Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jul 2015
Source: Guelph Mercury (CN ON)
Copyright: 2015 Metroland Media Group Ltd.
Page: A10


Guelph member of Parliament Frank Valeriote said he respects anyone
who seeks public office. But he seemed to make it clear he saw little
value in a perennial electoral rival of his expressing an interest to
do just that once again in his riding.

When asked about Kornelis Klevering's declaration of interest in
running federally in Guelph in the next federal election, the retiring
incumbent MP questioned the sensibility of the proposed candidacy.

Klevering has run for the Marijuana party in Guelph, against
Valeriote, in the previous two federal election campaigns. He says he
intends to run here for the party once more.

Of this prospect, Valeriote told a Mercury reporter this week: "There
are certainly single issues that are of importance that fringe parties
bring a voice to, but this is certainly not one that, I think, is
worthy of the time that's taken up during debates and discussion."
That stance will likely surprise many local politics watchers. That's
not because it's not a defensible comment. Rather, it's because
Valeriote seemed generally at ease and open to the participation in
previous campaigns of Klevering and other candidates from
non-mainstream parties.

It's also a bit surprising that as Valeriote's own party is poised to
discuss its proposed marijuana control policy reforms in the pending
campaign that he would suggest a standard bearer for the Marijuana
party might not add a sensible context to that dialogue on this subject.

In speaking of Klevering's possible candidacy, Valeriote also asserted
that Klevering lacked a record of having areas of interest outside
legalizing the use of marijuana.

That's open to debate. The most compelling evidence of Klevering being
quite interested in other matters of public interest were his varied
and unstinting efforts to legally challenge, and have overthrown, the
results of the last federal election for the riding of Guelph.

Klevering brought forward credible arguments that given the fraudulent
May 2, 2011 robocalling linked to Conservative campaign official
Michael Sona and previous, improper robocalling by Valeriote's team,
during the same campaign, that the Guelph race was seriously marred
and a re-vote should be held.

Valeriote largely eschewed discussing the thrust of that argument
since it was raised.

Instead, he has focused on how it should be legally dismissed for
technical reasons tied to its belated filing and asserted that the
cost of redoing the Guelph vote would be an unnecessary burden for

Perhaps Klevering's advocacy regarding the tainted Guelph vote and
campaign in 2011 is a most significant reason why Guelph's MP has
grown cool to the Marijuana party supporter seeking public office here
again this fall.
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