A few issues up for debate included crime, building Gander’s brand, the need for additional services, taxes, and increases to councillor stipends.
Resident Scott Cook brought forward the topic of former councillor Wayne Lorenzen’s dismissal following a conflict of interest investigation. Lorenzen had decided to step down before a ruling could be made, which would have allowed him to run in the 2017 election.
However, council made a ruling on the case despite Lorenzen’s departure, preventing him from running in a municipal election for two years.
Cook asked why council moved forward with this decision instead of allowing voters to decide on election day whether Lorenzen should have been removed from council.
A current member of council who is seeking re-election pointed out that the Municipalities Act dictated the action taken against Lorenzen.
Ten out of the 11 candidates took part in the event, including: Rob Anstey, Tara Pollett, Pat Woodford, Gina Brown, Gerry Parrott, Stephanie Winsor, Oz Fudge, Sarah McBreairty, and Brian Dove. Absent from the meeting was Darren Byrne, who couldn’t attend as a result of work commitments.
A Facebook live video of the debate can be found here.