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Candidate event cancelled, organizer says two big parties are gagging candidates

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UPDATE AT 3:00pm Wednesday:  The meeting is back on, under the auspices of a pair of concerned citizens, Mireille Lafleur Brunet and her husband, Daniel Brunet.  She says NDP candidate John Vanthof, Blue Party hopeful Garry Andrade, Libertarian Eric Cummings and Kris Rivard of the Green Party of Ontario have confirmed their participation.  The event is Thurs., May 19 at 7:00pm at the Commando Pavilion.

The Cochrane Board of Trade’s meet the provincial candidates meeting planned for Thursday night is cancelled, and the director organizing it is angry with both the Conservative and Liberal parties.

Dan Belisle says the New Democrats and three of the fringe parties in the Timiskaming-Cochrane race accepted the invitation.  The PCs and Liberals didn’t respond, so he concludes they’re unwilling to face 50 voters.

Belisle, as a Board of Trade executive member, isn’t supposed to be political. But he’s reacting as a lifelong politician himself.

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“I’m sure Doug Ford told all his PC candidates that are running, except for George Pirie in Timmins, do not mix with any other candidates to cause any controversy,” he states.

Belisle adds that he met Conservative hopeful Bill Foy when his candidacy was announced.

“I figured oh, you know, interesting, the Conservatives are rolling here, but you can tell that it’s coming from head office, right, that they’ve been told to gag up.”

Belisle criticizes the Liberals on the same grounds. He notes that candidate Brian Johnson – who  lives in Sudbury — hasn’t replied to the invitation.

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