SUDBURY – The economy was top of mind on October 9 as candidates for the riding of Sudbury squared off in a debate at College Boreal, hosted by the local Chamber of Commerce.

Incumbent Paul Lefebvre was asked over and over again about the deficit and the past four years.

He told the audience he's proud of the liberal record and stands by it.

"All the investments that we brought here, all the jobs that we brought here, economy is going well and I'm really, really optimistic on the future of our area," said Lefebvre, Sudbury Liberal Candidate.

With the surging popularity of the Green Party, and similar platforms on subject like the environment and health care, both the NDP and Green candidates faced several questions on what sets the two parties apart.

"Those have been aspirations of the NDP for a long time… if other parties find those valuable too, that's great," said Beth Mairs, Sudbury NDP Candidate.

"Yes, all three parties are concerned about the environment and we have climate policies in place, but ours is the most aggressive," said Bill Crumplin, Sudbury Green Party Candidate.

Conservative Candidate Pierre St. Amant spent much of the night on the defensive as he knows some are painting them with the Doug Ford brush.

"And I'm not here to defend Doug Ford's policy, and the same way it would be pretty hard for Paul Lefebvre to defend Katherine Wynne's policy," Said Amant.

The People's Party says it has a lot of policies that appeal to Sudburians.

"We'd like to want them to know as much as possible about our party. We're for smaller government and lower taxes," said Sean Patterson, Sudbury PPC Candidate.

Candidates from the riding of Nickel Belt get their turn in the hot seats at Confederation Secondary School on the evening of October 10.