North Bay Pride is hosting a streamed candidates debate Thursday and promises "you have not seen any debate like this before."
The event will be moderated by local Drag Queen Geri Atrick.
“Pride has always been political," says Jason Maclennan, Communications Director. "Pride is about equality, not just for the 2SLGBTQ+ community, but equality for all. While we are living through COVID, we know that communities have changed, we know, that many folks are looking for change and many feel that national debates do not address the individual needs when they are world leader answers."
Maclennan says the group has reached out to its own community and others to ask what questions they want to ask the local candidates.
"The difference with our debate, no one can prepare, they cannot rehearse their answers, because you are asking the questions, and it is live. And to have a Drag Persona be the moderator is the first time in the history of Canadian Politics that this is happening and that is important for all.”
The NDP, Liberal and PPC candidates have all accepted says Maclennan. Only the Progressive Conservative Party candidate Steven Trahan has not responded.
An effort to get federal party leaders to debate was unsuccessful.
“We know the struggles because we live the struggles in our community. However, our federal leaders do not seem to hear us when we speak," added Maclennan.
"Thankfully, our local candidates want to hear us, when we speak, and we know who they are when they are sitting in those chairs during the debates answering our questions," added Maclennan. "If there is an empty chair from a candidate or party, that speaks volumes about what they think of community."
You can tune in to the debate and ask questions in the comment section.
Check out the debate on North Bay Pride’s Facebook page. The start time is 7 p.m.
"We have seen Geri interview before and we know she will not just accept any old answer, she looks for the truth.” Jocelyn Green, CEO of North Bay Pride said.
"Imagine for the first time in history a locally established drag performer, moderating a candidate debate right here in Nipissing-Timiskaming riding," exclaimed Geri Atrick. "We need someone to ask the questions we want to know the answers to. We want someone to call out the political spin to avoid answers."