A wide range of issues including health care, bringing back passenger rail service and the impact of increases to the minimum wage were discussed at Tuesday night’s meet the candidates debate at Odyssée.

Four of the six candidates in Nipissing were invited to take part including PC candidate Vic Fedeli, NDP candidate Henri Giroux, Liberal candidate Stephen Glass and Green Party candidate Kristopher Rivard.

A video statement from Northern Ontario Party candidate Trevor Holliday was played and even though he was in attendance he didn’t take part in the actual debate.

“All the candidates should have the right to debate. In sitting back listening to it, I could have provided a point of view that has been missing in Northern Ontario for so long,” he says.

Debate organizers say Libertarian candidate Bond Keevil chose not to make a video statement.

Meantime, Barb Anello says a lot of issues were discussed except one she was expecting.

“I’m a little surprised at a chamber of commerce debate not to have 1 business related question. I was a little disappointed. All in all a good debate,” Anello says.

President and CEO of the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce Peter Chrico was pleased with the debate.

“We got to hear from the four parties on a wide variety of issues from A-Z. It wasn’t just business-centred. Everything from Soup to nuts, so to speak. We got some lively debate,” he says.

Kathyrn Ewers is is with the Ontario Nurses Association.

She says she’s glad health care came up as often as it did with questions on pharmacare and long term care beds.

Ewers says she was hoping there would be a question on ratios of nurses to patients.

There wasn’t, but there were some good questions.

“But other issues about health care came up. We need to change the system to provide better care. I think all parties acknowledged that so that was good to see,” she says.

Resident Colleen McGinn says the debate confirmed who she would be voting for, pointing out nothing said changed her mind.

“I did come in knowing what party I would I would be voting for. But it did reiterate why I won’t be voting for the other parties,” she says.

Other issues include free tuition, hydro bills and poverty and homelessness.

Filed under: election-debate