There were no knockout punches, but plenty of animosity at the mayoral debate hosted by the Windsor Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The two top contenders for the mayor's job in Windsor, incumbent Drew Dilkens and challenger Matt Marchand, took part in the debate on Wednesday at the Fogolar Furlan Club.

The issue of hiring an auditor general was one of the highlights at the debate.

“Let me show you the proof folks, here are the audits we've undertaken with Price Waterhouse Coopers since I've been mayor,” said Dilkens, as he dropped 37 audits on a podium.

“We could spend what Toronto spends, $6 million. We could spend what Sudbury spends, $370,000. We could spend what Ottawa spends, $2.1 million. It doesn't improve your life,” said Dilkens. “This is about you and doing what's right for you. Value for money for the tax payer. That's who I look after.”

But Marchand reiterated one of the keys to his platform, the hiring of an auditor general to ensure transparency and accountability at city hall.


Marchand, the former President and CEO of the Chamber, also said he would ensure there are enough officers on the streets of Windsor to help reduce crime.

“Mr. Dilkens talks about adding 24 police officers,” said Marchand. “We are short 30 police officers this year because of retirements and people leaving the force. So again, I said it before, this was a status quo mayor. We can't even do the status quo this year with respect to police officers. This is more behind the curve thinking.”

Both had different answers when asked about raising taxes in the next four years. 

“We're going to be honest, open and transparent,” said Marchand. “We're going to raise your taxes by one percent to invest in our community to deal with crime, opioid and homelessness in the downtown and also deal with infrastructure.”

“We will continue to operate in the manner that you are accustomed to,” countered Dilkens. “Making sure to hold the line on taxes and continue to making investments in our community that you all appreciate and deserve so that our community has all of the amenities that it deserves as well.”

Tom Hensel, Ernie Lamont and Frank Dyck are also running for the mayor’s seat, but they were not invited to take part in Wednesday’s debate.

Election Day is Oct. 22.