Mayor Jim Watson invited the four major political parties to debate issues affecting the city of Ottawa Monday night.

The Green Party's Jean-Luc Cooke, Emilie Taman from the NDP and the Liberal's Catherine McKenna participated. The Conservatives did not agree to send a representative.

"It is very regrettable that nine Conservative candidates couldn't lend an hour to be here. But I do appreciate the Liberals, the NDPs and the Greens for being here. The Conservatives will have to answer to why they didn't feel this was an important issue," says Mayor Jim Watson. 

“It is the requirement of a member of parliament to be a person of the people," says Green Party candidate Jean-Luc Cooke. "You are supposed to speak with the people and understand their problems."

NDP candidate Emilie Taman says this sends a message. "Their failure to attend debates like this and others in various ridings, is demonstrative of the fact they are not prepared to stand up and defend their record."

Liberal candidate Catherine McKenna says she is not surprised there was no representative. "If they have a vision and they are trying to stand up and represent their constituents, they should be doing that and saying how they will improve the lives of people of the City of Ottawa."

Earlier last week at a news conference, Carleton Conservative candidate, Pierre Poilievre indicated their priority is going door to door.  "Our focus and top priority is door knocking. Which is the hundreds of thousands of job interviews that our candidates will do," he said. "It's on those door steps that we meet people, hear their concerns and that is our priority."

Canadians will head to the polls on October 19th.