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Conservative candidate Kovach snubs Guelph all-candidates debate.

The Guelph Mercury’s title and byline in today’s paper says it all: “Almost all candidates debate” and “Kovach misses Guelph’s first byelection debate”

Gloria Kovach was quoted in the Guelph Mercury challenging Liberal candidate Frank Valeriote to a debate on the environment – and by extension the Liberals proposed Green Shift plan – “any time, any place”. Yet, when she had the opportunity, she passed on the chance to do just that at the first all-candidates meeting last night, as she didn’t bother to show up:

Conservative candidate Gloria Kovach was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict, but sent her regrets.., Kovach’s campaign sent out a news release last night saying Minister of Natural Resources Gary Lunn went canvassing door to door with her yesterday afternoon.

Interesting reason.  One would expect these debates are scheduled in cooperation with the campaigns, and not just designated randomly.  Colour me a tad sceptical that she randomly had a conflicting engagement the day that the debate was held.

Perhaps she hadn’t gotten all her talking points sent into her on time from the PMO for this debate, so she decided to take a pass.  Answering unscripted, unexpected questions from the voters is apparently an uncomfortable thing for these Conservative candidates, as evidenced by her referring questions about the Stephen Truscott compensation matter to the PMO’s office. It reminds me again of the “peekaboo” campaign Dianne Haskett tried in London-Centre; or what the national Conservative Party tried, at least, in keeping Haskett away from making too many public appearances or answering questions from the media. Is this another attempt at being a “stealth candidate” on Kovach’s part, or the national Conservative Party?

Either way, its not a very glorious start for Gloria in showing she can represent the citizens of Guelph in this riding, when she can’t be bothered to show up for a debate she and her campaign knew well in advance about.  Guelph voters should take note.

[email protected]:58pm: I note the Mercury’s GuelphVotes! site had a blog notice of last night’s debate taking place from a post they did on August 11. You can be assured the candidates and their campaigns knew a lot earlier then this. The “I couldn’t make it because I was going out to campaign with Gary Lunn who just happenned to be here on the same day of the debate” excuse doesn’t wash. I also note the debate was held between 6 and 8 pm, and Kovach’s release said she was out in the afternoon canvassing with Lunn. What, she was too tired to make it for the debate?

UPDATE 2 @11:26 pm: Red Tory and KNB have similar thoughts at their blogs about Gloria’s no-show.

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