Clement trying to connect with old Liberals, undecided

SDSG Liberal candidate Bernadette Clement speaks to supporters Sept. 10, 2015 during the opening of her campaign office on Pitt Street in Cornwall, Ont. (Newswatch Group/File)

CORNWALL – The SDSG Liberal candidate is extending an olive branch to those who voted Liberal in the past, the undecided and other opposition voters.

“I ask you to come back. It is time to vote Liberal again. And once again, you have good reasons to do so,” Bernadette Clement said during her speech, opening her campaign headquarters at 628 Pitt Street in Cornwall.

At the same time, Clement made her strongest condemnation yet of her Conservative rival, Guy Lauzon, suggesting the riding has been sold short on infrastructure money from Ottawa and hasn’t had a voice on Parliament Hill.

“The role of an MP is not to be the mouthpiece of the political party, the messenger of Ottawa…the role of a real MP is to be the voice of the people,” she said to roughly 100 supporters Thursday night.

An energetic crowd listens to SDSG Liberal candidate Bernadette Clement (not shown) speak during the opening of her campaign office at 628 Pitt Street in Cornwall, Ont. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
An energetic crowd listens to SDSG Liberal candidate Bernadette Clement (not shown) speak during the opening of her campaign office at 628 Pitt Street in Cornwall, Ont. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

Clement also said Cornwall wouldn’t have had its new sports facilities, such as the Benson Center, had it not been for the Liberal party pushing the Conservatives to adopt an infrastructure spending plan.

“There is no money for infrastructure investment, but yet the Conservatives seem to be able to find taxpayers’ money to spend on their political advertising which they stuff non-stop in our mailboxes,” she said to cheers from the audience.

The lawyer, who made her home in Cornwall 24 years ago, had one tangible promise in her platform, to push for “adding four lanes at various internals” of Highway 138.

Clement also chided Lauzon for his handling of the border closure in 2009 and the chemical tanks on Cornwall’s waterfront. “The MP should have been making every effort to ensure a meeting with the city and appropriate minister (over the border closure) however this never happened.”

She also touched on environmental issues, such as climate change, and said it’s time to “make decisions based on good scientific evidence.”

Clement concluded her speech, asking the NDP and Green Party supporters to unite with her to defeat the Conservatives saying that she “admire(s) many of the principles” of the opposition parties.

“Let us all light up the world after Oct. 19, with the renewed Canada that the world desperately needs.”

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