Four out of five Niagara Falls riding candidates for the upcoming federal election will participate in a live debate hosted by Cogeco’s YourTV.
Debates will be held for all four Niagara ridings, with the Niagara Falls candidates invited to the studio Sept. 9. Mike Balsom, who also reports for The Local, will be Cogeco’s moderator.
Candidates from the Conservative, Liberal, NDP, and Green parties will be included in the debate.
The questions will come from several different sources, says Balsom. “We are reaching out to some of our local non-profit and business organizations, including the chambers of commerce, to collect questions. We will also throw it open to local media outlets. Some questions may be used in all or multiple ridings, while others may be specific to one riding only.”
The general public will also be able to provide questions.
Cogeco has several pandemic protocols in place for a safe debate, but will stop short of requiring candidates to be vaccinated.
“All staff and volunteers working the production are fully vaccinated,” says Balsom. “At this point we are not requiring the candidates to be vaccinated,” although candidates could be asked a question about their vaccinated status.
“We have temporarily installed plexiglass, which will provide a barrier between candidates. As the host and moderator, I will be facing the candidates from across the floor. We will ask candidates to maintain a safe physical distance at all times, and escort them into the studio separately.”
Masks will be worn onsite, and will only be removed once candidates are in place on the set and microphoned.
The Niagara Falls riding has five candidates, but only four, the Conservative, Liberal, NDP and Green Party representatives are being included in the debate.
YourTV follows the guidelines set by the Leaders’ Debates Commission, which sets criteria for inclusion in these debates, and the People’s Party of Canada does not meet that criteria.
Peter Taras, the PPC representative for the Niagara Falls Riding, has been offered the opportunity to send a video to be included in the broadcast.
“We always truly hope that all candidates who are not from the four main parties take advantage of this opportunity to submit their two-minute video,” says Balsom. “In the past, most have made use of this offer.”
The Taras team has said they will be sending in a video, however Cogeco had not received it by Tuesday.
The debates will be broadcast live from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 9. All debates will be posted on yourtv.tv, the day after the live airing. They will also be available to watch directly on Cogeco’s YouTube channel, at YourTV Niagara.
Repeats are Sunday, Sept. 12 at 3:30 p.m; Monday, Sept. 13 at 9 p.m.; Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.; and Sunday Sept. 18 at 9 p.m.
The Niagara Falls, Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake Chambers of Commerce are also presenting Candidates Engagement Event for the Niagara Falls riding.
They are focusing on important business-related questions, which NOTL Chamber president calls more like case studies. The five candidates will have the questions beforehand, with time to prepare answers.
The questions will be related to the border opening, the tourism industry, and how COVID-19 has impacted our business community.
It will be a Zoom meeting, from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Sept. 8. The Zoom link will be provided closer to the date.To register visit https://southniagaracc.com/event/niagara-falls-candidates-event/?c=sncc.