Candidate booted from school debate for not giving name, says board chair
The independent candidate removed by police from a city high school during an all-candidate debate last week was asked to leave because he wouldn’t identify himself, the public school board chairperson says.
Robert Bowers was carried out of Adam Scott Collegiate by city police when he showed up at the school’s all-candidates meeting on Oct. 10.
Although Bowers — and two other fringe party candidates — weren’t invited to the debate, Bowers went any way since it was an “all-candidates” event and he’s a candidate, he told The Examiner.
However, Diane Lloyd, chairperson of the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, said Bowers refused to identify himself and that’s why he was asked to leave.
A teacher first approached Bowers, 72, to ask him who he was because they didn’t recognize him, she said. But Bowers wouldn’t give his name, Lloyd said, only saying he was a candidate and he had a right to be there. The teacher then grabbed the principal, Wilf Gray, who Lloyd said asked Bowers to identify himself.
“Again, he refused to identify himself,” Lloyd said.
Bowers, however, told The Examiner on Wednesday that he did give his name and that he was a candidate, but was told he couldn’t participate.
Lloyd said Gray asked Bowers for his name multiple times over a 15-minute period, explaining why it was important for the school to know who he was.
“At the end, (Gray) told (Bowers) if he didn’t give his name and he was insisting on going on stage that he would call the police,” Lloyd said.
When officers arrived, Lloyd said Bowers still wouldn’t identify himself. The independent candidate was ultimately removed from the school and put behind bars for 90 minutes before being handed a $65 trespassing ticket. The board chairperson said it’s “unfortunate” that the incident happened, but it was due to safety concerns.