First all-candidates debate a popular event

The battle lines were drawn long ago, but a sure sign that the municipal election campaigns have really kicked into gear was the first public debate, held Sept. 19. The event featured not only the much-hyped mayoral battle hopefuls, but also the candidates running in all six wards. With supporters in tow and pamphlets in hand, hundreds filled the auditorium of the local high school to listen to the pitches.

Presented by the Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library, a few people worried about how it would all turn out. While security guards were on site, the event delivered on boisterous applause for the preferred candidates but polite applause and respect for all was the order of the evening.

That didn’t mean that candidates didn’t address the elephant in the room, which is the split on council between supporters of the current mayor and those opposed. Many took aim at what they felt was the diminished reputation of the town as a result of the very public issues involving the mayor, but others fired back in his defence and implored voters to entrust the running of council and community to a slate of candidates that support the mayor. No knockout punches were delivered – of any kind. Just frank debate, just the way it should be.

Visit the town voter website at to get information on the candidates (if they provided any) and make an informed choice. Have your say on Oct. 22.

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