Mayoral candidate Bernard Couchman didn’t participate in the debate at Rogers today, but he taped himself watching it in the green room at the station.
Rogers TV taped a mayoral debate today and it might be the only one you’ll see or hear on the airwaves before the Oct. 27 election.
Up to this point, the candidates, to my knowledge, haven’t received invitations from other radio or TV stations to participate in a studio debate. In 2010 I recall CTV Ottawa held a debate, so did A-Channel’s morning show. Rogers did one, too. Readers can remind me if the radio stations held any studio debates.
What a difference.
I suppose it’s not compelling TV when you don’t have political giants trading jabs, like the 2010 contest of Jim Watson, Larry O’Brien, Clive Doucet and Andy Haydon.
This year’s Rogers debate has five candidates: Watson, Mike Maguire, Anwar Syed, Darren Wood and Robert White.
Bernard Couchman was actually at the studio in time for the taping, but I don’t think he let any of the producers know he was there. He seemed to expect people to know who he was. So, he watched the debate from the green room with reporters. In fact, I think he videotaped the TV the whole time, while taking the occasional selfie with the TV and adding a quip here and there.
I liked the Rogers debate format. Host Mark Sutcliffe puts an issue on the table and lets the candidates feast on it (or each other). And we got to hear candidates on issues that haven’t come up in debates yet, like the taxi industry and policing.
Sutcliffe, by the way, moderated Rogers debates for each ward and the mayor’s race. He might be best qualified to gauge this year’s crop of council candidates. He has some thoughts here.
Here are the Rogers TV mayoral debate airtimes (which will be updated at rogerstv.com if there are changes):
Thursday, Oct. 16, 4 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 19, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 9 a.m.
Friday, Oct. 24, 4 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m.
Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at ottawasun.com.