It got heated at times and even personal at one point but in the end, the candidates' debate on September 28 at the Cornwall Civic Complex concluded with only verbal punches thrown, nothing physical.
All but one of the five candidates for MPP for Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry were present at the debate put on by the Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce and hosted by radio personality John Bolton.
From taxes to education, green energy to health care, NDP Elaine MacDonald, Liberal Mark MacDonald, Libertarian Darcy Neal Donnelly and Progressive Conservative Jim McDonell each promoted their reasons why the voters of SDSG should choose them as their next member of provincial parliament. As customary, Green Party candidate Justin Reist was not present. Reist has not participated in any of the three debates held in Cornwall the past month.
Each candidate had their chance to make an opening statement before answering prepared questions. McDonell said "investing in health and education means the most" to the PC party while Donnelly talked of "supporting and promoting self liberty" and his party's firm belief in "law and order."
Former Cornwall City Councillor Mark MacDonald stated "this is the most important election in Ontario's history," and current Cornwall City Councillor Elaine MacDonald appeased to the francophone community by completing the last 30 seconds of her speech in French.
While discussing green energy, Elaine MacDoanld said "nuclear energy needs to die a natural death," and the Liberals say they are thinking green but not until 2018.
"The future is solar panels and wind turbines," explained Mark MacDonald, adding "the Conservatives want to make Ontario the laughing stock on green energy."
For most of the night, all candidates scrummed on many topics and continuously cut into each other while trying to make a point but for the most part, all discussions remained political. Until, the subject of hospitals and senior citizen care was brought to the table.
Elaine MacDonald explained the natural facts of old age and how bodies break down and need extra care in the latter stages of life. She continued to say that senior citizens need to be cared for in hospitals and continuing care centers.
At his turn, Donnelly said: "Not every human species has to survive," which caused a silent but noticeable rumble from the hundreds in attendance.
Mark MacDonald replied by saying: "Some statements are extremely uncalled for," and stated his mother Agnes is 84-years-old.
Donnelly retorted in a statement that will not be published by Seaway News. Mark MacDonald simply replied that Donnelly should apologize the next time he speaks, which did not happen.
More discussions and debates continued throughout the evening and the debate ended without any major problems.
Advanced voting has begun in SD&SG and closes on September 30. Election Day is October 6.