‘This threw me, sorry’; Conservative candidate in Hamilton, after asked about difference from PPC

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Published September 15, 2021 at 6:19 pm

Fabian Grenning is the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) candidate in Hamilton Centre for the Sept. 20 federal election. (Cable 14 image)

A Conservative candidate in Hamilton was tongue-tied on Tuesday when he was asked about the “main difference” between his party and the People’s Party.

Fabian Grenning was participating in a Cable 14 special on the Hamilton Centre riding, which was organized and broadcast by the Cable 14 community television station in Hamilton ahead of the Sept. 20 federal election. During the portion of the program where candidates took questions from Hamilton journalists from other media portals, Grenning eventually said he would have to pass after being asked about the differences between two parties that are on the right end of the traditional political spectrum.

Here was his response, verbatim:

“Thank you for that question, Samantha,” Grenning said, referring to CBC Hamilton journalist Samantha Craggs. “The main difference, um, I would suggest between our two parties is that the Conservative Party is a party that cares for everyone. The Conservative Party… the progressive, the People’s Party, sorry, um, the People’s Party, used to be run, or is now run. Sorry. That was a tough question. The People’s Party, the leader is Max-mine Bernier, he was in the Conservative Party, and he, um… I’m just gonna have to pass. This threw me, sorry.”

Craggs had asked Grenning, “Some recent polls show that the People’s Party is making gains, possibly at the expense of the Conservatives. What do you see as the main difference between your two parties?”

A Conservative party has existed in Canada since Confederation in 1867. The current Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) was officially formed in December 2003 after a merger between the Canadian Alliance (heretofore the Reform Party) and the Progressive Conservatives. It has won either the most or second-most seats in each of the last six federal elections, and had a majority government for nearly 4½ years under former prime minister Stephen Harper from 2011 to ’15.

The three-year-old People’s Party (PPC) received 1.6 per cent of the national vote in the 2019 election and failed to win any seats in Parliament. Leader Maxime Bernier was a CPC cabinet minister under Harper.

Last week, the party dropped a London, Ont.-area riding president,, Shane Marshall, after he was charged with assault with a weapon. The charge came after gravel was thrown at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau at an event in London on Sept. 6.

Grenning, who is president of an accounting firm in the Hamilton area, is involved with several business development committees in the city, according to his candidate bio.

Hamilton Centre is a New Democratic Party (NDP) stronghold that has gone orange in every election since 2004. The CPC finished third in the vote in each of the last two elections, with just under 15 per cent support.

The NDP’s Matthew Green is running for re-election in the riding, while facing challengins from the CPC’s Grenning, Kevin Barber of the People’s Party, Margaret Bennett of the Liberals, the Communist Party’s Nigel Cheriyan, the Green Party’s Avra Caroline Weinstein and Independent candidate Nathalie Xian Yi Yan.

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