Mayoral Debate Live-Tweet Recap

Here's a recap of the Journal's coverage of tonight's Mayoral Debate in Grant Hall.

The Journal will be tweeting updates from tonight's mayoral debate, beginning any minute now in Grant Hall.

Principal Woolf, the AMS exec and most of AMS council are in attendance.

Attendance is approximately 120 people.

Barrie Chalmers "I'm not a politician, I'm a business man, and I'd like to take a business approach."

Mark Gerretsen says his campaign based on economic, cultural, societal and environmental sustainability.

John Last says he wants to "create a link between the city and the university is not so adversarial."

Rob Matheson says he is concerned about past promises relating to the Memorial Centre and it's replacement.

Gerretsen: "There are some student behavior problems that we see in this community" he wants to create a committee to tackle these issues.

"Social media to reach put to young people and keep them engaged."

He wants to meet with AMS and student leaders on a "regular scheduled basis."

Last: An "attitude adjustment" may be necessary. "You need a reason for people to go to that Facebook page."

Matheson: "It's imperative that we incorporate citizen input" not only at election time and regardless of age.

Chalmers: "There are so many bylaws on the books that are not being enforced." and that the city its own "worst enemy" re: Aberdeen.

"Don't expect city hall and the councillors to do what you want then to do." Students need to provide input.

Next question is in regard to diversity and making Kingston a more attractive destination for aboriginal and international students.

Last: "How do we keep students here?" Supporting the arts community.

Lavalley: Make it easier for groups to hold public events like a parade. "Make it more accessible to showcase their lifestyle."

Matheson: "Ever since I got to council I've been pushing to hold a multicultural festival like the one we just held."

Chalmers: "We have a very small group of diverse people in the city and we need to expand that group."

"We need to bring more jobs to retain these students."

Gerretsen: "I think Kingston is a very diverse city."

He cites the recent 211 service and the necessity to make services available, as valuable assets for new Kingstonians.

Matheson: "More cultural input" from aboriginal community.

Next question re: Gerretsen pltfrm: Why Is social inclusion measured by the city via crime rates? How does the city ensure social

Gerretsen: "There are difficulties with respect to measuring it" and that the city needs to develop a system of measuring inclusion.

Matheson: "there's a differed dynamic in every group and we as a city need to be inclusive" especially with mental issues and age issues.

Question for Ben Hartley, AMS VP-Operations: "Will you commit to having online voting at least available for the next election?"

Matheson: Council is already working on it, he also wants preferential voting.

Gerretsen, Lavalley, Last and Chalmers also agree.

Last: Every student will pay for Internet access. Caveat: security.

Q from Safiah Chowdhury, AMS President: How do you deal with the growing student population in Kingston?

Matheson: Improve public transit and infrastructure, provide housing and especially affordable housing.

M: Lakefront bike path.

Chalmers: We need better transportation. "are getting limited with what we can do inside the student area" need to make housing off-campus

Gerretsen: Promote density. Will save the downtown core.

Gerretsen: transit possibilities: Express routes and build based on "want" in addition to necessity.

Last: "density is the answer downtown."

Lavalley: Were losing amenities in the downtown core. Ie No Frills. Amenities encourage students to move closer to core.

Q: "Point out a unique quality that make them the ideal candidate for the position."

Chalmers: Independent business man and "I don't owe any special interest groups in this city anything."

Gerretsen: Bring new jobs. Kingston is booming in the renewable energy sector.

Gerretsen: make recycling available to all and build more sports facilities.

Last: Youth.

Lavalley: Experience living paycheck to paycheck in Kingston, under the poverty line.

Matheson: "anybody who knows me wouldn't call me politician" and seeing the need for change in the government.

Matheson: Citizen involvement and taking the input of neighbors.

Gerretsen: Cites his "controversial" Lake Ontario Park plan and his ability to get 12 out of 13 councilors to agree on it.

Question about attracting jobs.

Gerretsen: Bringing the jobs, something KEDCO can't do on their own.

Matheson: Grow the talent we have within the city, to attract employers.

Chalmers: "We need more than just jobs, we need careers." can't just advertise, we need to "step out" and incentivize.

Question about Aberdeen. What are your ideas to resolve the issue?

Last: An attitude needs to be pushed farther into the ground. If we have Homecoming, we will have celebration.

Last: More resources like Red Hats to ensure it's safe.

Gerretsen: Were not giving the students enough to do. Would support a sanctioned event perhaps "on the scale of bluesfest"

Matheson: We have to provide a "carrot and the stick methodology" and allow alternative events.

Chalmers: We need to work with the schools. Find a place to help welcome students to the city.

Chalmers: "Aberdeen wouldn't have happened if we stepped on it the beginning."

Gerretsen: This is not a new problem. We need to continue enforcement and the cancellation, because of the dwindling numbers.

Question: say one good thing about another candidates platform.

Lavalley and Matheson agree on transportation.

Matheson and Chalmers agree on the "direct line" approach to citizen engagement.

Chalmers: It would be unfair to pick only one, says they agree on a lot.

Gerretsen: I agree with the three younger candidates platforms based on sturdent awareness.

Last: Matheson is the right person for transportation and Chalmers is valuable as an outsider, like himself.

Question from Ben Hartley on behalf of Brandon Sloan: How do we preserve Queen's tradition of non-academic discipline.

Matheson: NAD is valuable and utilized when legal action isn't deemed sufficient.

Chalmers: thinks fines are suitable and the University should not step in.

Gerretsen: The university should definitely step in. Most students would take a public intoxication ticket and "frame it on their wall"

Last: RMC is an example of effective discipline, not that Queen's should take that lead but they should exercise student policing.

Last: Students feel a kind of immunity when living in he student community.

Lavalley: Queen's should stick to their guns. Ultimately s legal issue.

Question from Safiah Chowdhury: given students' unique needs, what in your platform relates to them and why vote for you?

Chalmers: Once Queen's students are here, they have rights as citizens. Other citizens have poor views on students.

But they need to step up too and show that their not "bad people" and we need to look at things in a different light.

Gerretsen: we need to engage students in the process and use students to deliver the message back to the student body.

Last: My entire platform relates to students. There won't be a change in behaviour until students get involved.

Lavalley: We need to be grabbing students out of their seats and asking them what they want from their community.

Matheson: Engage our youth in the process of developing their dreams and aspirations for the community. Change our thinking.

Question about improving

Gerretsen: Establish a mayoral Twitter and Facebook to enable input from citizens.

Last: "I grew up in a town of 500 people in Nova Scotia that had a better website than Kingston."

Lavelley: Put the city plans at the forefront and create a blog.

Matheson: It should be more interactive and more usable. Live streaming of council meetings.

Chalmers: Totally different change. Sections for each counsellor, ability to make comments on upcoming decisions.

Question: Clear distinction between political content and government. Live stream meetings.

Question: Kingston is the second worst run magazine according to Maclean's.

Last: more transparency and accountability.

Lavalley: the council spends too much time in minutiae.

Matheson: important that Kingston have a full-time mayor to deal with issues personally.

Question about prison farms: Why no voice from local representation?

Lavalley: participated in protests. Unfortunately out of jurisdiction.

Last: it happened at a higher level. However just because it's outside of citys hands, doesn't mean we can't be vocal.

Gerretsen: Great opportunity if the city can take over land and use that land for educating young people.

Chalmers: Some outcry from the city might have helped.

Question: Gerretsen, would you be a full-time mayor?

Matheson: Yes I will be a full-time mayor, at every meeting.

Chalmers: Need to work with staff.

Gerretsen: Yes I will be a full-time mayor, creating consensus.

Last: Yes, going from a "$10.25 an hour job, I wouldn't do too bad with $86,000"

Lavalley: Will continue schooling but devote the proper time.

Closing statements: Matheson: Think globally, act locally. These are trying times and this election is important.

"I'll be the leader that can bring people together." We have to think outside the box.

Lavalley: I'm in this race to represent a group of people who don't necessarily speak up. I speak because I have passion for these issues.

Last: By coming to the debate you haven't engaged, you need to ask us questions and see our answers. You have to be involved.

Students need to vote. "They never do and it's infuriating."

Gerretsen: We need to figure out together how to tackle future challenges.

Chalmers: I'm not a politician, I'm a business man. We need a business approach to running this city. Take the consideration of all.

We are all shareholders in the city, that's the accountability and transparency. Residents need to step up and voice their opinions.

That's it for the Mayoral Debate. Look for a full story in the Journal next week.

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