• VIDEO: Ryerson students get noisy outside Munk leaders’ debate

    By Aengus Mulroney and Arthur White

    Crowds of supporters lined up in front of Roy Thompson Hall for the Munk leaders’ debate on foreign policy Monday. Ryerson students were on hand to cheer for, and against, the three major party leaders as they made their entrance to the hour and 45 minute skirmish, which addressed the Canada-US relationship, Russia’s aggression in the Ukraine and the war on ISIS. Former RSU vice-presidential candidate Zidane Mohamed got particularly raucous, haranguing the party leaders for supporting the State of Israel. Arthur White-Crummey has the story.

  • Conservative party rep absent from LGBTQ issues debate

    By Anna Chorazyczewski

    A group of Ontario federal election candidates participated in the Proud To Vote LGBTQ issues debate last Thursday, with the Conservative party absent.

    The event was held at the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in the Church-Wellesley Village. An empty chair represented the missing party representative.

    “We received no response (from the Conservatives),” said debate moderator Brenda Cossman. The Ryersonian reached out to Julian Di Battista, a Conservative rep who was invited to the panel, but did not hear back.

    “My job would’ve been a lot harder if a Conservative Party rep had (shown) up,” joked Cossman, who was trying to stay neutral as the event’s moderator.

    Doug Kerr, the event co-ordinator and a volunteer with the Dignity Initiative — a network of people who voice human rights issues within the LGBTQ community — said that he reached out in advance to the Conservative party. He said he wasn’t surprised that the party was a no-show.

    During the debate, Cossman discouraged Liberal candidate Bill Morneau, the Green party’s Chris Tolley and the NDP’s Craig Scott from engaging in a “Clint Eastwood-style” debate with the empty Conservative chair, referencing the time the Republican actor and director had a debate with an empty chair.

    The discussion and debate was split into two parts, with questions from event partners and audience members.

    Several issues were brought up during the debate related to the LGBTQ community, including domestic and foreign policy issues. Other topics raised included refugee and asylum seekers, arts and culture issues, and indigenous, women’s, trans and sex workers’ rights.

    Event partners included: the 519 community centre, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Pride Toronto, Sherbourne Health Centre, Trans Lobby Group, XTRA Pink Triangle Press, #ENDhatelaws and the Bonham Centre.

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