19 October 2021 | MONT-ROYAL
Équipe Peter Malouf
TMR REFUSES TO HOST ELECTORAL DEBATES
Despite growing demands, Town of Mount Royal continues to refuse all requests to host a public debate between TMR’s two mayoral candidates and among the 21 district candidates.
On Friday October 15th, Town Manager Ava Couch informed official agents of Équipe Peter Malouf and Équipe Michelle Setlakwe that no public election debates will be allowed at Town Hall due to health restrictions.
Yet, the Bell Centre is hosting events at full capacity, requiring only masks and vaccine passports.
Public Debates Are Needed To Assure Transparent Elections
In a context of intensive censorship and misinformation on social media and in local tabloids, public debates are essential for parties to establish their positions and address conflict of interest and other crucial issues.
The mayoral candidates have very different visions regarding the future of the town’s Sports Center, the Royalmount project, PPU Rockland, the impact of the REM, senior housing, the schools crisis and urban densification.
Équipe Peter Malouf proposed a face-to-face debate that would be broadcast online and under the security standards of the monthly Council meetings -
45 minute debate for the 21 district candidates to publicly present themselves
45 minute mayoral debate addressing the major TMR issues
In Pursuit Of Solutions
On Saturday October 16th, Peter Malouf wrote to Michelle Setlakwe to suggest holding a two part, in-person, moderated public debate, that would respect the city's COVID restrictions.
“By working together, I hope we can resolve arrangements for a public electoral debate at Town Hall in the coming weeks. Despite Friday’s email from Ava Couch stating she cannot comply with (ÉPM official agent) Fouad Sahyoun’s request to hold a debate in the Town Hall, I am confident that you and I can find a solution.”
In an email returned to Peter Malouf on Monday October 18th, Michelle Setlakwe responded :
« Le dernier courriel de Mme Couch suite à notre démarche commune fait clairement état de la situation: il n’est malheureusement pas possible de tenir un débat à l’hôtel de ville cette année compte tenu de la crise sanitaire et de l’équipement requis. »
Debates are the Vaccine Against Disinformation
Équipe Peter Malouf remains optimistic that in-person debates will still be possible. Debates help inform voters and counteract the social divisiveness caused by disinformation and third-party interventions.
Twenty-one candidates are being deprived of their civic right to present themselves directly to voters.
This isn’t about Peter Malouf or Michelle Setlakwe. Mayors and council members are public figures.
Voters deserve to see candidates interact and demonstrate their skills, knowledge and vision in a public forum.
Debates are designed to inform and empower voters.