With eight councillor candidates, two deputy mayor candidates and three mayor candidates, there were a lot of messages conveyed Thursday night at the Tillsonburg District Chamber of Commerce All-Candidates Debate at the Tillsonburg Community Centre.
One thing all the candidates could agree on was the importance of voting, and many used a portion of their final remarks to encourage greater voter participation to the (estimated) audience of 300 and the viewers who would be watching on TV.
That message was "vote."
Make a decision.
Cast your municipal ballot on Oct. 27.
"Above all, ladies and gentlemen, vote," urged deputy mayor candidate Mel Getty. "Vote on the advanced polls, vote on the 27th. Vote for the people that you think – or you know – will get us where we want to be. Vote from your heart, vote from what you hear, but as the other candidates said as well... vote. Thirty-eight per cent of the eligible voters voted last time – that's not a big portion of the community."
Chamber of Commerce vice-president and MC Andrew Burns thanked all the candidates for participating in the two-and-a-half hour debates, divided into a first-half councillor session and second-half deputy-mayor and mayor session, and the audience for listening – and contributing questions – and the Chamber for hosting the event.
"An intelligent, informed voter will ultimately make this town better, selecting the right people in the right positions," said Burns after the conclusion of the debate. "The big thing is voting. Voting for who you want, not voting for who you are against, that's big too.
"Just having people out here, seeing the faces, shaking hands, asking questions is critical and that's why the Chamber continues to host this. It's a big part of the democratic process, to make sure they all get a chance to speak to the community – the people here and the people watching at home."
See Wednesday's Tillsonburg Independent News for results of our questionnaire filled out by all the Tillsonburg candidates this past week, and coverage of the all-candidates debate.
Electors can vote Monday, Oct. 27, 2014 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. in the Lions Auditorium, Tillsonburg Community Centre, 45 Hardy Street, or at any of the advance polls.
Two advance polls remain – Thursday, Oct. 23, from 9-5 at the Customer Service Centre and Friday, Oct. 24, 9-5 at the Customer Service Centre.
Remember to bring your identification (two forms of identification which indicate your qualifying municipal address).
For more information, visit the Election Page on the Town of Tillsonburg's website, www.tillsonburg.ca/election.