The leaders of Ontario’s three main political parties will square off in the first televised debate in #CityVote: The Debate — focused entirely on issues relevant to those who live and work in Toronto.
The debate will take place May 7, exactly one month before the province heads to the polls. Commercial-free coverage will begin at 6 p.m. live on City, CityNews.ca, the CityNews apps for iOS and Android and the CityNews Facebook page.
The debate will also be broadcast in Punjabi and Mandarin on OMNI 2.
Ontario PC Party Leader Doug Ford, the NDP’s Andrea Horwath and Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne will take part in the event.
“We’re City, we’re Toronto, and viewers here need a chance to see these leaders through our urban lens,” said Dave Budge, VP of News & Information, Television, Rogers Media. “It’s crucial that we focus this debate on issues that matter here, so the voters in Toronto get a chance to cut through the rhetoric and see how the vote will change life in the city.”
This will be one of the first chances for Ontarians to watch the leaders go head-to-head in person. To date, the Ontario election campaign has been mostly made up of policy announcements and jabs taking place during rallies, press conferences and attack ads.
That will change on May 7, when the leaders will be in the same room at the City studios overlooking Yonge-Dundas Square.
And it won’t be the typical leaders debate. This will include questions on issues that matter to Toronto — asked by people who have been featured in CityNews stories.
News of the debate follows Wynne’s challenge last week that Ford join at least three televised debates in the lead-up to the election.
Ford, who became PC leader on March 10, drew criticism for being the only party leader not to take part in the Black Community Provincial Leaders Debate on April 11. Ford’s campaign said he couldn’t attend because he was campaigning in Northern Ontario.