Citizen Volunteers Host Public Meeting with St.Catharines Candidates for Regional Council
October 11, 2018 at The Unitarian Congregation of Niagara at 223 Church Street in St. Catharines/Niagara. Doors Open at 6:30 p.m. Meeting Begins at 7 p.m.
An Invite to All from the Committee for an Informed St. Catharines, an ad-hoc group of citizens in St. Catharines/Niagara
Posted October 2nd, 2018 on Niagara At Large
A group of volunteers is hosting an event to introduce St. Catharines residents to their candidates for Regional Council.
“The 2018 regional and local government elections will be a defining moment in the political and, indeed, total life of our Region of Niagara,” says Desmond Sequeira, a committee member and the Social Action Coordinator of the Unitarian Congregation of Niagara (UCN). “On our vote will depend the fundamental integrity and efficiency of the Niagara Regional Council, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority and local municipal councils.”
The Committee for an Informed St. Catharines is an ad-hoc group of citizens who were concerned about the lack of information available to citizens about their 23 candidates for Regional Council.
In response to that perceived lack of information, they plan to hold a public meeting and have invited our city’s candidates for Regional Council. The meeting will take place on October 11, 2018 at The Unitarian Congregation of Niagara at 223 Church Street. The meeting will start at 7PM. Doors to open to the public at 6:30.
“Please vote,” Sequeira urged his fellow citizens. “Please let’s base our votes on real knowledge of the issues and of the candidates. The 11 October event is designed to assist us in doing so.”
Due to the number of registered candidates, 23, the committee determined that a standard debate format would be too unwieldy. In the interests of fairness and neutrality, the following 3-part format has been adopted for the event.
- 1. Each candidate will be introduced by the moderator using the text they provide.
- 2. Each candidate will give a 2-minute speech on one aspect of their platform or perspective.
- 3. Following all of the speeches, each candidate will be given a spot-question drawn from a hat. They will have one minute to respond. Each candidate will be given a different question. Questions, submitted by the audience at the door, via email or via the event’s Facebook Page, will be vetted to ensure ONLY that there is no repetition and that they deal with issues of regional jurisdiction rather than municipal, provincial or federal matters.
“We needed a format that would give citizens a chance to start conversations with candidates and address their concerns,” said committee member and event co-organizer Kate Baggott.
“For a grassroots committee of volunteers pulling together an event with zero budget, I think we’ve come up with a structure for the evening that is fair to every candidate and will inspire open communication about issues of our regional government.”
Questions can be emailed to October11event@gmail.com .
The event’s Facebook Page is located at https://www.facebook.com/The-Committee-for-an-Informed-St-Catharines-282494315721121/
The event will be recorded by the Niagara Podcasters’ Network and moderated by Trevor Twining, founder of the Niagara Podcasters’ Network (NPN) and Cowork Niagara. He’s also the host and producer of NPN’s The Regional, a series of roundtable discussions about regional issues and news.
“Our regional government is probably the one we overlook the most when we inform ourselves at election time,” Twining said. “Events like this all candidates’ meeting help the public learn a bit about each candidate before the election.”
So far, the following candidates have agreed to participate in the event: Haley Bateman, Laura Ip, Frank Rupcic, Emily Beth Spanton, Len Stack, Mary Margaret Murphy, Rob Depetris, Mark Eliott, Kelly Edgar, Bruce Timms, Debbie MacGregor, Brian Heit, Tim Rigby and Jim Bradley.
The committee’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/The-Committee-for-an-Informed-St-Catharines-282494315721121/
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