Mayor Kate Quarrie Refuses To Speak With Students Before Elections

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Written by Scott Gilbert

The current mayor of Guelph and the incumbent in the upcoming municipal elections is refusing to come to the University of Guelph campus to speak with students.

There is an all candidates debate scheduled on campus for November 2nd from 11:30am to 1:00pm in Peter Clark Hall (basement of the UC). All four mayoral candidates were invited to attend over a month ago. All but the current mayor Kate Quarrie have accepted the invitation. Quarrie also refused to attend a debate held October 18th by the Guelph-Wellington Coalition for Social Justice. Then thecannon.ca found out that Quarrie also refused an offer from CFRU radio (the campus-community radio station located on the second floor of the UC).

The excuse Quarrie has been giving is that there are “scheduling conflicts” which prevent her from attending. Since there is growing doubt that she actually has a scheduling conflict, and many are starting to speculate that she is intentionally avoiding public forums where her constituents can ask questions, the CSA decided to present her with an open invitation and invited her to come at any time and on any day and offered to schedule an event around her time schedule.

Thecannon.ca was provided copies of the email correspondence, and what follows are a few excerpts. The CSA wrote: “[We are] now going to provide you with the option of choosing any day between now and November 13th to come to the university and meet with students…The other three candidates have shown a clear concern for the citizens of Guelph, simply by coming out to public events and answering questions... The offer is on the table.”

The reply came from Jane Armstrong, the Campaign Co-Chair for Kate Quarrie. She said: “Thank-you but Mayor Quarrie declines to attend... She has already accepted five invitations to debate the other candidates…Mayor Quarrie feels that these five forums, her website and other publications, are sufficient to inform all the voting public of her position on the issues.”

When thecannon.ca spoke with CFRU Radio about their attempts to reach Mayor Kate Quarries “This is a problem not only in this election," said Erinn White, Spoken Word Co-ordinator of CFRU. "Kate Quarrie has been invited, as all the mayoral candidates were, for an individual interview with our hosts. She has declined to work with CFRU in any way." She went on to say: “This concerns many people because they feel Kate Quarrie is excluding the student population. At CFRU we're concerned about that, but also concerned because we serve the entire Guelph community, and many people turn to us for information about their local elections."

The case of candidates not attending public forums is common in Guelph. In January the Liberal incumbent Brenda Chamberlain refused to attend numerous public forums during the federal election campaign. Of about 15 in total, she attended only four.

Quarrie is confirmed for some debates, two of which are on Wednesday, November 1st. One is at the Guelph Chamber of Commerce at Guelph Place Banquet Hall (492 Michener Rd) from 7pm – 9:30pm and the other on C-JOY radio from 10am until noon. Getting to the Guelph Place Banquet Hall requires either a vehicle or a long bus ride, but you can call in to the C-JOY station at 519-824-7000. Thecannon.ca encourages students to call in to the C-JOY interview to ask her questions. Thecannon.ca has not received a single direct answer to several questions sent to both her and her campaign team.

If you have not already, please check out www.katequarrie.ca which is a site designed to follow and rebut her campaign. Her real campaign website is www.kategetsitdone.ca

The elections will be held on November 13th. For more information on how to vote, and who is running, please visit www.guelphvotes.ca and www.getpissedoff.ca

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  1. Posted by: on Oct 27, 2006 @ 3:39pm

    Please note that the "comments" section has been turned on for this article. Comments on this page are being monitored by the editorial team. You may make comments, but please keep them on the topic of this article, do not make libelous remarks and stay away from commentary that could be perceived as oppressive.

  2. Posted by: on Oct 27, 2006 @ 9:21pm

    For further information on Kate Quarrie's refusal to attend certain events, and campus see the Guelph Mercury Friday October 27 edition. Top headline "Quarrie Snubs Us: Students"

  3. Posted by: joe on Oct 28, 2006 @ 3:15pm

    kinda sounds like these articles are oppresive towards those who support kate quarrie. shouldnt thecannon.ca take the same stance with the municipal election as the csa does when they hold a csa election and support a complete media ban on any candidate storys that talk about a candidate in a positive or negative light?

  4. Posted by: Bre Walt on Oct 28, 2006 @ 4:03pm

    Hi joe,

    I would say that this story is in now way oprressive to those who choose to support kate Quarrie. I will never tell students they cannot vote for someone. However, I think it is really important that within my job I inform students as to where candidates stand on issues. Kate has not allowed me to do this for her. I have asked her to come to campus, and she won't. She will not go on CFRU and she did not attend the Mayoral debate I held downtown on October 18th. The media has an obligation during these elections to report on what has been said/done by certain candidates. I want to ensure that students make the best choice for their future in Guelph, and I, as I am sure the cannon would as well, would have a hard time telling students they should vote for someone who refuses to come speak on campus. I think that student elections are very different from municipal elections. The mayor and city council elected will work on many issues that affect students such as the transit service, water pipeline, downtown core, and the relationship of the university to the community.

  5. Posted by: Bre Walt on Oct 28, 2006 @ 4:04pm

    One thing to note is that I did send out a questionnaire to all Mayoral candidates, and hopefully we will be able to post those on here next week. So far I have recieved only one back, but I will make sure students get that information when they come in.

    Again, I think the media, as well as student groups in this case, have every obligation to make sure students are aware when certain candidates simply refuse to come to campus, even when they are given a choice of any day that they wish.

    I strongly encourage you to call me at x54407 or come to my office in the UC (room 274), if you would like to speak further about this.



  6. Posted by: Billy on Oct 28, 2006 @ 7:01pm


    if you support kate, why not mention the reasons why so we can have a lively debate? have you been able to contact her to ensure you agree with her position? if so, please share, if not, what's your point?

  7. Posted by: on Oct 31, 2006 @ 5:53pm

    Ah, the comments are back, I look forward to a new year...

    This is just further proof that in my opinion Guelph is a dump of a town. But overall, it's nice to know that the students are so considered for. After all, if it isn't the students, who else would pump money into this dive. All the industry is moving out, I forgot what the figure was but wasn't there something like tens of thousands of jobs cut due to a faltering economy. Ironic how K/W had the same resources as Guelph, and it's doing much better.

  8. Posted by: Josie's fan on Nov 2, 2006 @ 2:16pm

    Wow, Kate's behaviour is apalling. Thanks for the clip.

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