Candidates from all the major provincial political parties in the Nickel Belt and Sudbury electoral districts will debate the issues at a public event today at the Northbury Hotel.The event is being hosted by the local chapter of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP), with members from Friendly to Seniors, the Sudbury Arts Council and the Greater Sudbury Watershed Alliance also expected to attend. Sponsored by Sudbury.com and hosted by editor Mark Gentili, candidates from the Liberal, Progressive Conservative, NDP and Green parties have been invited to attend. The event will begin at 2 p.m.
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In a media release issued by CARP, it’s noted that candidates will have the opportunity for opening and closing remarks and to answer questions from those in attendance. Candidates for other parties, while not invited to speak, will have a table for material, and can meet with those who are interested.
Invited Nickel Belt candidates include Glenys Babcock (Green), Randy Hazlett (Progressive Conservative), France Gélinas (NDP) and Gilles Proulx (Liberal).
Sudbury candidates invited to participate include Jamie West (NDP), David Robinson (Green), David Farrow (Liberal) and Marc Despatie (Progressive Conservative).It remains to be seen whether Conservative candidates Despatie and Hazlett will attend as they have thus far refused to participate in public debates and have refused to answer questions from the media about their campaigns.Nickel Belt Green candidate Glenys Babcock has thus far not participated in a public debate either.
CARP last hosted a candidates meeting in late August of last year in advance of the federal election. The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76 building was almost packed at the time, with few vacant seats.