Sparks Fly at ONNtv’s All-Candidate Debate (Watch on Demand)


ONNTv hosted an all-candidates debate Wednesday evening, giving each party a chance to state their platform policies and their views on various topics.

The candidates involved were:

  • Kara Flannigan, Green Party
  • Jaclynne Hamel, Liberal
  • Michele McCleave-Kennedy, NDP
  • Sandy Holmberg, Northern Ontario Party, and
  • Ross Romano, PC

Moderators included ONNTv’s Tim Murphy and Lou-Anne Young, as well as Rory Ring, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce.

Each moderator asked the candidates three questions, allowing them 90 seconds to answer to the best of their ability.

Questions varied from local issues such as the Huron Central Railway, the Algoma Steel Plant debt, and how each party plans to help smaller, local businesses stay thriving and competitive, to broader issues like the opioid crisis, keeping arts and culture alive in the Sault, and the expansion of the Northern Highway, making it a four-lane highway.

One thing that made this debate more unique than the rest was the open-floor discussion at the end, where each candidate was allowed to ask another candidate any question they wanted. This opened up the floor for debate between the candidates themselves, and the sparks flew as the NDP, Liberal and PC candidates got into heated conversations regarding each others’ platforms, or in the PCs case, the lack thereof.

Lou-anne wrapped up the debate by allowing each candidate 60 seconds to give their closing statements; giving each of them a chance to get a final word in and try to persuade voters to place the X beside their name at the polls.



  1. Ross Romano mimicked Doug Ford by using most of his time to attack the NDP and Liberals and offered no information about what his party actually plans to do if elected. He thinks “arts and culture” only means museums, art galleries, and tourist attractions. It was telling that he had to correct himself when talking about the opioid crisis and said “crime prevention” instead of “drug addiction prevention.” When the NDP candidate asked him a question about Doug Ford’s platform, he didn’t even come close to answering it. Instead, he used up all the allotted time by attacking her and the Liberals. Then, when it was his turn to ask a question, he basically repeated everything he had just said. He seems to be more interested in talking about himself than showing respect to the voters by sharing clear and accurate information about his party’s plans and policies. No substance there.

  2. Ross knows he and his party are in big trouble. Ross is faced with trying to put on a good face about a leader(Ford) who he does not support. How are we ever gong to get Ford to put money in this city when Ross is not at least pretending to like Ford?

  3. I thought Ross killed it, he’s passionate about the city that’s for sure. I was also impressed with Jaclynne, great poise and did very well. Too bad the liberals will get trounced.
    NDP killed all their momentum with the choices of candidates that are being revealed in news stories. Answering a question with a wheres your platform question is a cop out.

    • You must not have been watching the same debate, he acted like a fool. Had to stoop so low as to use Hitler to attack Michelle. Wouldn’t answer any questions of where the cuts are going to come from and just deflected back onto the others. His behavior was an embarrassment and shameful. One of the main points of a debate is to not lose your cool, Michelle kept hers quite well. Ross couldn’t even go a question without attacking others. His answers were empty promises with nothing to back them up with.

    • haha, lost his cool? No thats you lefties when you lose an election. He stated no problem finding money thru efficiences, like not wasting billions like the liberals did. The auditor general even found 1 billion easily. NDP candidates are a bunch of social justice warriors, defintely not sane enough to run for government. When Jack passed, so did any chance of the NDP.

  4. Ross totally lost that. Lost his composure and lost his cool.

    When talking about addiction, he keep accidentally saying ‘crime prevention’ instead of ‘drug prevention’. He had to correct it. PCs are all about criminalizing addiction issues.

    He must have felt really intimidated to get so upset and pouty. He reminded me of my oldest-daughter, when she was 4 or 5. She would get all pouty and cross her arms and sit back in the chair “I don’t have to listen to you Daddy”.

    it’s a debate Ross!!! Participate! Don’t retreat! What a sham!

  5. Romano’s behavior was absolutely disgusting, shame on him for even bringing up Hitler to try to fear monger. If anything he was acting like him the way he was ranting and shouting, and trying to spread fear and lies. We are smarter then this SSM. Time to show Ross the door.

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