Have you made your choice yet?


THUNDER BAY – Mayoral candidates got the opportunity to answer questions at the Young Professionals Network debate hosted at The Da Vinci Centre on Thursday night.

The live-stream video offers you the opportunity to listen to their responses from both questions submitted by email, and questions from the floor. The debate starts at about the 20 minute mark of the video.

The YPN offered this opportunity and included an entrance and exit poll from the event.

Here are the results of that poll:

Entry Poll

Candidate                   Number of Votes        Percentage
Burridge, Colin                       0                      0%
Hobbs, Keith                           44                    51%
Irwin, Jeff                                  2                     2%
Kwasny, Brian                         0                      0%
Peterson, Lynn                       15                    17%
Pullia, Frank                            14                    16%
Undecided                                11                    14%
Total 86

Exit Poll

Candidate                   Number of Votes        Percentage
Burridge, Colin                       0                      0%
Hobbs, Keith                           42                    45%
Irwin, Jeff                                   4                      5%
Kwasny, Brian                          0                      0%
Peterson, Lynn                       29                    31%
Pullia, Frank                            13                    14%
Undecided                                  6                      5%
Total 94

There were a few areas that I found interesting last night.

One was that none of the candidates in debate, or in either their opening remarksor closing remarks shared their website address with the audience members or online viewers. Perhaps it is a generational thing, but no candidate thought to raise the information.

Another was that in the questions from the floor, and submitted questions, there was no mention of foresty. There were 25 questions submitted online, and five questions from the floor.

None of the candidates spoke to any length on revitalizing the forest sector to its former glory days. Even the recent re-opening of Terrace Bay Pulp didn’t generate discussion from any of the candidates.

Over the past two years, small business surveys have pointed out that in their view it is time to look past forestry that appeared perhaps to have echoed with the candidates?

In terms of supporting small business, the candidates all expressed that it is important to engage the locally owned and operated small businesses. Mayor Peterson pointed to a program to reduce red tape and that part of the problem has been in communications.

The issue of the wind farm and Council’s 7-5 vote supporting Horizon Wind Inc. was raised several times by challenger Jeff Irwin, but no other candidate raised the issue. Irwin said that Council has sent a message to businesses seeking to locate in Thunder Bay that this Council and Mayor support high energy costs.

Frank Pullia expressed how his efforts on a number of issues had resulted in lower taxes and better services. His comments were greeted by Mayor Peterson nodding in agreement.

Overall, in my view the candidates for the most part played it safe. There were not any serious knockout shots landed.

Did the debate change the direction of the campaign? This morning someone asked me who I think is going to win. My answer, the candidate who gets the most votes!

The advance polls are open, and voting has begun.

All that is at stake is the future of our city, have you made your choice yet?

James Murray

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