The Oshawa candidate debate for the federal election was canceled after Liberal candidate Afroza Hossain withdrew at the last minute.
“We wanted a fair and open discussion. I think that as soon as we haven’t been able to do that, I’ll stand by the decision to cancel the event, ”said Jason King, CEO of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce.
The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and the Durham Region Association of REALTORS hosted a live debate for local federal candidates on Rogers TV on Wednesday September 8th. The event was canceled just a few hours before it started.
A campaign bureau spokesman for Hossain said via email it regretted that the debate was canceled after the Liberal candidate withdrew.
“Afroza intended to participate until an urgent, personal matter came up that she needed to address,” said the spokeswoman. “Here, too, we are very sorry that the organizers have decided to cancel the event. When we withdrew, we understood that the debate would still take place. “
That same week, Hossain also apologized after mistakenly requesting a US $ 300 campaign donation to appear on an election-related community panel for Weekly Notundesh, a Bangladeshi-Canadian newspaper.
People’s Party of Canada Oshawa candidate Darryl Mackie said via email that he had been banned from the debate. He said he planned a peaceful protest and speculated whether that helped cause the debate to be canceled.
This week failed to confirm that the Chamber or Brokers Association was aware of the protest or that it was a factor in the event’s cancellation.
After the liberal candidate withdrew, only two federal parties would participate in the Oshawa candidate debate, King said.
“Is it still a debate when you have two parties and one of them is not the incumbent government?” Said King. “It’s not necessarily productive if not everyone is properly represented.”
The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce represents the business community at various levels of government. One way to do this is to deal with politicians during the election, King explained. It was regrettable that the election event could not take place as planned.
“I think this is a very important choice. There is a lot going on and lots of ongoing questions from companies. I think it would have been really great for everyone involved to show up and talk about how they are going to help us all along the path of recovery, “said King.
The Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and the Durham Region Association of REALTORS were able to proceed with an alternative virtual Q&A. It can be viewed here: www.rogerstv.com/show?lid=12&rid=2&sid=7977&gid=606626