Wednesday, April 1, 2020

All-candidates meeting set

chatham-kent council
Photo from Facebook

The newly-formed Chatham-Kent Nonprofit Network (CKNN) has invited all candidates running for Mayor and for Council in October’s municipal election to take part in an All Candidates’ Forum on Tuesday 16th September from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. The topic will be their understanding of the contribution made to our community by the nonprofit sector.

Organizers of the Forum emphasize that this is not a debate.

It is an educational opportunity.

CKNN member and CEO of United Way of Chatham-Kent, Karen Kirkwood-Whyte asserts, “the nonprofit sector contributes significantly to the economic development of Chatham-Kent while contributing to our quality of life and offering diverse opportunities for volunteerism. We encourage all candidates who have entered the election to consider how they will support and promote this vital sector in our community.”

A brochure developed by the CKNN Steering Committee contains some background on the importance of the nonprofit sector as well as the following questions which will be posed during the All Candidates’ Forum:

– Tell us what you understand to be the value of the nonprofit sector and how you will demonstrate your commitment to supporting it

– What will you do to promote the engagement of young people in the nonprofit sector?

– What will you do to promote Social Enterprise as an alternative to traditional employment?

– How will you demonstrate a commitment to our community’s most vulnerable citizens?

– Please describe how arts, culture and heritage contribute to the quality of life in Chatham-Kent and what you would do to encourage support of this community sector?

– What would you do to promote a greener community?

The All Candidates’ Forum will take place at Villa Angela, 20 Merici Way, Chatham with an audience of invited representatives from the nonprofit sector including social service, cultural, environmental, faith-based, sports oriented and other groups. TVCogeco will be taping onsite and broadcasting the event at a later date, giving the wider community the chance to hear a bit about what candidates think about nonprofits.

It is hoped that, having thought seriously about many aspects of the contribution nonprofits make to each of us, candidates for Mayor and Council will include additional ideas in debates organized by others in the lead-up to the election.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, a Project Co-Ordinator for CKNN will shortly begin work. To contact the Co-Ordinator or for further information about the local Nonprofit Network, email

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