Jagmeet Singh and Doug Ford are among the political rivals brought together by TVO’s new series, Political Blind Date
Politics like you’ve never seen, starting November 7. Watch the episodes online.
There’s never been any series quite like it. Political Blind Date, a new TVO Original, produced in association with Open Door Co. and Nomad Films, brings politicians with different points-of-view together on a “date” to explore important issues through in-depth conversations. It’s a fresh new format that will energize audiences when they see rival politicians meeting face-to-face, and speaking candidly as friends and colleagues about the issues that matter to Ontarians. The six-part weekly series premieres on Tuesday, November 7 at 9pm EST and on tvo.org as part of TVO’s collection of thought-provoking online documentaries.
Each half-hour installment of the series explores a different political issue by first inviting two politicians to plan a date for one another. Each person takes the other to locations that bring to life an opposing side of an important debate. Both elected officials quickly move beyond the headlines and encourage each other to find common ground.
“TVO Originals like Political Blind Date share thought-provoking, in-depth debates that explore social, economic and political topics,” says Lisa de Wilde, Chief Executive Officer of TVO. “The politicians featured in this program get outside of their comfort zones to explore a range of perspectives on the big issues of the day.”
In the first episode, federal Alberta Conservative MP Garnett Genuis and Ontario Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith debate the imminent legalization of marijuana as they visit a cannabis dispensary, tour a production facility, and interview someone recovering from marijuana addiction. In the second episode, Toronto mayoral hopeful Doug Ford and federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh tackle the hotly contested topic of transit, riding bicycles on busy streets and visiting a much-debated streetcar line.
“Political Blind Date is a fresh and engaging antidote to today’s divisive political climate,” says John Ferri, Vice-President of Current Affairs and Documentaries at TVO. “In this series, we ask politicians to drop their speaking notes, in keeping with TVO’s journalistic mission to provide a place for in-depth and civil debate.”
“We felt as a team that we needed a way to break through the partisan noise,” stated Tom Powers, Series Creator and Executive Producer and Mark Johnston, Series Writer and Director. “We believed that if politicians had an opportunity to connect as human beings around issues that meant something to them on a personal level, not just as politicians, then we might capture real, heartfelt attempts to make change on the most important challenges facing Canadians.”
The series also features Liberal MP Adam Vaughan, Toronto City Councillors Giorgio Mammoliti and Maria Augimeri, Mayor of London Matt Brown, NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo and others, covering topics like safe injection sites, correctional facilities, social housing, and more.
Political Blind Date is produced by Open Door and Nomad Films Inc, in association with TVO, and is written and directed by Mark Johnston. The Toronto Star is the series media partner of Political Blind Date.
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