Debate #1 … hope in the Fall air

Karen Hirst

Last evening was the night that the municipality of Mississippi Mills demonstrated its potential for healing, for breaching the divide that has separated us for too long and for restoring once again the feeling of the “friendliness” of our collective history.

In the process of participating in the first of three candidate debates, a broad section of the municipality was gathered under one roof with no further harm to fragile relationships being permitted to claim our attention … rural, town, those for and against issues, young and old, all were present to hear what potential might lie in our future.

The losses and the wins of the past were not denied but neither did they take center stage and distract from the breath of fresh ideas that were being introduced by the candidates … ideas that will take us past division and once again unite us behind common purposes.

Thanks to a well organized event sponsored by PRATAC and several others, and the polished skill of moderator Paul Virgin, the participants and the audience were able to stay focused and at the end of the evening leave with information they didn’t have before they arrived … laughter which has been absent in recent political gatherings was shared in a collective spirit of friendliness and as an expression of the caring concern for our community.

Seven candidates, both seasoned and new to the political arena, brought to the table a wealth of background skills, abilities and knowledge as well as exemplary character traits. Each candidate, in presenting themselves through a three minute introduction and in the process of answering audience questions, revealed their own unique strengths, all of which collectively could make for a very productive, exciting four years … if only we could take all seven of them.

However, we are left with the difficult task of choosing from among very fine, superb candidates … thank you to the candidates for offering yourselves and for a job well done.