On Thursday night a group of young locals put on a North Vancouver Electoral Debate featuring the candidates running in North Vancouver & Burnaby North – Seymour ridings. After watching both Republican debates we were ready and excited for some serious fireworks; what a let-down.

Thursday afternoon we heard rumblings that the Tories would pull a no show due to “already scheduled events”, but the young and excited crowd was really hoping a conservative candidate would make an exciting Rick Flair style entrance. WOOOOOO.


Unfortunately both MP Andrew Saxton and Councillor Mike Little were unable to grace us with their presence. Saxton didn’t even bother to reply to the debate organizers and Little declined, saying he had prior engagements. See empty Conservative table below:

North Vancouver Electoral Debate

What could of been a great opportunity for North Vancouver to get engaged and see their candidates have it out on the stage turned into a one hour sales pitch. What was extremely disappointing was the fact the questions were sent to the candidates before the debate. This lead to a lot of scripted answers and not much debate. Each candidate had the opportunity to challenge a fact mentioned by another candidate, no challenges were needed as the candidates came prepared to answer the questions. In fact there was a lot of agreement between all the candidates. Zzzzzzzz.

Two of the main topics were:

Bill C51 (more info)

Carol Baird Ellan (NDP) “The NDP opposed Bill C51 from the outset and we will repeal it entirely.”

Terry Beech (Liberal) points out “Bill C51 is horribly drafted legislation and that the last improvement in 2001 was almost pre-internet era.” Terry continues, “we need to dive deeper into bill C51 and write new legislation that’s more clear and properly defines terrorism.”

Jonathan Wilkinson (Liberal) said “We will need to address some fundamental flaws with Bill C51 if we’re elected.”

Lynn Quarmby (Green) “I haven’t heard anything in Bill C51 that needs to stay.”

Refugees Coming into Canada

Clearly noted by the three attending parties that this is a topic of agreement.

Terry Beech (Liberal) leads off, “This is a humanitarian crisis that is very real. Liberals have a plan to bring 25,000 refugees into Canada and plan to send $100 million to support.”

Lynne Quarmby (Green), “I ask people to recognize that preceeding this crisis there was a five year drought in Syria due to global warming.”

Carleen Thomas (NDP), “We are a part of the problem, Canada is displacing these people. Canada needs to reassert itself as a peacekeeping nation.”

All candidates talked about getting youth more engaged being vitally important. If we are having debates that are so scripted and candidates are literally reading scripts the chances of youth coming out is not looking good. The reason why so many people are tuning into Donald Trump is the fresh, non scripted debate. Yes they are turning politics into a joke, but it’s fresh to watch actual opinions.

Don’t just take it from me:

The event was put on by millennials, for millennials, but the crowd ended up being 80% over the age of 60 and dominated by white people

This debate was a typical polite Canadian political debate and the reason why people are frustrated. No one spoke from the heart nor did they have any answers or arguments that weren’t scripted. Next debate we need to give the candidates topics not the actual questions. Let them speak freely. Let them actually argue and let’s find out what they really know.

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