Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell’s campaign says the incumbent will not be allowed to rejoin a Brampton Board of Trade debate she previously threatened to boycott.

Earlier this month, Fennell released a statement calling on all candidates to drop out of tonight’s debate because she felt it was unfair for organizers to “cherry pick” which candidates would be allowed to participate.

“All mayoral candidates should be treated with the same respect,” Fennell said in the release.

“If the Brampton Board of Trade refuses to let all mayoral candidates participate in their debate, then I will not attend. I will boycott this debate.”

In response to the statement, the Brampton Board of Trade said it would not agree to change the format and said Fennell would be replaced by another candidate.

“Candidates do not have the ‘right’ to participate in debates, particularly those hosted by member-based organizations. They earn the right to participate by running successful campaigns that make them serious contenders for the office they seek to hold,” the BBOT statement read.

However, when Fennell later asked to rejoin the debate, her campaign team says the BBOT refused to let her rejoin.

“Quite frankly we felt that out process was a fair process, an equitable process … when (the mayor) decided she wasn’t interested in participating based on the format, we decided it was probably most appropriate to move on without her participation,” said Jaipaul Massey-Singh, the moderator of the BBOT debate.

“We are looking forward to a really interesting and engaging debate tonight despite the mayor not being a part of it.”

Five mayoral candidates will be taking part in the debate including Linda Jeffery, John Sanderson, Don McLeod, Jacqueline Bell, and Hargy Randhawa.

CP24 will be live streaming the full debate and an interview with Mayor Susan Fennell tonight starting at 7 p.m.