Debate in Toronto Centre to take place without Conservative candidate

A Toronto Centre candidates’ debate is happening tonight, with all but one of the main four candidates scheduled to take part.

Conservative candidate Julian Di Battista will not be at the debate.

Conservative candidate Julian Di Battista will not be at the debate.

Toronto Centre is one of the two ridings that the Ryerson campus resides within. The race promises to be closely contested between the Liberals and the NDP.

Linda McQuaig (NDP), Bill Morneau (Liberal) and Colin Biggin (Green) will debate issues like immigration, poverty, housing and employment at St. Simon’s Church in St. James Town. The neighbourhood is the most densely populated in Canada, with between 17,000 and 25,000 residents living in 24 buildings.

There has been little publicity surrounding the event, with just one page on Facebook post on the St. James Town Community Corner page. Out of six residents The Ryersonian surveyed in St. James Town, none were aware of the debate.

There were, however, flyers at the St. James Town Community Corner, along with a box where residents could submit questions they want the candidates to answer.

Nivedita Balachandran, one of the event’s organizers, said that flyers were posted in the St. James Town buildings and community, and outreach ambassadors connected with residents there.

Conservative candidate Julian Di Battista will not be attending the debate and had not responded to The Ryersonian’s request for comment by press time.

The Toronto Star reported in August that Conservative candidates had been told by the Harper administration not to speak to reporters or attend debates during the 2015 campaign.

Journalists at publications across the country have reported on their failed attempts to speak with Conservative candidates, including party leader Stephen Harper himself, who allows just five vetted questions at each appearance.


Event info:

St. James Town Candidates’ Debate

Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015

St. Simon’s Church, 525 Bloor St. E.

Registration at 6:30

Debate 7-8:30

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