Debate hits close to home on issues

St. Paul's heads into the last week before election day

Nine St. Paul’s candidates faced off in front of a packed house at a byelection debate hosted by the Town Crier newspaper.

Close to 300 people filled the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto on St. Clair West near Avenue Rd. Sept. 10.

The biggest issue of the night was how the Liberals’ proposed harmonized sales tax will impact on the residents and businesses in St. Paul’s.

Dozens of residents lined up to ask the candidates tough questions on Metrolinx’s proposed electrified rail line through the riding, education funding, improving health care, reducing homelessness and improving the environment.

Part of the evening was disrupted when independent candidate John C. Turmel, who has run and lost 68 elections, got up from the stage in protest. He objected that not all candidates were asked questions from voters.

The debate was a chance to get to know the candidates in attendance: Turmel, plus Liberal Eric Hoskins, PC Sue-Ann Levy, New Democrat Julian Heller, Green Chris Chopik, independents Raj Rama and Marius Frederick, Freedom Party Paul McKeever and Ontario Libertarian John Kittredge.

St. Paul’s is a hotly contested race to fill the vacancy left by former MPP Michael Bryant who stepped down to run Invest Toronto.

He has since resigned while he faces an upcoming court case where he has been charged with dangerous driving in the death of cyclist Darcy Sheppard.

The byelection vote takes place Sept. 17.

About this article:

By: Kris Scheuer
Posted: Sep 11 2009 12:02 am
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto