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Catholic election debate in Toronto a hot ticket

  • September 11, 2019

The 1,000-plus tickets made available to Toronto’s Catholic community for an archdiocesan-sponsored federal election debate were gobbled up within three days.

The free tickets for the Oct. 3 debate went on offer Sept. 3 and were quickly all spoken for, said Neil MacCarthy, director of public relations and communications with the Archdiocese of Toronto.

“There was a tremendous enthusiasm but you never know until ticketing opens how that will translate,” said MacCarthy. “To have all the tickets snapped up in three days demonstrates the interest and engagement of Catholics in this election.”

The “Federal Election Debate from a Catholic Perspective” will be held at the John Bassett Theatre at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto hosted by veteran television journalist Don Newman and introduced by Cardinal Thomas Collins. The archdiocese will livestream the event at four other parishes in the archdiocese: St. Joseph the Worker in Oshawa, St. Edward the Confessor in North York, St. Mary's in Brampton and Holy Spirit in Barrie. Free tickets for those locations are available online at www.archtoronto.org. MacCarthy is also in talks with other dioceses around Canada interested in hosting a livestream party or otherwise offering it to its people.

MacCarthy is in communication with the parties to line up participants, but no names have been confirmed. He expects to know participants by mid-September.

“From our perspective, it’s not as much about who is there from the respective parties as it is that we have an audience of more than 1,000 present in person, with many more watching via livestream, to demonstrate the engagement of the Catholic community regarding the federal election,” he said. It’s the first time the archdiocese has held an event of this magnitude centred on an election.

(NOTE: This story has been updated with information on livestream locations.)

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