Boyde blasts Bagnell

MP hopeful Pam Boyde is taking precise aim at Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, her main rival in the upcoming election.

MP hopeful Pam Boyde is taking precise aim at Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, her main rival in the upcoming election.

Bagnell is hiding his parliamentary voting record from his constituents, Boyde said Thursday during a NDP news conference.

Bagnell’s voting record is “embarrassing,” said Boyde, citing a series of seven bills in 2004 and 2005 where he “voted against the interests of Yukoners.”

For example, he voted against student debt relief, said Boyde.

She cited stats from www.howdtheyvote.ca, a website that keeps tabs on all parliamentary votes.

Then, in May, he voted against tougher penalties for using a firearm while committing a crime.

Yet the Liberal Party is saying, “‘We’re going to be tougher on crime and give tougher penalties,’” said Boyde.

And in November, Bagnell broke with the Liberal Party line by voting against harsher penalties for selling drugs within 500 metres of a school.

“This is the most mystifying vote of all,” said Boyde. “Bagnell was in the minority, and clearly voted against his constituents’ wishes.”

The Conservative-proposed bill wasn’t any good, said Bagnell.

“I want tougher penalties for drug pushers anywhere, not just near schools,” said Bagnell Thursday from Old Crow. “If they want to sell drugs to kids they don’t just go to the schoolyards.

“I’ve spoken up strongly about that,” added Bagnell, citing a Liberal bill that would double the penalties for drug-related crimes.

Boyde also accused Bagnell of trying to hide his record.

“We need to know how our representatives are representing us — how they are voting on some of these issues — that’s part of being accountable to your constituents,” said Boyde.

She promised to post her voting record online, and inform Yukoners about upcoming bills before they are voted on.

“She (Boyde) has really embarrassed herself,” said Bagnell.

Boyde’s comments speak to her “inexperience” with the system, he said.

“The votes are on national TV every day and they’re on two websites already. Every time I vote, everyone knows it.”

He votes for the best interests of Yukoners, as he sees them, said Bagnell.

He has voted down bills in cases where the Liberals have better legislation to introduce, the bills are poorly written or when they don’t fit within the legal system.

Bagnell has voted against his party nine times.

“Furthermore, I’m disappointed she’s become so desperate that her campaign has become so negative,” said Bagnell.

“She’s not proposing any new items for Yukoners. The NDP has a number of principles and programs where they want to help and they have brought those forward in past campaigns, but Pam’s doing very little of this.”

Like the messages coming from the federal NDP, Boyde’s message focused on tearing holes in Liberal governance.

Voters are being told why they shouldn’t vote for Bagnell, but why should they vote NDP?

The NDP is committed to strengthening drug treatment and education programs, taking concrete measures to combat climate change and ensuring the public heath care system stays strong, said Boyde.

The two have crossed swords before.

In the 2004 election, Bagnell took 45.5 per cent of the Yukon’s 12,578 votes and Boyde took 25.5 per cent.