From Left: Bill Walker, Elizabeth Marshall, Francesca Dobbyn, Karen Gventer (Photo by Kirk Scott)

Owen Sound Chamber Hosts All Candidates Forum

The democratic process was on display in Owen Sound Tuesday night in an all-candidates meeting for the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound riding in the coming provincial election.

Francesca Dobbyn of the Liberals, the NDP’s Karen Gventer, The Trillium Party’s Elizabeth Marshall and incumbent Conservative Bill Walker participated.

The evening was put on by the Owen Sound Chamber of Commerce. CEO Peter Reesor found the evening of value for both the audience and the candidates themselves.

“Some of the candidates that aren’t known to the community may have made an impression on some people, or not, but I thought we had four very strong candidates,” says Reesor.

Owen Sound area resident Michael Warren considers all-candidates meetings important.

“I think there’s some value in seeing the candidates face to face and seeing the depth or lack thereof of their understanding of provincial policies and the kind of policies that they’re mouthing from each of their parties,” says Warren.

And Owen Sound resident Barry Hargrave pays attention to details.

“You watch their body language, how they interact with each other and the audience,” he says. “There are clearly differences. Some have more experience than others so you can weigh that in the sum of the total of your opinion.”

Liberal candidate Dobbyn defended her party’s record and stressed her own record as a voice of the people for rural Ontario.

The NDP’s Gventer says her party is the only one with a real plan to deal with things like the budget deficit and health care issues.

Marshall is a first-time candidate for the Trillium Party. She has problems with MP’s being bound by their party’s policies and calls for more free votes in the legislature. She’s also dead against wind turbines.

Incumbent Conservative Walker maintains he’s the hardest working MPP in the province and will continue to be so.

Four words were never spoken by anyone the entire evening —┬ánot by the candidates, the moderator, or the audience — “Doug Ford, Kathleen Wynne”.