Debates by Candidates for Mayor and Deputy Mayor

One of the ways voters get to evaluate candidates in any election is when they debate.  Cogeco has interviewed Candidates and that’s good (see Resources below) but better is if candidates battle each other in a debate.  The Chamber of Commerce had a Meet the Candidates event where participants could ask their questions but the result was not recorded and available to the public.  Sustainable Cobourg will have an event on October 14 but it’s focused on one aspect – sustainability.  But the best format is head to head debates with candidates for Mayor and Deputy Mayor and that’s what Cogeco has now provided.  On October 6, Cogeco taped debates and showed them on their Community Channel (see Resources for Schedule) but they also put them on You-Tube so they reach a wider audience.  See below.

The format of both debates is traditional: opening statements, questions provided by a moderator with responses and interaction from candidates then closing statements.

Debates are good ways to directly compare candidates.  We can get an idea of how they think, their values and what sort of people they are.  Both debates are an hour long and worth watching.

Update – Cogeco has removed the videos once election day arrived.  Therefore the videos are no longer available here.

A big thank you to Cogeco for producing the videos and to Mark Johnston for doing a great job moderating.


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Wally Keeler
16 October 2022 1:13 pm

There is a call for “fresh approach and new ideas“. This has been called for in every election that I have ever participated in as a voter. It’s a stale phrase, a throwaway notion of buzzbuzz words. What constitutes a “fresh approach”? If one votes for an incumbent, how does ‘fresh approach’ apply? Of course there is the usual call for ‘new ideas’. That is to say, an idea that is original to the candidate and original to the electorate. What candidate proposed a ‘new idea’? and what was that idea? Ideas are a dime a dozen, but a ‘new idea’ is rare, especially from a politician — they aren’t known for creativity.

An example of a fresh approach to politics would be exampled by Miranda Lukaniuk running for Ward 1 Councilor in Port Hope. That is to be expected because she is a Creative.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wally Keeler
15 October 2022 11:40 pm

Several points regarding John Henderson’s and Nicole Beatty’s comments. John Henderson: at 17:35 JH said that Balder had received $274K from the Town plus a $100K loan. This is incorrect. Balder received $147K from the Town and a $100K loan. Total $247K. As Mayor and former DM, JH should know this stuff cold. Nicole Beatty also quoted the wrong “Balder” information at 25:15 JH talks about other revenue source for the Town and mentioned water rates. While WaterWorks is fully part of the Town’s corporate structure as a Town Business Unit, it is self sufficient. Revenue from “water sales” is not part of the Town’s general revenue and is not used for non WaterWorks purposes. Like Nicole Beatty, JH did not answer the “magic wand” question in the correct context. The question asked the candidates to project 4 years into the future (end of the upcoming term) and outline what they believed would be their main accomplishments. Both JH and NB responded by talking about their achievements in the past 4 years. Suzanne and Lucas answered the question in the correct context Nicole Beatty: I found it difficult to listen to Nicole’s comments because they were mostly a mash-up of buzz words with little content. To put it politely, Nicole was blowing smoke. As noted above, she got the Balder information wrong (coached by JH perhaps) and messed up the “magic wand” question. Nicole says that she wants to “Align budget process with our asset management plan” Does the Town not do this already? Does the Town have an asset management plan? if so, when was it approved by Council. I seriously doubt that Nicole understands these terms and can explain her statement. She mentions a “Financial Sustainability Plan and identifying an annual spending cap for the Town of Cobourg… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Bryan
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Bryan
16 October 2022 5:50 pm

I believe that Council also deferred the development charges for 10 years on the Balder project. Did either Nicole or Henderson mention that concession? In total, the town gave Balder about $1M in incentives to build a dozen “affordable” units without a legal guarantee that they would remain affordable. Cobourg’s taxpayers cannot afford such gifts!

Reply to  Ken Strauss
17 October 2022 6:48 am

Did Suzanne or any other of your favoured candidates mention it either?

Reply to  Bryan
21 October 2022 8:14 pm

Agree 100% regarding Nicole Beatty. Lots of buzz words & language. I just dont find her authentic…& for my vote, authenticity is a must. She did not answer the magic wand question. As previously mentioned, I also found her difficult to listen to.

14 October 2022 4:59 pm

CTA president Dennis Nabieszko has writte a series of short articles on current election topics. Well worth the read.

At the bottom left of the page under Updates:

  • Oct 14 Where is Accountability and Transparency
  • Oct 12 Lets Talk about Tax Increases
  • Oct 5 Think, Rather than Spend
  • Oct 2 The Next Mayor Needs to do Better
  • Sept 28 How Not to Vote
  • Sept 26 Public Engagement or Public Consultation
  • Sept 24 Climate Change is Real
  • Sept 22 Transit Seems Not to be Going in the Right Direction
  • Sept 20 What makes for a Good Councillor and an Even Better Mayor
  • Sept 17 Affordable Housing- Why Can’t We Fix It
  • Sept 16 It Won’t Cost the Taxpayer Anything
  • Sept15 Does Town Staff or Council Run This Town
  • Sept 13 Cobourg Tax Increases Not Acceptable
  • Recorded Votes for the 2022 Budget
Last edited 1 month ago by Bryan
14 October 2022 1:30 pm

It seems like Lucas believes he is applying for the CAO job. I hope he has closely studied the actual role and responsibilities of the position of Mayor.

Reply to  Kath
15 October 2022 1:37 pm

Thats why he is running
He has checked it out and experienced what
what inept money management skills has done to ruin many a small business in this town .

Reply to  Sandpiper
16 October 2022 9:21 am

” inept money management skills has done to ruin many a small business in this town”

As usual Sandpiper a sentence that means nothing but innuendo and confusion. Just whose inept money management skills? It is a fact that many small businesses fail for many reasons, but are you saying that the Town caused these failures, if so please give one example!

Last edited 1 month ago by ben
Julien Winter
Reply to  Kath
15 October 2022 8:07 pm

I wanted to see Lucas at the Sustainable Cobourg forum on the 14th. I came away thinking that we should see him serve on Council first. That would give the electorate a fair chance to see if he argues his positions with wisdom, and listens charitably to contrary opinions. We need to know him better before awarding him the top job.

Reply to  Julien Winter
15 October 2022 10:51 pm


Past service on Council is certainly not a requirement to run for Mayor, especially if the need is for a fresh approach and new ideas.

Bob Sanderson (Port Hope) and Mandy Martin (Cramahe) were elect
as mayor without serving on Council first. Both brought business experience to the “job” and by all accounts, were “good’ mayors. Sanderson served 2 terms before retiring in 2022. Martin was acclaimed for her 2nd term in 2022.

The choice is quite clear:

  • same old-same old, this is the way we’ve always done it, very risk adverse, no new ideas, no leadership, an administrator not a doer


  • proven business experience, leadership skills, new ideas, consensus builder, calculated risk taker, a doer

Vote for the one you believe Cobourg needs and deserves.

Julien Winter
Reply to  Bryan
16 October 2022 8:23 am


I agree with what you say. My concern is whether a particular candidate is sufficiently well-known in a community for the electorate to make an informed decision. Being a councilor before running for mayor is very good way of doing that. I came to the meeting Sustainable Cobourg meeting prepared to take a risk, and came away thinking that I didn’t know Mr. Lucas well enough. When people in Toronto voted for new directions with Mel Lastman, then Rob Ford as mayors, they were making informed decisions, because both had served on council. Serving on council is not the only way to become well-known, and I expect that Bob Sanderson (Port Hope) and Mandy Martin (Cramahe) were well known in their communities (but I don’t know their situations). “Vote for the one you believe Cobourg needs and deserves.” Justified beliefs are based on knowledge.

Last edited 1 month ago by Julien Winter
Authentic Voice
Reply to  Julien Winter
17 October 2022 8:50 am

I attended the Sustainable Cobourg meeting also. John Henderson did not answer the questions, just listed numerous plans that had been voted on in the past. Many of these plans have a very low implementation rate it was revealed.
Lucas directly answered the questions. He has my vote.

Mrs. Anonymous
13 October 2022 8:21 pm

Over the last few months on this blog, I have read comments questioning the eventual demolition of the older Golden Plough lodge. Since we are discussing sustainability and housing in this election, it would be helpful if any of the candidates could inform me as to why this building cannot be repurposed for some type of housing.

Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
13 October 2022 11:08 pm

Mrs, Anonymous,
The GPL is controlled by Northumberland County. I suggest you ask John Henderson, Cobourg Mayor, Northumberland County Council Member and chair of the County’s Social Services Committee which oversees the GLP.
With luck, his reply will be more than “noted”.

Hopefully you will vote in the upcoming election. Consider how many times John Henderson has reported to Cobourg Council (and Cobourg residents) on County matters. Further, and more importantly, how often has he asked Cobourg Council for direction or advice regarding County matters.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bryan
Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
14 October 2022 11:07 am

Of Course it can be repurposed ,
But that would make sense and be cost effective .
I could also solve several of our Plaquing problems quickly .
. But if its knocked down it makes work still leaves the Town / County with a
topic to justify their existence over the next few yrs.

13 October 2022 11:21 am

Sustainability is never going to Happen in Cobourg
Its made up of 3 Major components
We are not even Close to meeting any of these standards or requirements
with our present leadership !

13 October 2022 12:21 am

I listened to the debate for mayor and I’m maybe premature but not one word about disaffected discussion about how to channel the energies of teens..skateboard park not well
maintained…no talk about places for youth to go like a youth centre…
There is organized activity which is great but what about the footloose teen looking for an activity that is legal? Am I the only grandmother looking for a healthy place for my teen to go that is just safe healthy and fun?
This town is filled with seniors who have their grandchildren somewhere else but my grandson is
here…I have filled his early teens with lots of healthy activities but where does he go for recreation that is not parent arranged?
Any candidate please answer…I would vote for any one who has an answer to help keep our
teens from being so open and susceptible to a drug

Michael Sprayson
Reply to  Onecentsworth
13 October 2022 9:48 am

I have three teenage boys. I hear you. I was so disappointed when the town decided to take the basketball court at the beach down and cleared the way for food trucks instead. There were always pick-up games of basketball, sometimes ball hockey. It was disappointing that was taken down and never replaced. One of our boys is quite social and spends a lot of time with his friends. They have had to resort to either riding their bikes to a destination – lots of times a store to get a treat and then home. If not on their bikes, they walk. usually downtown. It is getting to the point where that doesn’t feel as safe as it once did.
There is certainly enough youth in the area that would support us in creating some activity for them. We have two large public high schools. Many elementary schools. What do they do on the weekends? What do they do after school? If they don’t play soccer or hockey, their options become very limited.
They socialize via cell phones and video games. If there is going to be any success in getting them off of those devices, they will need to be involved in the process. Different kinds of kids will need to be encouraged to be involved in this decision-making (not just the keeners). We could do some outreach both through the schools and through social media. If it’s the kids who come up with the ideas, it’s more likely that the kids will participate.

Reply to  Michael Sprayson
13 October 2022 11:31 am


Do any of the schools have paved areas that could be used after hours for basketball and ball hockey?
I believe that Terry Fox, Greer, Notre Dame, Burnham and St Michael have basketball nets and some lined courts.

The skateboard park could certainly be improved at its current location. Take down the fence, expand the surface a bit, add some fixtures and repair the existing ones as needed. Perhaps spend $50-75K, not $300K as staff has suggested. How many skateboard park users are there? 30, 50, 75, tops.

I think this would be a better investment than the “seniors” fitness thing. I wonder if the Town has user stats?.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bryan
Michael Sprayson
Reply to  Bryan
13 October 2022 1:54 pm

The public schools aren’t usually very welcoming outside of school hours. Liabilities and such. When he was younger, the net at the beach was walkable for my kid and his friends.

He goes to the PH skateboard park more often than Cobourg. I don’t know how many users there are and I don’t know if any kind of reliable stats exist.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Michael Sprayson
13 October 2022 10:20 pm

You mentioned possible liability issues for after hours usage of school facilities. Aren’t there similar (or perhaps worse) liability issues for an unsupervised skateboard park? Aren’t there town liability issues for an unsupervised basketball court on Cobourg property? Why is that not a serious concern yet we need lifeguards due to liability concerns?

Reply to  Ken Strauss
13 October 2022 11:20 pm

Ken & Michael,
I don’t understand the liability comment. I listed several schools that do have outdoor basketball facilities, so it seems that liability is not the issue.

As for lifeguards at the beach, they are not there because of a liability issue. My understanding (from several lawyers) is that the Town would be better off from a liability perspective by not having lifeguards. The presence of lifeguards serves to confirm that the Town is aware of a potential danger and is attempting to mitigate the problem, thereby admitting liability.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Bryan
14 October 2022 8:22 am

Bryan, I’ve heard the same legal analysis that having lifeguards increases Cobourg’s liability. Why do we have lifeguards costing perhaps $150K per year but no supervision at the skateboard park?

Reply to  Bryan
15 October 2022 8:11 am

No lifeguards – less liability
No lifeguards – no cost for lifeguards
No lifeguards – no need for lifeguard stations on beach
It seems less is more in the case of lifeguards. Unless they were actually saving lives. Does anybody know if there were any cases requiring lifeguard assistance? How many lives saved?
It is an opportunity for young people to get jobs but there does not seem to be a shortage of jobs for people qualified to be lifeguards. The floating water park was not opened in part to a shortage of lifeguards from what I understand.
Liability for a basketball court? Scraped knee, sprained ankle, hit by a ball. It can happen but people need to enjoy life. A few years ago there was a case of a principal banning balls from the school yard because a child could get hurt. That decision was quickly changed. Sidewalks are the biggest source of liability for the town from comments in other posts. Maybe we should stop building sidewalks.

Cobourg taxpayer 2
Reply to  Onecentsworth
13 October 2022 1:27 pm

Listen to the Deputy Mayor debate – As I recall, Nicole Beatty had several comments about some wonderful kids’ activities either in the debate section or in her closing remarks.

Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer 2
14 October 2022 1:57 pm

Does anyone know what the status is of the old Park Theatre? Who owns it? Is it for sale? Great potential there…

Reply to  Rob
14 October 2022 3:00 pm

As I understand it, the Park Theatre was sold to a developer (speculator ??) 5 years ago or so. No announced development plans. Anything is for sale at the right price…got a million or two.
What potential? Small condo? Retail?

Reply to  Bryan
14 October 2022 3:31 pm

One idea that comes to mind – a youth centre and retail space…indoor skate park, live music on the stage while they skate, gaming centre, some food service, climbing wall, sell memberships/rent the space for functions, etc… creative spaces, entrepreneurial support, guest speakers…

Reply to  Rob
15 October 2022 11:15 pm

Great ideas.
Find a developer and present a business case. This is not a project the Town should undertake.

Reply to  Bryan
14 October 2022 4:07 pm

I recall when the subject of the Park Theatre came up before on this Blog it was reported the developer cancelled the sale after severe structural problems came to light and cancelled the sale. As it was a while ago this was discussed I don’t remember the conclusion but so it sits. Too costly to repair.

Reply to  Onecentsworth
14 October 2022 8:32 am

Cobourg Leisure Guide as included with this week’s Northumberland News. It lists a wide variety of activities available for youth. In addition there are others such as fishing, cadets, volunteer activities of various kinds, the Firehall Theatre comes to mind and others. The Y offers fitness and swimming, both leisure and lessons. Also a dance studio in Port Hope and there was one in Cobourg, don’t know if it is still operating. Hopefully among the many offerings your grandson will find a couple he likes along with the chance to meet others in his age group. The skateboard park was mentioned in the debate by Nicole Beatty who stated it was in her vision to have it repaired. Hope this helps.

Therese May
Reply to  Onecentsworth
14 October 2022 11:01 am

I am now a great grandmother and so far our youth have been overlooked. There have been a few minor attempts for places that teens could gather but they never really panned out. We need a safe place for them to gather and to encourage them. The streets are not the place nor are they safe. The mall was once a “hang out” but that wasn’t good either. The youth are our future and the Council should step up.

Reply to  Therese May
14 October 2022 11:43 am

Just hanging around is not always a good idea. The Mall – invites shop lifting, many Toronto malls are overrun with youth. Often not buying anything much, the worst of them mugging shoppers perhaps goaded on by their peers. Myself I got an after school job at age 12, staying with it through my teens. It provided money for many activities not to mention clothes etc.

My friend’s daughter met her common law husband at a hang around donut shop at the impressionable age of 17. Today 27 years later she would love to get rid of him. Never worked a day in his life, threatens to wreck the house she works 2 jobs to buy if given the gate.

Old Sailor
12 October 2022 2:04 pm

Does Northumberland County lead the way on their sustainability plan for the County, or does each town in Northumberland have to come up with their own plan – which may be quite different from the County’s plan?

Gigi Ludorf-Weaver
12 October 2022 8:19 am

So John, I’m a little taken aback with your comment that Sustainable Cobourg’s All Candidates is “JUST about sustainability”. To be clear, ‘sustainability’ covers environmental stewardship , social responsibility, and economic resilience. So development, transportation, social inclusion, (accessibility, affordability, participation in decisions) and the economic scaffolding of running our town are all part of that.
I’ve been a candidate where I participated in debates and from those experiences I found that it was more about ‘personality’ than capability that was demonstrated and often times not equitable in terms of the candidates’ ability to respond when a ‘louder’ candidate was present. Those usually dominated and made it more like a ‘sporting event’.

Reply to  Gigi Ludorf-Weaver
12 October 2022 10:16 am

So glad you are making this point Gigi. I would have thought after the decades that Sustainable Cobourg has been active in the community the result would have been a fuller understanding of what sustainability is actually about. Sustainably is the foundation that all decisions regarding the town needs to be built on.
John I hope you attend the SC forum on the 14th.

Reply to  Jayne
13 October 2022 7:49 am

The Iroquois have a principle of seven generations. Decisions being made today should result in sustainable life for the next seven generations. With so many people living paycheque to paycheque (or on some kind of social assistance) this principle is completely lost on them. Before buying a new TV think about what is going to happen to it when it stops working, for example. Our politicians do not make decisions using this principle. They often make decision based on getting re-elected in four years. Sustainability in not just protecting the environment. It has to do with creating a community that people will want to live in and are able to live in. Onecentsworth’s comment about a healthy place for teenagers to hangout is very relevant to creating a healthy community for this and future generations.

Michael Sprayson
Reply to  Gigi Ludorf-Weaver
13 October 2022 10:23 am

It is unfortunate that I am unable to attend your all-candidates meeting on the 14th. Previous work commitments have made it impossible. I send my regrets but would be happy to answer any questions that may come up. Voters can ask using this link or sending an email to