Conservative candidate Cheryl Gallant nowhere to be found during campaign in Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke
PEMBROKE, ONT. -- Less than three weeks from the federal election day, candidates in Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke are getting their feet on the ground and sharing their plans for the riding.
However, incumbent and Conservative Party candidate Cheryl Gallant is seemingly unavailable. After multiple requests for an interview with CTV News Ottawa over the last two days, Gallant and her team offered no response.
Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke has been a Conservative stronghold since 2000, with Gallant winning the riding in the past eight elections. For some voters, like Pembroke resident Don Grattan, she’s exactly what they’re looking for.
"She’s kind of been the protection in keeping the Liberals out," says Grattan. "She speaks her mind. She doesn’t let too much hold her back."
Gallant didn’t hold back with recent comments directed towards the Liberals either. In a video post online and since removed, Gallant warned of impending Liberal climate lockdowns.
"Now that the pandemic is passing, they’re rebranding climate change as a climate emergency in order to justify climate lockdowns," Gallant said in a newscast styled video.
The comments lead to Liberal leader Justin Trudeau calling on Conservative leader Erin O’Toole to rein in his candidates.
"His own candidates are out there pedalling conspiracy theories on vaccinations, and as we saw recently with Cheryl Gallant, on the environment," Trudeau said at a recent appearance in Granby, Que.
In the meantime, Gallant’s opposition candidates took the time to share their plans with the media. First time Liberal candidate Cyndi Mills says one of her biggest campaign points for the area is affordability.
"The $10-a-day daycare that the Liberal government is working on and fighting for our families," said the candidate from Petawawa. "We need affordability when it comes to seniors and supporting them."
Also running for the first time is Jodie Primeau, the NDP candidate from Deep River.
"One of my big promises is to bring a bus from North Bay to Ottawa with each community in between getting connected; a hop-on, hop-off bus," said Primeau.
Both candidates are also campaigning for strong and more reliable internet access for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, and both also agree that they are hoping for change come Sept. 20.
"We need it, it’s been something that’s been needed in here for a while," Mills told CTV News.
Primeau shared the sentiment when explaining her hopes behind winning.
"When I talked to people who previously voted conservative or liberal, they’re looking at me as the strategic vote to change things."