Jilian Saweczko’s campaign headquarters told me she didn’t attend yesterday’s debate because she had “emergency things planned before the debate.” While planned emergencies are weird enough, Saweczko’s story is getting ever weirder: Now the candidate says that she skipped the debate because she was “out knocking on doors”–not because she was attending to an emergency.
Sawezcko’s absence is part of a larger trend among Conservative candidates, which has even drawn the notice of Michael Ignatieff, who criticized “no-shows in the Greater Toronto area.” Ignatieff said to the Globe and Mail, “‘These excuses strain credulity. I think it’s just absolutely basic to democratic politics, you show up.”
Mike Sullivan, the NDP candidate for York South-Weston, said, “I’m disappointed, but not surprised. The previous candidate says the orders were from the top not to participate.” Alan Tonks (Liberal) and Sonny Day (Green) were contacted for comment, but they have not replied.
Sonny Day also missed yesterday’s debate, reportedly due to illness. He has not yet responded to emails asking for clarification.