Those expecting a war of words during a political debate between Beaches-East York candidates on Sept. 22 may have left disappointed. But the event at Beaches United Church did provide local residents with the chance to ask questions of the provincial candidates and hear what they had to say.
NDP candidate and current Beaches-East York MPP Michael Prue along with Helen Burstyn of the Liberal Party were in attendance.
Shawn Ali of the Green Party and Chris Menary of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives did not attend.
Both Burstyn and Prue agreed on the issues regarding health care and education, but when it came to the economy, the candidates held very different views.
“We didn’t suffer as bad as other economies,” Burstyn said. “We’ve gained more jobs in this province than the rest of Canada.”
Prue disagreed with the Liberal candidate, saying the economy is still in a recession and that Ontario needs more job creation.
The issue of development within East York kept popping up throughout the debate, with both candidates sharing their views on the issue.
“Rampant development, particularly in the Beaches where developers are coming in wholesale and destroying streets and neighbourhoods, has to end,” Prue said.
“Our main streets need to be revitalized,” Burstyn said. “There are some parts of the community that don’t know other parts of the community.”
There was one other thing the two candidates could agree on – the lack of attention that they say the area receives from Queen’s Park.
“This is a very special community,” Burstyn said. “I want to brag about us more, I think we would get more attention.”
Prue also echoed similar thoughts, saying that local neighbourhoods should get more attention from Queen’s Park than they do.
“This is a community that has not got the attention that it deserves,” Prue said.