The Ontario general election may unofficially be underway, but Premier Doug Ford has until Wednesday to have the Legislature dissolved and the writs drawn up to make the election campaign a real thing that’s happening. Speaking of real stuff that’s happening, a couple of Guelph groups have already scheduled some
debates town halls to give people a chance to hear from (some of) the candidates.
On Thursday May 5, there will be a town hall at at 10C Shared Space with Liberal candidate Raechelle Devereaux, NDP candidate James Parr, and Green Party candidate Mike Schreiner. A media release from 10C said that Progressive Conservative candidate Peter McSherry was invited to participate, but there was a conflict with a previously schedule event at that time.
The town hall is being phrased as a discussion about issues connected to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which includes women’s economic equality, access to nutritious food, housing and homelessness, climate change, health care, and mental health. The team at 10C say that they want to focus on making the SDGs a source and the basis for community engagement in the provincial election.
“The SDGs are an exciting framework to support issues based discussions and advocacy around the provincial election,” said Emily Hansen, the SDG Cities Lead for Guelph in a media release. “We want to provide a platform for community members to discuss with one another and engage directly with candidates on the issues that matter to them. In Canada, the federal government has made a commitment to making progress on the SDGs by 2030, and it is time for Ontario to do the same!”
The 10C town hall will be a hybrid event with an in-person audience and an online one. You can RSVP to either the in-person or online stream at this link on Eventbrite.
The other announced event is the “Candidate Q&A” hosted by the Guelph Chamber of Commerce. The Q&A will take place on Wednesday May 18 from 4 to 6 pm and it will feature Devereaux, McSherry, Parr and Schreiner. Unlike the 10C event, the Chamber Q&A will be an entirely online affair, free to access for members of the public, but you do have to register in advance on the Chamber’s website here.
If you don’t want the hassle of signing up to be in the Zoom room, then you will be able to watch the debate on Rogers TV Cable 20, and if you don’t have cable, you will be to watch the entire debate later on the Chamber’s YouTube page. If you like, you can submit a question for the Q&A to the Chamber by sending an email to chamber [at] guelphchamber.com.
Although they have yet to be invited to a debate, there are two other announced candidates running in Guelph: businessman Will Lomker of the New Blue Party, and workers’ advocate Paul Taylor of the None of the Above Party. Election Day is June 2.