All-candidates’ debate set for tonight

The three main candidates vying for the Kenora-Rainy River seat in the Oct. 2 provincial election will square off in a debate here tonight.
The debate, hosted by the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce, is set to start at 7 p.m. at the Civic Centre and will be broadcast live by Shaw (Channel 10). It also will be re-broadcast several times before the election.
Voters also are encouraged to attend in person.
Provincial NDP leader and incumbent MPP Howard Hampton will be debating the issues with Progressive Conservative candidate Cathe Hoszowski and Liberal candidate Geoff McClain.
Hoszowski is a former municipal councillor in Atikokan and current tourist camp operator on Clearwater Lake while McClain is the mayor of Ear Falls.
The candidates will be given an opportunity to make general opening comments for five minutes, then each will be given a oneminute rebuttal.
The next section of the debate will be set aside for questions from the local media (four) as well as the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce.
Each questioner will have two minutes in which to speak.
Each candidate then will be given three minutes to answer each question, as well as one minute for rebuttal. Throughout the debate, the candidate to answer the question first will rotate, keeping it fair.
At the end, the candidates each will be given another five minutes for a closing statement.
Tannis Drysdale, debate co-ordinator and moderator, said people are encouraged to come down to the Civic Centre to watch.
“Space will be limited, [but] we’ll try to accommodate everyone that comes down,” she noted.
She indicated no specific time has been put aside for questions from the public or for people to talk to the candidates afterwards, but added it will be up to the candidates themselves if they can fit it into their schedules.
Other debates are planned for Kenora and Dryden, but this may be the only chance to see all three candidates together here, noted Drysdale.
“This will be the only one with all the candidates,” she said.
A fourth candidate, Dan King of Toronto who is running for the Green Party here, will not attend the debate. But Drysdale said he still hasn’t filed his papers to run.