A Candidate's Forum on Child Poverty Touches a Nerve in Manitoba.

by Larry Powell
Planet In Peril has sorted through some of the confusion surrounding the absence of Robert Sopuck (above), the Conservative Member of Parliament for Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa, from a candidates' forum on child poverty in Neepawa on Wednesday. 

About a month ago, his office told forum organizers that he would be attending. But his office manager in Neepawa, Christine Waddell, later announced he could not attend due to "scheduling conflicts." She said the night of the event, he was in Inglis, a small town in the western part of his riding. 

This morning, however, Sopuck himself told PinP he had actually been in Roblin, a larger town just north of Inglis. A newspaper ad indicated it was a "meet and greet" affair. But that was in the morning in Roblin, a town within a 3-hour drive of Neepawa. So it's still not clear what the event in Inglis was which took priority over a candidate's forum.

The MP bristled at my suggestion that his absence from the Neepawa event might leave him open to criticism that his party, his government or even himself, do not care about hungry children. "That's a low blow," he replied.

Sopuck said his party's answer to fighting child poverty is economic development which "the Socialists and the Greens" always oppose.

All of the other four candidates attended the Neepawa event.

Please also read: "Conservative MP Absent From a Child Poverty Forum in Southwestern Manitoba." 


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