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Labour Council hosting two nights of election debates

Tonight’s Sudbury & District Labour Council virtual debate will feature Nickel Belt candidates, and Wednesday night’s event will feature Sudbury candidates
2022-05-22 Elections Ontario RB
Elections Ontario location at Bayfield Mall in Barrie.

The Greater Sudbury area’s two Progressive Conservative candidates will be absent from two nights of debates hosted by the Sudbury & District Labour Council beginning tonight.

“It’s unfortunate, from candidates who are vying to be part of government,” vice-president D'Arcy Gauthier told “We know it’s happening all over Ontario, it’s just too bad they don’t see the value in connecting to the community.”

Neither Nickel Belt candidate Randy Hazlett nor Sudbury candidate Marc Despatie responded to their invitation to an International Workers’ Day rally on May 1, either, he added.

“They just didn’t bother to respond, which should be alarming to anyone trying to make an informed choice. If you can’t get a PC candidate who will even acknowledge an email, what does that say if they were to be elected?”

Tonight’s debate will feature Nickel Belt candidates France Gélinas (NDP) and Gilles Proulx (Liberal), while Wednesday night’s debate will feature Sudbury candidates David Robinson (Green), Jamie West (NDP) and David Farrow (Liberal).

Joining Hazlett in skipping tonight’s debate is Green candidate Glenys Babcock. Members of political parties that were elected in 2018 were invited, and included Progressive Conservatives, Liberal, NDP and Green candidates.

The slate of candidates taking part on these two nights of debates are the same as that which took part in last week’s Canadian Association of Retired Persons debate and the Sudbury and Nickel Belt debates hosted by the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce earlier this month.

Both tonight’s debate and Wednesday night’s will begin at 7 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. — a “hard stop,” Gauthier clarified — and both will be broadcast using the Zoom platform.

“There will be a heavy focus on labour issues tonight, but also social issues such as housing and social services,” he said, adding that they worked with different community groups to draft the events’ topics.

“We’re really looking forward to hearing from the candidates on both nights so everyone can make an informed decision,” Gauthier said, adding that this is an important election that will help shape how the province moves past the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Tonight’s Nickel Belt debate can be accessed by clicking here.

Wednesday night’s Sudbury debate can be accessed by clicking here.

Both Despatie and Hazlett have avoided not only public debates, but also repeated interview requests, with reporters yet to speak with either of them.

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for