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Independent candidate Trueman Tuck barred from all-candidates debate

By LaShaina Blair-White [1]and Tyler Renaud [2]

BELLEVILLE – Trueman Tuck [3], an independent candidate for the federal election, is upset that he was barred from the all-candidates debate for the Bay of Quinte riding.

The debate, which featured candidates from the three main political parties, was held by the Belleville Chamber of Commerce at the Empire Theatre [4]on Wednesday.

Tuck said he had completed the enrolment process to be a part of the debate nearly two weeks ago. He said he submitted his application to the chamber and received a confirmation email.  However, Tuck said that on Sep. 11, he received a voicemail from Bill Saunders, the chamber’s CEO, saying he was calling to confirm that Tuck wasn’t attending the debate.

“That puzzled me, because I didn’t know where that had come from,” said Tuck.

Tuck went into the chamber’s offices and was then told that he actually wasn’t invited to the debate.  Tuck said that he was shocked at the news and questioned the lack of action taken by the chamber.

“When I contacted the chamber on August 25th, the chamber should have made every effort to get my bio, my picture, get everything up so that there was equal coverage with the other three. And obviously they made an early decision they weren’t going to do that and they never got back to me. They never told me there was more that they required, they never confirmed my registration or anything,” said Tuck.

Tuck said he is planning to fight back against the chamber and will file a lawsuit against them.

QNet News has made several attempts to contact the Chamber of Commerce, but has not yet received a response.