Partners share Moderator, Candidate Participation Criteria and other updates
May 1, 2023 (Toronto, ON) – United Way Greater Toronto (UWGT), Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), and The Toronto Star (The Star) are excited to announce the moderator and candidate participant criteria for the upcoming mayoral debate: “Our Future, Our Vote: A Toronto for All.” The event, taking place on May 31, 2023, from 6:30PM to 8:30PM, at TMU’s Ted Rogers School of Management, will provide a pivotal platform for the mayoral candidates to share their plans for addressing the critical social and economic challenges facing Toronto.
The mayoral debate will allow voters to hear candidates’ approaches to Toronto’s most pressing issues, helping voters make an informed decision on election day. Candidates will share their vision of a Toronto for all and address questions from the audience, as well as respond to each others’ positions. This election is an opportunity to choose a leader who can bring positive change to the city that benefits everyone.
Esteemed Toronto Star city columnist Edward Keenan will moderate the debate. Edward was a finalist for the National Newspaper Award and National Magazine Award. After spending three years as the Star’s Washington Bureau Chief from 2019-2022, he returned to cover his hometown. Edward is the author of the books Some Great Idea: Good Neighbourhoods, Crazy Politics, and the Invention of Toronto and The Art of the Possible: An Everyday Guide to Politics.
Mayoral candidates who have received a minimum level of support of 5% as determined by voting intention in an average of polls conducted between May 1st and May 18th will be invited to participate in the debate. Polls conducted by leading public opinion polling organizations that are members of the Canadian Research Insights Council or are providing public opinion data to major media organizations will be included. Polling averages will be calculated using the most recently publicly reported results of these organizations between May 1st and May 18th.
The event will be the culmination of unprecedented collaboration across Toronto’s community sector, listening to concerns of residents across Toronto and inspiring civic engagement in this election. Led by UWGT, TMU’s Democratic Engagement Exchange and community partners, the efforts include non-partisan voter registration, surveys, education campaigns, and community conversations across the city that will directly inform the issues addressed during the debate. In this historic election, it is essential that candidates address their plans to ensure a city where everyone has an affordable place to live, a good job, access to services they need, and a voice in shaping the city.
Residents can view the debate via live stream at TheStar.com and will be encouraged to share their concerns and discuss the issues before and during the event using the hashtag #OurFutureOurVoteTO. The debate will be attended by a broad range of community sector leaders, people with lived and living experience with the issues being discussed, public and corporate partners, students and youth leaders, and the public. More information can be found here.
Edward Keenan, Debate Moderator, City Columnist
This election is both so unexpected and so crucial for a city that feels like it is at a crossroads moment. The range of qualified candidates putting forward different visions of Toronto’s future is inspiring—finally we have a real choice in front of us! I am excited to have the chance to moderate a discussion that will help voters better understand some of those visions clearly.
Daniele Zanotti, President and Chief Executive Officer, United Way Greater Toronto
This event is a testament to the power of community engagement and collaboration. A dedicated stage to debate how we build a Toronto for all. It will also be a critical moment for the next mayor to put forward their plans to address Toronto’s growing poverty and inequity. We all want to see this city thrive and to get there these critical social and economic issues must be addressed.
Mohamed Lachemi, President, Toronto Metropolitan University
It is crucial that young people take part in the electoral process, as students are impacted significantly by municipal priorities that can be directly influenced by their participation. Higher education fosters critical thinking, but without civic engagement, we miss the opportunity to create a more responsive democracy shaped by the values and voices of our young people.
Manager, Communications – United Way Greater Toronto