Debate goes off the rails after perennial candidate crashes stage



It’s a thing!

The Ottawa-Vanier candidates debate was barely 20 minutes in when it was interrupted by one of Canada’s most prolific political candidates.

John Turmel has run for political office in Canada at least 84 times at all levels of government over the past few decades, frequently in Ottawa. He was even inducted into the 1997 Guinness Book of Records for “most elections contested.”

He is currently running in the Ottawa-Vanier provincial byelection under the Pauper Party, which he founded in 2011.

Turmel was not invited to take part in Thursday’s debate, but he tried to anyway.

Turmel was joined by another perennial candidate, whose actual name is Above Znoneofthe. 

The audience had mixed reactions.

Video of the entire incident was broadcast by OttWatch and showed Turmel being escorted off the stage and out of the building by several police officers. Journalists covering the debate tweeted some of their own videos.

It wasn’t the first time Turmel crashed a debate – in 2009 the Globe and Mail reported on a similar incident at a byelection in St. Paul’s.

Devyn Barrie

Devyn Barrie is the editor of and its sister site He has a journalism diploma from Algonquin College and has lived in Ottawa most of his life. Twitter: @DevynBarrieNews.


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