An open challenge to Jack Layton

Today’s press release:

TORONTO, ONTARIO, MEDIA ADVISORY–(Marketwire – April 12, 2011) – Green Party candidate, Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu, issued a challenge today for NDP incumbent, Jack Layton, to attend an all-candidates debate in Toronto-Danforth. If he accepts the challenge, it will be the first time in three elections that Mr. Layton has participated in an all-candidates debate in the riding.

“The people of this riding haven’t seen Jack in an all-candidates debate in the last two elections,” says Ms. Mugnatto-Hamu. “It’s time Mr. Layton met with the people of Toronto-Danforth in an open debate and spoke to the questions and concerns of the community leading into the 2011 elections.”

In 2005, a scheduled all-candidates debate was cancelled when the Liberal candidate dropped out after Mr. Layton said that he would not attend. In 2008, organizers adjusted the date of the debate to fit into Mr. Layton’s schedule, but when NDP MPP, Peter Tabuns was sent to take Mr. Layton’s place that evening, a vote from the crowd rejected him as a substitute and the debate went on without him.

“Mr. Layton refused to attend the April 10 leader’s debate that included Elizabeth May on CHCH television,” says Ms. Mugnatto-Hamu. “Will he accept the challenge to debate in Toronto-Danforth?”

6 responses to “An open challenge to Jack Layton”

  1. Rob Sutherland writes:


    APRIL 13, 2011


    TORONTO— As Jack Layton continues to tour the country standing up for families across Canada, his Toronto-Danforth campaign team once again offered to provide a representative for any local debate.

    “Other local parties have always maintained that if our campaign was clear from the start about whether or not Jack would be available for a local debate, they would accept the result,” said Rob Sutherland, Layton’s Campaign Manager. “Now they seem to have changed their minds. Voters in Toronto-Danforth deserve better than candidates who flip-flop half-way through a campaign.”

    In 2008, Mary Anne Granger, a spokesperson for the Danforth Greens posted the following comments about local debates on the Danforth Greens website: “It’s a question of openness and honesty. The qualities we want in our national leaders. If Jack had said he wasn’t coming, all’s fair.”

    Following Layton’s convincing win in last night’s English language leaders debate, he will continue to tour Canada engaging voters and outlining his plan to make life more affordable for Canadians and standing up to Stephen Harper’s record of protecting polluters and ignoring health care.

    Layton’s Toronto-Danforth campaign has been clear from the beginning that he would not be available for local debates during the election.

    “Jack speaks to the concerns and answers questions of his constituents all year long. He doesn’t wait for an election to be called. He works for this community 365 days a year,” commented Sutherland.


  2. Charlie Halpern-Hamu writes:

    Just to be clear, Adriana is disappointed, but willing to debate a representative.

  3. Michelle writes:

    Good on you Adriana for challenging Jack to a debate. I’d still be happy to meet you and hear what you have to say and hope that you’ll take him up on the alternate/his sending a representative.

    Understandably, Jack’s making his rounds as the leader of his party.

    Please let me know if and when this all-candidate debate takes place.


  4. east york writes:

    Who will step in? Peter Tabuns?

  5. Kristen Corvers writes:

    Perhaps Adriana could meet Jack somewhere on the road for a head to… well, for some kind of diplomatic debate. That’s something I’d love to see.

  6. Michela Pasquali writes:

    And today’s release:

    TORONTO, ONTARIO, MEDIA ADVISORY–(Marketwire – April 15, 2011) – The Green Party’s Adriana-Mugnatto-Hamu will attend any Toronto-Danforth all-candidates debate, with or without Jack Layton, and with or without an NDP representative.

    This, after Mr. Layton indicated he would not attend any debates in the riding, but would send a representative in his place. “We were unaware that Mr. Layton’s campaign had categorically rejected his participation in local debates during the campaign period,” says Ms. Mugnatto-Hamu. “It’s disappointing that Mr. Layton will not attend a debate in his own riding.”

    The Green Party believes that open and honest debate among political candidates is part of the democratic process that helps Canadians make informed choices on election day. And while Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, has been shut out of leaders’ debates at the national level, Green Party candidates across the country are participating in local debates to help further the democratic process in their communities.

    “I will participate in any all-candidates debates and attend any meet-the-candidate events regardless of whether the candidates from other parties attend in person or send representatives,” says Ms. Mugnatto-Hamu. “In fact, I’m looking forward to speaking to the residents of Toronto-Danforth in a debate format, and answering their questions and addressing their concerns for the riding.”

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