Here’s a a recap of the MSU mayoral debate
With one week left before the municipal election, the MSU hosted a mayoral debate to inform students on their voting options
On Oct. 17 the MSU held a mayoral debate from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the MUSC Atrium. Four mayoral candidates including Michael Pattinson, Ejaz Butt, Keanin Loomis and Solomon Ikhuiwu were present, with the five remaining mayoral candidates not in attendance. The debate was livestreamed and a recording of the debate can be found on the MSU Facebook page.
Candidates were allowed three-minute opening remarks and followed by a structured debate facilitated by MSU President Simranjeet Singh. Singh posed candidates questions on important issues in the election revolving around affordable housing, climate change, policing, public transportation and Hamilton’s new nuisance party bylaw.
All candidates in attendance were in support of the LRT and increasing support to ancillary services, including mental health resources and homeless shelters. When asked about policing, candidates debated the balance between supporting thin spread police resources in Waterdown and Ancaster and the discrimination minorities in Hamilton continue to experience.
Concerning safe, affordable housing, Loomis discussed his plan to build 50,000 homes in the next ten years by clearing red tape in city hall. He was challenged by Pattinson, who argued it is not enough to say red tape in city hall will be tackled. He claimed that 20,000 homes that had already been approved were not in progress yet and that the key to creating new housing was to ensure developers were not allowed to sit on purchased land after site approval.
When asked about how to tackle climate change in Hamilton there were also differing solutions. Loomis emphasized investing in green energy in a shift from Hamilton’s reputation as a steel town, whereas Pattinson focused on green, accessible public transportation in order to attract residents to Hamilton’s natural ecosystems.
In the closing statements, all candidates thanked students for attending the debate and Ikhuiwu urged students to carefully research candidates and exercise their right to vote. Loomis emphasized that the candidates he claimed were his main competitors, Bob Bratina and Andrea Horwath, were not present for the debate held on McMaster University’s campus.
On Oct. 18 an on-demand ballot was held in CIBC Hall from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. for voters across all Hamilton wards. Canadian citizens living in Hamilton over the age of 18 were to vote in the municipal election so long as they were able to provide proof of residence.
If voters missed the Oct. 18 on-demand ballot, polls will be open to Ward 1 citizens at Glenwood Special Day School on Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m among other locations. For more information on candidate profiles see the Silhouette’s for the municipal election series and to learn how you can vote visit www.msumcmaster.ca/macvotes.