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It was supposed to be a debate between Toronto mayoral candidates John Tory and Olivia Chow.

It ended up being an opportunity for Olivia Chow to present her platform without opposition.

At approximately 2 p.m., three hours before the debate was set to begin,  the organizers of the debate received a call from the Tory campaign advising the “because of competing campaign priorities in the new phase of the campaign,” John Tory would not be attending the debate.

The event was co-sponsored by the Ryerson Students’ Union and TTCriders: A Voice for Transit Riders.

Said Jessica Bell, Executive Director of TTC Riders: “TTC Riders are furious about John Tory’s decision to cancel attendance at the debate last minute. It is disrespectful to riders.” 

“This is a sad day for student engagement in municipal elections”, said Jesse Root, VP – Education of the Ryerson Students Union, adding that this is the second time the Tory campaign has cancelled an appearance with Ryerson students.

But, the show went on, giving Olivia Chow an opportunity to present her transit plan unapposed. Her address is followed by a selection of questions from the standing-room-only audience.

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