Can­di­date booted from school de­bate for not giv­ing name, says board chair

The Peterborough Examiner - - NEWS - JES­SICA NYZNIK EX­AM­INER STAFF WRITER jes­sica.nyznik @pe­ter­bor­ough­daily.com

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.

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