Excitement builds for CBRM mayoral debate

The mayoral debate in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality is the talk of the town, numerous voters are anxious to hear how the five candidates for mayor plan to tackle the big issues facing the community.

Debate starts at 7 p.m. at Centre 200 in Sydney.

Voters in Cape Breton say they're anxious to hear how the five candidates for mayor plan to tackle the big economic issues facing the community at Tuesday's debate.

"I want to go to hear what Rankin MacSween and Cecil Clarke have to say concerning the CAP, concerning our taxes," said Marlene MacDonald from Marion Bridge.

"There's also the fact that we need somebody in there that's going to try to help the county."

MacDonald said she's attending the debate to find out who will best represent rural concerns. She said she hopes after the debate she'll know who to vote for.

The five candidates fighting for those votes are: Cecil Clarke, Elizabeth Barrie, Wilf Isaac, Glenn Jessome and Rankin MacSween.

Seward MacLean from Sydney said he's interested in what Clarke and MacSween will have to say about economic development for the area.

"It's a pivotal point in this municipal election, and a pivotal point for economic development in the area and those two candidates have a lot to offer," said MacLean.

One of the debate's organizers is also keen on learning what candidates plans are to boost the municipality's economy.

"We do want an improved business environment," said John MacNeil president of the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce.

"We want changes to how bylaws are administered to make it easier for businesses to start up. Tax rates are an important thing within the municipality, both business and residential. I think we want to be able to have communication with the mayor. We want whoever it is who is the new mayor, I think we want an open line of communication so that on an on-going basis we can express the interest of the business community."

CBC Cape Breton, the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce and the Cape Breton Post are sponsoring the mayoral debate.

The debate starts at 7 p.m. at Centre 200 in Sydney.