MP Candidates Business Forum Update

For decades the advocacy committee has advocated on behalf of the members of the chamber of commerce. Part of those efforts is to host a forum for the committee to ask questions of the federal political candidates vying for office which is broadcast to the entire community on zoom and local tv. To make this happen the Advocacy Committee created a sub-group to develop questions for the candidates around how they will build back the economy after the pandemic, federal debt and the deficit, taxes for businesses, trade, the labor market, housing, local issues and more! The committee then set up lights, microphones, moderators time keepers and invited Rogers TV to ensure our community would be able to get to know what our local candidates will be fighting for in office. When everything was in place we reached out to all political parties that met the Election Campaign Protocol to speak at the event.

Candidates who participated included Ryan Turnbull (incumbent Liberal party candidate), Maleeha Shahid (Conservative Party of Canada), Brian Dias (New Democratic Party) and Johannes Kotilainen (Green Party of Canada).

The candidates were approved based on WCC policy, which sates:

To be included in Chamber events and activities for federal and provincial elections, a candidate must be:

  • An individual officially recognized by a political party as their candidate for an election.
  • An individual belonging to a political party that has secured at least five per cent of the valid ballots cast in the most recent general election (not a by-election). The five per cent total can be confirmed through Elections Ontario or Elections Canada.
  • An individual belonging to a political party that has secured a seat in either the House of Commons or the Ontario Legislature

Click here to view the full policy.

We would like to thank the members of the committee; Peter Garrett, Matthew Mackenzie, Matthew Thornton, and John Baynham as well as WCC staff Natalie Prychitko and Rylie Wilton for putting the time and effort to ensure the event ran smoothly. A big shout out goes to Laura Wilson from Baker Tilly for expertly moderating the event. Click here to watch a recording  from Rogers TV.


– John Baynham, President, Retirement Income Group and Peter Garrett, Government Relations Specialist, Durham College