MORRISBURG – South Dundas residents will have just one opportunity to publicly ask questions of the 13 candidates seeking election to the five seats at the South Dundas council table this fall.
Last week the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce and Dundas Federation of Agriculture announced on social media that they jointly will be hosting a single all candidates event at Matilda Hall September 29.
South Dundas Chamber of Commerce president Jim Cooper told The Leader that hosting his all candidates event is a good fit for the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce.
He explained that the Chamber has started on a path which involves more cooperation between local business groups and the municipality.
“We all believe that when we cooperate things get done,” said Cooper. “We want to be the voice for all of our members and all small businesses, and we want to make sure our voice is being heard.” He went on to explain because of this the chamber does need to be involved with the local political scene.
He wants to ensure that the chamber’s positive cooperative working relationship continues with the municipality and thinks that a good way to do this is to give people the opportunity to learn more about the candidates who want to represent them.
“Everyone needs to work together to make sure we move forward as a community, that’s why we’re very much involved in the political side of things,” said Cooper.
“We have a lot here to be proud of and we want to make sure the politicians are listening to everyone.”
“We know we are going to have a new mayor and a new deputy mayor and a number of new councillors, so we want people to take this opportunity to bend their ears, give their opinions and we want to offer our help,” said Cooper. “I think it helps everyone to make sure that voices are being heard across the board.”
Since its inception, South Dundas all-candidates meetings have been hosted by the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce.
While the chamber is able to continue that tradition for this election, it will not be able to continue the tradition of hosting multiple all-candidates opportunities in multiple locations across the municipality.
“We are short-staffed and are in the process of hiring a new manager who hasn’t started yet, so we are only able to put this one meeting together,” said Cooper.
Doors will open for the September 29 meeting at Matilda Hall at 6:30 p.m. Opening statements start at 7 p.m. followed by a question and answer session where questions will be taken from the floor. The person asking the question has 30 seconds to deliver their question and choose two candidates to respond to the question. Those responding will have 90 seconds to deliver their response.
Mary Tessier, who is organizing the event on behalf of the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce, said the moderator has yet to be confirmed. All 13 election candidates have confirmed with Tessier that they will participate in the meeting.