All-candidates debate kicks off local provincial election race

It’s election time again.

On June 7, a province-wide election will decide who will govern your provincial affairs in Ontario. In one corner, the Liberals, suddenly quick and generous with funding announcements, hope it will be them again. In the other, the opposition PC Party, with a new and brash leader, hope to avoid the mistakes of previous elections and usher-out the long-serving and unpopular premier.

The issue of participation in provincial elections is a hot topic among political types. With voter turnout in the last election a paltry 52 per cent of the population, the parties know that there is a lot of apathy but also a lot of votes up for grabs – if only they would actually get out and cast their ballot.

A bruising battle during the last federal election did provoke an uptick in voting among some younger demographic groups. It may shake out that way provincially, and also in Markham-Stouffville where the battle will feature two well-known politicians in Liberal cabinet minister Helena Jaczek and past-MP Paul Calandra. The two will take each other to task at an event from 7-9 pm on May 14 at the East Ridge Church auditorium on Ninth Line. It’s a free event sponsored by the Stouffville Chamber of Commerce.

All are welcome, encouraged to attend and exercise your right and privilege to vote. As the old saying goes, “if you don’t vote, you can’t complain.” Go early if you want a good seat.

At press time, neither the Greens or NDP had declared candidates for Markham Stouffville.

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