Sioux Lookout candidates share their views during public forum
Tim Brody - Editor
It was a full house at the Legion on October 1 for Sioux Lookout’s Municipal All Candidates’ Forum.
More than 100 people showed up to listen to the candidates introduce themselves, share about their platforms, and answer questions from the audience.
More than 100 people viewed the event via a livestream offered by the Sioux Lookout Public Library.
All three of the mayoral candidates, Jason Bailey, Doug Lawrance, and Dennis Leney were in attendance, along with all ten of the councillor-at-large candidates, Cory Lago, Ron Bird, John Bath, Steven Forbes, Debbie Baker, Joyce Timpson, Cal Southall, Joe Cassidy, Darlene Angeconeb and Yolaine Kirlew.
The event was moderated by Dick MacKenzie and organized by Anne Saltel.
People were able to write down questions for the candidates, which were drawn randomly by MacKenzie.
They ranged from What will bring Sioux Lookout back to life?, to what are the candidates going to do in the near future to make Sioux Lookout a safe place for our children?, as well as what is your vision for guiding healthy active living for our people?
Mayoral candidates were asked if they were proud to walk down Front Street and what they would do to make the downtown more appealing to visitors and businesses.
First time candidates were asked how many council meetings they attended in the last year and what they had learned from them.
Candidates were also asked how they would work with the Sioux Lookout Chamber of Commerce to promote economic development for businesses in town.
Taxes, user fees, and the municipal budget, transparency in local government, Sioux Lookout’s homeless population, Sioux Lookout’s downtown core and Sioux Lookout’s housing shortage were all topics which came up often in candidates’ responses.
Saltel said she was pleased with how the forum went.
“I think it was interesting that on some of the questions people took different perspectives.
“I am just so impressed that 13 people are running. That’s amazing. People are standing up and putting themselves forward for democracy in our municipality. I’m really happy about that,” she commented.
Her desire to organize the forum, she shared, came from a desire to know as much about the candidates as possible before casting her vote.
In that vein, she expressed her appreciation to The Sioux Lookout Bulletin for its Q and A with the Candidates piece.
“I bet it was the most thumbed through newspaper ever because everybody was talking about it,” she said.
Saltel herself received a round of applause at the forum’s conclusion.
She thanked MacKenzie, Terry Lynne Jewell, Jason Bailey who provided the sound equipment, the Legion for providing the venue, Mike Laverty and the Sioux Lookout Public Library for providing the livestream, and everyone else who helped her make the evening possible.
Anyone who missed the Library’s presentation of the candidates’ forum, or who would like to view it again, can see below: