On Thursday night, a group of local candidates gathered in Toronto for this election's first LGBT-centred debate.
The participants came from several Toronto ridings, though the questions focused on national issues.
The parties were invited to choose their representatives and the participants were:
- Bill Morneau, Liberal candidate for Toronto Centre
- Chris Tolley, Green candidate for Toronto-Danforth
- Craig Scott, NDP candidate for Toronto-Danforth
The Conservatives — who did not send a candidate — were represented by an empty chair and a forlorn water bottle.
Got anything to say about Bill C279, little guy?
At one point, debate moderator Brenda Cossman asked the candidates to kindly not engage in a "Clint Eastwood-style" debate with the empty chair.
The candidates took questions from both the debate organizers and the audience on topics including the death of C279 — (a transgender rights bill), LGBT refugees, blood donation and protection for sex workers.
The absence of a Tory candidate seems par for the course this election. According to a Star report, the party has told candidates to avoid debates and media requests. Party members, however, have said that is not the case.
Lauren Strapagiel is Managing Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.
Contact Lauren Strapagiel at email@example.com.
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