A benchmark for any election season, the Guelph Wellington Coalition for Social Justice and other partner groups hosted the Social Justice debate Thursday night at the Italian Canadian Club. There weren’t many fireworks, but it was the first time that all the candidates were together in one place at one time. Well, almost.
Seven of the Federal candidates took part, including a surprise appearance from Kornelis Klevering. The erstwhile Marijuana Party candidate who’s run in the last three Federal elections joined this one as an independent candidate with no party affiliation. Klevering’s main argument was that we need more commoners in the House of Commons.
Liberal candidate and incumbent Lloyd Longfield appeared alongside Steve Dyck of the Green Party, Aisha Jahangir of the NDP, Mark Paralovos of the People’s Party, Juanita Burnett of the Communist Party, and Gordon Truscott of the Christian Heritage Party.
Conspicuous by his absence was Conservative Party candidate Ashish Sachan, who also missed a debate on food security at the end of August, but did attend a breakfast meet-and-greet at HOPE House, as well as a forum hosted by the Ontario Home Builders Association.
The two-hour debate was brisk as moderator Tim Mau, a political science professor at the University of Guelph, went though a list of questions from the organizers and from the audience as candidates had 90-seconds to respond to each question. Topics covered included the environment, healthcare, immigration, Indigenous rights, and electoral reform.
Read the complete blow-by-blow of the debate below.