Facebook)

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