The candidates in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex for the upcoming Federal election will be coming to Wallaceburg for a debate on Oct. 6.
The Wallaceburg and District Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the all-candidates debate at the Sydenham Curling Club from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“We want to solicit questions from the public ahead of time,” said Kevin Blake, who helping organize the event. “What we are going to do is go through all the questions, categorize them and pick the top five questions.”
Blake said the Chamber is encouraging people to send their questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop them off at the Chamber office, located at 152 Duncan St.
The cut off date for questions is September 25, which will give the Chamber time to go through them, rate them, categorize them and figure out what the most popular questions are, Blake said.
“It’s an open format where we just want to ask the questions that are most popular on people’s minds,” he said.
“The more questions, the better the questions will be because that way we will be able to determine that this issue here is one that is very important to the public in the immediate area. We didn’t want to restrict the subject matter.”
Blake said the candidates will have a five minute opener and then they will get to answer five of the top questions during the debate.
“Then we will have a break where we will allow the candidates and the audience to mingle with each other and people can ask the candidates their own questions to find out what they would like to know on a personal basis at that point in time. I believe we are going with a half hour break followed by closing statements.”
Randy McNeil will be the mediator of the debate and the Chamber is working in combination with 99.1
Cogeco Cable will also be filming the event.
“I think it is a great idea because even if you can’t go, you can watch it and see what you think of the candidates responses and try to come to an informed decision,” Blake said.
“It is open to the public. We would like as many people locally as possible obviously to attend the debate and then they get their chance during the half hour break to approach a specific candidate with their specific question. We want to engage people in the community with this election and that’s why we are holding the debate.”
Blake added: “So that people can make informed decisions based on what they hear from the candidates. We want people to make the best informed decision they can and we want to encourage people to come out and vote. Sometimes people don’t vote because they don’t know, this is an opportunity to find out what the stances are from the different parties and candidates. So the main goal will be to engage with the public and hopefully people will learn something and go out and vote.
Here are the candidates running in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex:
– Bev Shipley – Progressive Conservatives
– Rex Isaac – New Democratic Party
– Ken Filson – Liberal
– Jim Johnston – Green
All canddiates have confirmed their attendance for the Oct. 6 debate.
Election day is Oct. 19.