The panel from left to right: Rob Ford, David Soknacki, Robb Johannes, Al Gore and Richard Underhill.

University of Toronto site of first mayoral debate

Mayor Rob Ford joins four challengers at school's Scarborough campus

The University of Toronto Scarborough Campus hosted a panel discussion for five of the mayoral candidates on Feb. 5.

Candidates David Soknacki, Rob Ford, Robb Johannes, Al Gore (not to be confused with the American candidate) and Richard Underhill attended the first mayoral panel of the campaign.

Issues regarding racial profiling, World Pride, housing and Toronto’s transit were just some of the issues brought forth during the debate, which began at 7 p.m.

“We heard everything from (issues on) Pride, to affordable housing, to bike lanes, to jobs, to transit,” Soknacki said.

Mayor Rob Ford told the meeting he will not be attending this year’s Pride parade, despite having no other obligations.

“I’ve never gone to a Pride Parade so I’m not going to change the way I am,” he said.

Rob Ford at the first mayoral debate at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Feb. 7.
Rob Ford at the first mayoral debate at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus on Feb. 5. (RobFord.Jan7)

During a post-debate scrum with the candidates, Soknacki said how grateful he was for the chance to speak with students.

“It’s great that the students brought forward the debates,’ he said. “It certainly gave us a chance to work on the different policies.”

The Scarborough campus’s student union organized the event and its vice president Guled Arale moderated the evening debate.