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Living Green Barrie to host mayoral debate on the environment next week

With the upcoming mayoral election, Living Green Barrie will be helping residents get to know where candidates stand on environmental issues with a mayoral debate.

Organizers say five of Barrie’s seven mayoral candidates have agreed to participate in the virtual debate on the environment.

The debate will be held on Zoom on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. and moderated by former Ontario environmental commissioner Gord Miller.

“Some of our major environmental problems are global in scope and require action at the national level. But it is becoming clear that the impacts on the environment are very local, and our politicians have to be aware of the need for municipal government responses,” said Miller.

Living Green Barrie’s vice-chair Peter Tretter said the decision to hold a debate came after three-term Mayor Jeff Lehman decided he would not seek a fourth term.

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“It’s a great opportunity for voters to find out about the environmental issues that matter to them,” Tretter said.

When it comes to finding out where candidates stand on local environmental issues, Tretter said they have given them a special task.

“There are so many issues that could be covered, but we’re actually challenging our candidates to bring to the debate a photo of two areas, one of what’s the best environmental project in Barrie in their opinion, and one area that needs work,” Tretter said.

“They’re going to tell us the story about these areas, and it will be interesting to see how much they agree and where they diverge.”

The candidates confirmed to attend are Andrew Gordon, Gerry Marshall, Mike McCann, Alex Nuttall and Barry Ward.

The public can register to attend this free event by Oct. 2 on the Living Green Barrie website.

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