MANITOULIN – Throughout our history, The Manitoulin Expositor has hosted an all candidates’ night where Islanders can hear the platforms of local candidates seeking office in our ridings. This year, in the interests of public safety during the pandemic, Manitoulin Secondary School, the usual venue for the event, is not available, therefore the paper will be hosting the event online at 7 pm on Wednesday, September 8 via Zoom.
The federal Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing seat is being contested by incumbent NDP MP Carol Hughes, who has represented the riding since 2008. She is being challenged for the seat by Elliot Lake’s Clarence Baarda of the Christian Heritage Party, Wiikwemkoong’s Duke Peltier for the Liberals, Willisville’s John Sagman for the Conservatives and Echo Lake’s Stephen Zimmermann for the Green Party. The candidates will draw lots for starting comments before the start of the evening and will cycle through each candidate in turn.
Each candidate has been asked to supply a brief 200 word biography to the moderator for introductions. Following the welcome and introductions at 7 pm, each candidate will have up to six minutes to present their positions. The moderator will remind each candidate of the time at the five-minute mark.
Following the cycle of presentations, each candidate will have a further three minutes to rebut (or summarize), presented in the same order as before.
Following the formal speeches, the next part of the evening is set aside for questions from the floor, with the moderator ensuring that the same question is only asked once and questioners will be limited in their preamble. Opportunities will be available for questions to be posed before the debate as well as live during the question period.
A form for asking questions of the candidates is posted online at Manitoulin.com/all-candidates-questions. Questions posed during the live event can be phoned in to 705-368-2744 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org for passing to the moderator.
Northeast Town Mayor Al MacNevin has graciously agreed to act as moderator for the event.
The Expositor normally supplies coffee and donuts for the evening refreshment, but attendees will obviously have to supply their own due to the online venue.
Given recent disruptions at political events, The Expositor will be making use of all the security features available for Zoom this evening, meaning those in the audience will be able to listen in only. No video or chat functions will be permitted.
The all candidates’ meeting can be accessed online at 7 pm on Wednesday, September 8. For the web link, visit manitoulin.com/all-candidates-questions