October 11, 2018 8:15 am

Bill Kelly: To debate or not to debate

Artist rendering of Hamilton's LRT project

Artist rendering of Hamilton's LRT project

City of Hamilton
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As we head into the home stretch of this municipal election campaign, the question many voters are asking is, why won’t Mayor Fred Eisenberger participate in a one-on-one debate with challenger Vito Sgro?

Eisenberger has turned down requests from the Chamber of Commerce, and our request to participate in an on-air debate on CHML, in spite of the fact that he has willingly been a player in such events in past elections.

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The incumbent mayor suggests that LRT is only one of many issues in this election, but let’s not kid ourselves, this election is very much a referendum on LRT and Eisenberger and Sgro are the clear front-runners in the pro- and anti-LRT debate.

Bill Kelly: Like it or not, LRT will define Hamilton election

I’m sure that Eisenberger’s political handlers are telling him to downplay the LRT issue and avoid a head-to-head debate with Sgro, and from a political strategy standpoint, that may make sense, but voters don’t much care about political strategy. They just want a fulsome discussion on the most important issue in this election.

READ MORE: Metrolinx pumps the brakes on Hamilton land purchases for LRT

Eisenberger is the self-appointed champion of LRT and Sgro is the well-funded and most vocal opponent of the project.

Voters deserve to hear the issue hashed out between the loudest proponents on the yes and no sides.

Running away from an issue and avoiding a debate on one of the most important and controversial projects in Hamilton’s history is not the kind of leadership that Hamilton needs.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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