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CONTRIBUTION · 8th July 2011
Maggie Braun
I am writing to express my disappointed at the recent Town Hall Meeting with Kristy Clark. I was one of the first people to raise my hand with a question and the youngest person in the audience to do so. Astoundingly I was overlooked by the moderator and never given an opportunity to speak.

This did not go unnoticed by the crowd as many people approached me afterwards with concerns about the fact.

The concern I wished to raise was with regards to the trade agree being negotiated between Canada and the European Union called the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which they hope to sign by the end of this year.
This is a big deal for Canadians. CETA threatens our democracy by putting corporate rights first, will encourage privatization of drinking water services and opens the door to privatization of vital public services. Under CETA local job creation and “buy-local” policies could be prohibited and big corporations could ignore or challenge environmental regulation. This deal will even impact our health care system by making it harder to expand or improve medicare and home care services as well as causing drug costs to skyrocket. . In fact it’s the first time a trade agreement will include municipal activities like purchasing, infrastructure and the delivery of municipal services.

I was going to ask Premier Clark to lobby the federal government to immediately halt negotiations on this deal or raise awarness of it at a provincial level. This would reaffirm her commitment to protecting our families and jobs, ensuring our communities and the services are not for sale.

In Solidarity
Maggie Braun
Canadian Action Party

Publicity Stunt
Comment by A. Ament on 13th July 2011
It is really Premier Christy Clark who was doing the publicity stunting, not Batman. It was supposed to be a people's forum. Avoiding important legitimate topics makes it a hollow gesture instead... and persunally, I think Batman showing up only emphasizes that.
If You need proof...
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 11th July 2011
..that one needs to be a little more aggressive or assertive at a meeting advertised as a public forum, consider the amount of coverage give to a clown in a Batman costume. One doesn't need to be rude but if you stand up and only interrupt the moderator to let him?her know you resent being ignored, then when called ask your question respectfully, the meeting will defend your right to be heard.

The moderator in the case was a loyal liberal simply trying to protect the Premier from any difficult issues. He may even have been doing it without her consent.
Comment by Stacey Tyers on 11th July 2011
I held my hand up with Gerald Amos sitting two seats from him. The three of us were the first to raise our hand, sitting in that back row. I was overlooked the entire time too... up until the end when I started saying rather loudly that I felt I was being deliberately ignored.

Then I got 2nd to last question, over the time and had to shorten it drastically. I also had to choose between poverty, HST and cuts to legal aid. All which affect my life and hundreds of thousands of others....
You are right!
Comment by FayEllen McFarlane on 9th July 2011
You are right, Helmut! Sad but true. And our society is all the poorer because too many people are "nice." They don't stand up and say the things that need to be said; they don't stand up for their right to speak and be heard. They politely sit back and wait their turn, wait to be called on to ask their question or offer their opinion. Meanwhile, the vultures take control: buying and selling what isn't theirs to buy and sell; keeping the masses struggling to make ends meet while lining their own pockets and those of their friends.
The moderator.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 9th July 2011
It is why the moderator is selected. He/she will be a loyal supporter who knows who in the crowd to avoid. It is all about controlling the outcome of the event. One single, very persistent person asking the wrong question can make the headline for an account of the meeting that turns a public relations event into a disaster.

You should have stood up and demanded to be recognized, interrupted the moderator if necessary and demanded the right to ask a question. They might have been offended by your lack of decorum but by heavens they would have ignored you at their peril.

They were banking on you being too nice to do that.
They Knew You
Comment by Gary Edwards on 9th July 2011
I'm willing to bet that they knew who you were and deliberately ignored you for fear of more news getting out about your party.
Welcome to the world of politics and watch your back.
A worthy question
Comment by Al Lehmann on 8th July 2011
deserves an answer, but that's difficult to get when you're not allowed to ask it.

Thank you for raising it here.