Our Scarborough and TVO Toronto mayoral debates slated for tonight and tomorrow

Voters will have a chance to hear from six of the candidates running in the Toronto mayoral byelection at debates planned for tonight and tomorrow night.

By AMARACHI AMADIKE, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

TVO, in partnership with the Toronto Region Board of Trade, will host a debate for some of the candidates running in the Toronto mayoral byelection on Thursday, May 25, at 7 p.m.

The event, titled A Debate for Toronto’s Future, takes place at the Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles St. W.), featuring some of the leading candidates according to polls. It serves as the next event in TVO Today Live’s series on the future of democracy.

“The TVO Today Live series has focused on the challenges to our democracy,” said TVO’s Vice President of Programming and Content John Ferri. “What better way to highlight that theme than to bring together on the same stage the leading candidates for mayor of Canada’s largest city to debate their respective visions for a city at a crucial moment in its history.”

According to a press release, the invite-only debate will consist of candidates that are consistently polling as the top six in publicly-available polls, and each has crossed the 10 per cent threshold in at least one reputable, publicly-available poll.

On May 17, publicly available polls from four well-regarded polling firms – Advanced Symbolics, Forum Research, Mainstreet Research and Ipsos – were reviewed in order to come to a decision as to which candidates to invite, said TVO.

Candidates expected to participate are Olivia Chow, Josh Matlow, Ana Bailão, Brad Bradford, Mark Saunders, and Mitzie Hunter. They will discuss pressing issues such as housing affordability, transit, economic growth, security, and much more.

Steve Paikin, a host for TVO’s The Agenda, will moderate and provide analysis of the discussions following the debate.

Although registration has already sold out, TVO will broadcast the debate live with The Agenda while also providing a live stream on The Agenda’s YouTube channel. A recording will also be available afterwards.

Residents who want even more opportunities to hear the mayoral candidates debate this week can also take in the Our Scarborough event set for tonight (Wednesday, May 24).

The debate in which candidates will speak about matters that affect Scarborough residents such as transit, lack of opportunity and more will take place at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC) on Military Trail. Candidates will also discuss city-wide issues such as housing affordability and poverty reduction.

“Scarborough’s many voices need to be heard in this election,” said Scarborough Community Renewal Organization (SCRO) President Larry Whatmore. “If Scarborough doesn’t speak up, others will speak for us. Let’s move the centre of political gravity in Toronto a little bit to the east.”

The event runs from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. tonight.

CityNews has joined the organizers of the Scarborough Mayoral Candidate Debate as broadcast partner. The broadcast will be on Channel 100 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Seating at the debate auditorium at UTSC’s Academic Resource Centre is sold out.

Organizers of the debate are the Scarborough Community Renewal Organization, Scarborough Business Association, Scarborough United Neighbourhoods, and Scarborough Community Action Network (SCAN). Community sponsors of the debate are Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited , Scarborough Civic Action Network and Scarborough Rotary Passport Club.

Amarachi Amadike is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Beach Metro Community News. His reporting is funded by the Government of Canada through its Local Journalism Initiative.

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