Ward 7 hears from its candidates

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By Natalie Paddon

The community had a chance to hear from most of the candidates running in the crowded Ward 7 byelection at an all-candidates forum Monday evening.

Increasing the amount of affordable housing, improving transportation and finding ways to address poverty were only a few of the priorities those running sounded off on to a packed room at the Ukrainian Hall on Upper Wentworth Street.

Throughout the night, the crowd heard from 17 of the 22 running. That is a record number of candidates running in a Hamilton ward race since amalgamation.

The setup of the event — dubbed “This Ward Has 22 Candidates” — was not your typical pre-election debate where those in the running sit at a long table and tackle a variety of issues.

Candidates did not have a chance to rebut each other’s positions, and the audience did not have an opportunity to ask questions.

“We can’t do that with 22 candidates,” moderator Laura Babcock from The O Show on Cable 14 told the crowd. “It would go on for days.”

Instead, Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction director Tom Cooper pulled candidates’ names out of a plastic bucket one-by-one before handing them to Babcock to determine the order of speakers.

Once she called them up to the stage, they had four minutes to talk about the issues important to them and let constituents know what they’re all about.

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Article and image source: The Hamilton Spectator

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