Ward two, three and four candidates took the hot seat to answer your questions last night.

All 11 people running in the three wards stated their election platforms and discussed topics brought forward by the business and residential community. Some of the topics discussed were:

  • Should the city fund a Stars and Thunder 2019?

Ward two candidate Mickey Auger says the festival is good for the city. Auger adds that Stars and Thunder should be reduced to three or four days, which would make it more affordable for people in the city. He adds that mayor and council should not be involved in the entertainment business. Auger says council’s job is to focus on things like improving the roads.

Ward four candidate John Curley says the city needs to get off the eight-days. Curley says the first year it was something new, but the second year failed. He says we can have a celebration for a few days around Canada Day, but it doesn’t need to be eight days long.

Ward four candidate David Shale says unless someone other than the city wants to take over the event, it shouldn’t happen again.

Ward four candidate Pat Bamford says he sees the value in Stars and Thunder as a community event, but he has heard from constituents that it can’t happen again. Bamford says he can’t see the festival going ahead again without a new business plan.

Ward four candidate Jessica Trudel says she does not support another round of Stars and Thunder. Trudel says there should be an audit done for the last two years. She says if it were to happen again, the festival needs a new business plan and to fundraise in advance.

Ward three candidate Joe Campbell says the event can not go forward unless there is a business plan that ensures the city and residents will not be on the hook for even $1. Campbell says if he is elected, he will be asking for an audit to be done on past Stars and Thunder events.

Ward two candidate Jean Fex says the city should not be spending any tax dollars on an event like that. Fex adds it is nice to have concerts in the city, but promoters will pay to bring things like that here.

Candidates Walter Wawrzaszek, Lorne Feldman, Carter Lucyk and Donna Dorrington did not comment.

  • Do you support the proposed aquatic centre?

Curley says at he does not support it. He says council needs to focus on priorities like some of the sewage problems. Curley says this project should be put on hold and bring it back at another time.

Shale says the $1.5-million used to study this proposed centre could have been used on updating the current pool. He adds that Timmins needs to learn to live within its needs.

Fex adds that he believes Timmins needs a new pool, but not a complex that is going to cost $50-million.

Ward two candidate Lorne Feldman says he doesn’t see a need for a new pool. Feldman says he goes to the Archie Dillon pool every day to swim laps and sees lots of people and seniors going their daily. He says when talking to them, none of them feels there is a need for a new pool as well. Feldman says Timmins needs to start utilizing the facilities it has and prioritize where it should spend money.

Campbell says there was no need study done on this project and currently no operating costs. He says you need that before any decisions are made.

Ward three candidate Donna Dorrington says she does support the aquatic centre project and so do many of the people she has talked to living in ward three. Dorrington says it’s more than just a pool, it’s a complex. She says you need facilities like these in order to maintain and attract families to the community. Dorrington says buildings get more expensive the longer you wait so why not propose the aquatic centre and arena at the same time. She adds that funding from upper levels of government will be needed.

Auger wonders where the senors will get the money to pay for this. He says Timmins doesn’t need a big pools and a big complex. Auger adds that seniors are struggling enough and moving this forward will hurt them more.

Ward two candidate Walter Wawrzaszek says you can’t take families to the current pool. He says he supports a new pool and a complex is a different story.

Candidates Lucyk, Bamford and Trudel did not comment.

  • Safety concerns in the downtown core are being brought up a lot, how would you address these and what practices would you put in the ensure people feel safe?

Shale says he knows there are some cameras in the downtown core that don’t work and others that aren’t being monitored. He says the city should add more cameras and create a volunteer system to monitor them. Shale adds that the downtown core is like a ghost town after 5:00pm, so you have to get more people into the area with things like entertainment. He says more action means more people, which will make the area safer.

Fex says Timmins needs to build up the downtown core and bring more affordable housing to the area. He says this will, in turn, bring more people. Fex adds that there should be a bigger police presence in the area.

Ward three candidate Carter Lucyk says people have nothing to do in downtown. He says with the people who are hanging around the area, we should learn what their interests are to help them get off the streets. Lucyk says if Timmins finds a way to make the downtown core busier, there could be a need for more night positions, so offer the people who are already hanging in the area a night job like security.

Dorrington says working in the downtown core and with the BIA, this is something she sees and hears about on a daily basis. She says this isn’t a city problem, but a human problem and everyone has to step up to help. Dorrington adds that services like Living Space are a step in the right direction, but Timmins needs to work towards having a 24-hour centre.

Auger says Timmins has to have more police officers walking the beat, especially at night. He says there is no reason why there can’t be more officers out at night, ensuring women feel safe.

Trudel says you have to help some of the root causes that put people in some situations like homelessness, addiction, mental health, and no jobs. She says once you address the root causes, you shouldn’t have to police it.

Bamford says there needs to be more enforcement and foot patrols is a great addition. He says the amount of homelessness that exists in Timmins is an issue. Bamford adds that the Jubilee Centre needs improvements.

Campbell says you have to look at cities like Toronto where they did it right. He says you need to revitalize the downtown core and bring more people there.

Wawrzaszek says safety isn’t just a downtown issue, but a city wide issue. He says there should be more police patrolling the whole city, including the south end. Wawrzaszek adds that there should also be more officers walking the beat more often.

Candidates Feldman and Curley did not comment.

A few other topics discussed include ward system changes, what being fiscally responsible means and attracting and retaining youth.

The Timmins Chamber of Commerce says there is one more debate happening this week. Candidates running for ward one and five seats debate tomorrow at College Boreal starting at 6:00pm.