Municipal debate slated Monday

The Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce has planned a municipal candidates debate for Monday evening at the Civic Centre and Chamber co-ordinator Dawn Booth said she’s hoping the public checks it out.
“This is a chance for the public to hear what the candidates have to say. These are the people they are going to vote for,” Booth remarked.
The public either can attend the debate in person, which is scheduled to run from 7-9 p.m., or stay at home and watch it on Shaw Cable Channel 10.
Booth said Monday’s debate will include the two candidates running for mayor—Coun. Sharon Tibbs and newcomer Dan Onichuk—as well as most of the 11 seeking a seat on council in the Nov. 10 election.
The latter include incumbents Roy Avis, Struchan Gilson, and Neil Kabel, former councillors Gus Lindberg and John Albanese, and newcomers Misty Christian, Tannis Drysdale, Bud Edwards, Todd Hamilton, Pastor Stephen Laing, and Rick Wiedenhoeft.
“There’s a few [candidates] who might not be able to make it, but they said they’ll try,” she noted.
But it is known for certain that Coun. Gilson won’t be on hand.
He’s going to Winnipeg to visit with his son, Eric, who has just returned from Bosnia after a military posting there—plans made far in advance of the debate being set.
Coun. Gilson told the Times he regretted he couldn’t be here for the debate, but hoped the public would understand his commitment to his family.
Booth said the format for the council candidates’ debate will run slightly different than the recent allcandidates’ debate leading up to the provincial election, which the Chamber organized last month.
With so many people running, it just would take too much time to have the media ask each of them a question and give them each the same amount of time to respond and then rebut, she noted.
Instead, the Chamber will ask a specific question to each candidate running for a seat on council, which they will be given four minutes to answer.
All will remain sequestered until it’s their time to speak.
However, the format for the mayoral candidates will be much the same as the provincial debate.
Questions will be asked of each of the two candidates by four local media, including the Times.
Each candidate will have the same amount of time to respond and then rebut. The four topics to be covered include fiscal policy, leadership and accountability, community services, and infrastructure.
Canada Post is expected to send out the mail-in ballots to residents starting Oct. 20. Everyone should have their packages by Oct. 26.