The Nipissing University Student Union and Political Science Program set out to help inform the public on the federal election candidates locally and achieved their goal.
That from Sarah McGowan, NUSU Director of Communications after Tuesday night’s debate with the four candidates.
“We were able to give (the candidates) the time and place that they needed to answer the questions and for the audience to get a sense of which candidate they wanted to vote for,” she says.
The format of the event involved candidates keeping their answers focused on their own party and platforms.
“I think often in politics, the politician’s kind of masquerade behind pointing fingers at other parties instead of actually talking about what they themselves are going to do. We wanted to pull that back a bit and just allow the candidates to show that they actually know what their party is doing and for the people to hold them accountable when they do get into office,” McGowan says.
She says topics ranged from education, the economy, healthcare and COVID and more.
“The way that election has come up really quickly and it’s quite a short amount of time we wanted to make sure that there were multiple things in there, but because we partnered with the Nipissing University Political Science Program we wanted it to be well-rounded as well,” McGowan says.
Other questions revolved around the environment, First Nations, Métis & Inuit issues, and foreign policy.
McGowan says the session was well-received, but there was some disappointment with the answers to the education-related question.
She says they wanted the candidates to provide answers on the national student housing crisis.
“I think the students were a little disappointed with the candidates’ answers because they didn’t really actually stick to the question and talk about students, they just started rolling it into everybody,” She says.
McGowan says that’s also happening at the national level, with the party leaders rolling their answers to questions about students into a broader audience.
The four candidates in Nipissing-Timiskaming include (in alphabetical order):
- Greg Galante (People’s Party of Canada)
- Scott Robertson (New Democratic Party)
- Anthony Rota (Liberal Party of Canada)
- Steve Trahan (Conservative Party of Canada)
View the debate below: