PC candidate absent debate
PC candidate absent debate This article is more than 4 years old
Analysis

PC candidates are skipping debates in ridings all over Ontario

PC candidates have reportedly skipped debates in at least 23 ridings so far.

This is starting to look like a pattern…

Since Ontario’s election officially got underway last week, local ridings and organizations have been hosting debates designed to let candidates speak to the issues and introduce themselves to the public.

But it seems like plenty of Ontario Progressive Conservative candidates are opting to skip them.

Just over a week into the campaign, an analysis conducted by PressProgress has identified at least 23 ridings in which aspiring PC members of provincial parliament have reportedly been no-shows at local debates – some of them on more than one occasion.

(By comparison, only a handful of candidates from the other major parties appear to have been absent at any debates.)

Let’s look at a few examples.

Don Valley North

Scarborough Southwest

Etobicoke-Lakeshore

Parkdale-High Park

Kitchener-Centre

Beaches-East York

Scarborough-Rouge Park

Toronto Centre

Mississauga-Erin Mills 

Ottawa Centre

And the list goes on.

In at least 13 other ridings, PC candidates have withdrawn from, or been reported missing in action at, debates and all-candidates meetings.

These include:

Don Valley East

Hamilton Centre

Davenport

Eglinton-Lawrence 

Waterloo

Spadina-Fort York

Mississauga-Streetsville

Etobicoke-Centre

University-Rosedale

Oshawa 

Durham

Brampton Centre

Flamborough-Glanbrook

During the 2015 federal election campaign, Conservative candidates were instructed to avoid debates and the media.

While it’s unclear if there’s a similar strategy at play here, the sheer number of empty lecterns labelled “PC” at local debates has many people asking questions.

And given Doug Ford’s own cageyness about his promises and refusals to take questions from journalists, the emerging pattern seems clear – and the questions are likely to grow louder.

 

Image: Twitter 

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PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

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