Knocking on doors in Cardiff and Haliburton this past weekend, Liberal candidate Judi Forbes said people were talking about the Justin Trudeau blackface scandal.

However, she said most opinions were, “we’ve all done stupid stuff in our 20s and it was 20 years ago. What’s he doing for me now? That’s really what I want to know about.”

Forbes is a former TD Bank employee, a bed and breakfast owner in Beaverton, and a former Liberal volunteer.

She told The Highlander this week that when the party came knocking, looking for a candidate for Haliburton-Kawartha LakesBrock, it was an easy “yes.”

She was recently retired from a career in financial services, with a lot to still give, including energy. The request also came at a time when she said she’d seen a lot of regressive policies in the United States and to some extent in Ontario under the Ford government. Politics of divisiveness were also getting her down.


“I just can’t complain on Facebook anymore. It was time to actually say ‘yes,’ I’m going to do something about this.” She said she could only help bring about change from inside, not outside.

She added that the Liberal party has the kind of values that align with her own.

“We pick people over money, care for those less fortunate, treat everyone with equality and respect.”

Visiting Cardiff Saturday, Forbes said some people commented they hadn’t had a candidate at their door ever. She said while she is spending a lot of time door knocking in Lindsay, she carves out a couple of days a week to visit smaller communities. “So, they know they’re being heard.”

She said some prevalent issues she is hearing in Haliburton County are around climate change and jobs to keep young county residents at home. She thinks the Liberals have a robust climate change platform and the recent Liberal commitment of $71 million to improve connectivity will help with local job creation and retention.

She said senior issues are also at the forefront. People are worried about housing and health care as they age. She said some are well off but “there are also a number of seniors in this riding who are living at the edge. And they need a little bit of lift. We’ve already lifted 60,000 seniors out of poverty.”

One of the party’s pledges is to raise old-age pensions by 10 per cent for those 75 and older. At the other end of the spectrum, they are looking to boost the Canada Child Benefit.

“The Liberal government is really just getting started with this. We’ve had four years to get our feet on the ground and start the process. You can’t do everything in week one of forming the government.”

She added while the Liberal deficit is high, the party’s ratio of debt to GDP has lowered.

“There is good debt and bad debt. Good debt goes towards investment. If you are making more on your investments than you are paying on your deft, that’s good debt to have.”

While the riding has been largely blue for years, and Incumbent Conservative Jamie Schmale is the front-runner, Forbes said, “Blue has been in for a long time. Maybe it’s time for a change. I believe Justin Trudeau and the Liberals are going to form the next government. I believe this riding deserves to have someone in the government that is running this county and if that happens, great things are going to happen for this community.”

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