HCA to host online election debate Sept. 8

By Jake Davies - West Carleton Online

WEST CARLETON – West Carleton voters will have zero opportunities to see the federal Kanata-Carleton candidates debate in person, but there will be a few opportunities to watch them battle it out on screen, including one hosted by a local organization.

Currently, West Carleton Online is aware of three scheduled online all-candidates debates scheduled during the 44th federal election campaign.

The Huntley Community Association (HCA) will host an online all-candidates debate Wednesday, Sept. 8 starting at 7 p.m. It will be the best opportunity for West Carleton residents to hear the candidates’ platforms as they relate directly to the rural community.

“The HCA organizes debates for all the elections that affect Carp and West Carleton,” HCA President Judy Makin told West Carleton Online yesterday (Sept. 1). “All of our representatives have to represent some urban residents as well as us here in the rural area and it’s important residents hear information relevant to their concerns.”

Election 44 in Kanata-Carleton features two new faces leading the two parties that have won every election in the riding this century and beyond with Jennifer McAndrew representing the Conservatives and Kanata North Coun. Jenna Sudds representing the Liberal Party. The Green Party, New Democrats and People’s Party of Canada are all returning their 2019 candidates, respectively, Dr. Jennifer Purdy, Melissa Coenraad and Scott Miller. To see West Carleton Online’s complete coverage of the 44th federal election so far including profiles on all five Kanata-Carleton candidates, click here or on the tag ‘Election 44.’

“There are some new faces and some familiar ones among the candidates,” HCA debate moderator Allan Joyner told West Carleton Online. “Whoever is elected has big shoes to fill. Karen (McCrimmon) was an effective MP, and she has a real feel for the area.”

The debate is open to all to attend. To receive a link for the Sept. 8 debate email, debate@hca-carp.ca.

A Zoom invitation will be supplied Sept. 7 to everyone who requests to attend. You will also be able to view the debate on YouTube by clicking here (at the time of the event).

The event will be live streamed on Zoom and YouTube and recorded for later playback.

The format will start with each candidate having two minutes for an opening statement. Each candidate will then answer five questions that will be selected in advance.

Only the participants and the moderator will be visible and audible to the audience. Everyone else will be muted. Chat will not be monitored during the event, but chat messages can still be left and will be viewable to the candidates and hosts only.

Questions can be submitted in advance by emailing them to debate@hca-carp.ca. Questions will be accepted until Sept. 7. A small committee working under the direction of the debate moderator will collate the questions and combine the ones on similar themes to determine and paraphrase the five most asked questions. These will not be shared with the candidates in advance. 

For decades the Arnprior Region of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture hosted an all candidates debate for both provincial and federal elections at the Kinburn Community Centre. Who could forget 2019?

This year the OFA has chosen not to host a debate.

“Unfortunately, there is no all candidates debate planned for this year, mainly due to the short timeline and the challenging time of year for farmers,” the OFA’s Deb Knapton told West Carleton Online Tuesday (Aug. 31). “Of my four federations, Lanark is the only one planning an all-candidates event. We are encouraging federations to set up individual meetings with candidates if they are not hosting an all-candidates event.”

The day before the HCA debate, West Carleton’s Kanata neighbours in the Beaverbrook area will be hosting an event on Tuesday, Sept. 7 which will also be online.

“The Kanata Beaverbrook Community Association (KBCA) is partnering with the Briarbrook Morgan’s Grant Community Association (BMGCA) and the Kanata Lakes Community Association (KLCA) to present an all candidates meeting for the federal Kanata-Carleton riding on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.,” the KBCA released in a statement Sunday (Aug. 29). Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this will be an online meeting using YouTube Livestream. Details will be announced closer to the event.”

If you have a question for the candidates, please submit it via email. There will be no questions from the audience during the meeting. The meeting format will be a moderated question and answer session. Candidates will be given a three-minute open and closing statement, separated by six to eight questions, with each candidate provided two minutes to answer. The target end time of the meeting is 8:45 p.m.

Rogers TV, cable 22 will also host a mediated debate for the Kanata-Carleton candidates with the first viewing of the results scheduled for Sept. 6 at 4 p.m.

“We recorded the debate last night with all five candidates in attendance,” Rogers producer Stan Newton told West Carleton Online today (Sept. 2).

The debate will also be aired on Sept. 9 (8 p.m.), Sept. 13 (1 p.m.) and Sept. 16 (1 p.m.) Newton says the debate will also be posted to Rogers’ YouTube page within “the next couple of days.”

Advance polls for the 44th federal election in Carp will open Sept. 10 to 13 at the Mess Hall, 2240 Craig Side Rd. – the same location for Election Day voting.

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