By Gordon Lambie
Sherbrooke’s Granada Theatre was busy on Tuesday night as the Université de Sherbrooke’s undergraduate and graduate student unions hosted the first mayoral debate of the municipal election campaign. From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. candidates Évelyne Beaudin, Luc Fortin, and Steve Lussier were questioned on a range of topics related to their platforms and the concerns of the university’s students and offered the opportunity to pick apart each other’s responses.
Debate moderator Guillaume Desmarais took the candidates through questions on a series of themes touching on subjects ranging from urban development, the environment, and public transit to council cooperation and transparency, with occasional periods of open debate staggered throughout the night.
Beaudin, a U de S graduate, made a point of playing to the student crowd in her responses and the audience often responded in kind. As the only candidate who is also the head of a political party she frequently placed her responses not just in the context of her role as mayor, but the pro-democracy and citizen involvement position of Sherbrooke Citoyen as a political movement.