There will be a virtual online candidates forum for those running for the seat in the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding in the upcoming federal election, and the public is invited to submit questions.
The candidates forum is being hosted by the Duncan Cowichan, Chemainus, Lake Cowichan and WestShore chambers of commerce.
The forum won’t be open to the public, as chamber-sponsored ones were in previous federal elections, due to COVID-19 health protocols, but it will be recorded and available to view on the various chambers YouTube and Facebook pages on Friday, Sept. 10, in time for advance polls that open that day.
Duncan Cowichan chamber president Julie Scurr said that a second snap election within a year during a pandemic has created some unique challenges for the Chamber team.
“With only weeks until the election, it’s important that Cowichan-Malahat-Langford voters have the opportunity, at least in some capacity, to engage with the candidates on issues that impact their communities,” she said.
“That being said, public safety has to remain a top priority as we continue to exercise caution in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Participating in the candidates forum are the Conservative Party of Canada’s Alana DeLong, the Liberal Party of Canada’s Blair Herbert, the NDP Party of Canada’s Alistair MacGregor and the Green Party of Canada’s Lia Versaevel.
Sonja Nagel, executive director of the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce, said Mark Hecht, the People’s Party of Canada’s candidate for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford in the election and the only other candidate in the riding to date, hasn’t been invited to attend the forum as it’s the policy of the chambers to have only candidates whose parties currently have representation in Parliament, or represent more than 10 per cent of the vote on Vancouver Island, participate.
Cowichan-Malahat-Langford residents are invited to submit questions for the candidates at the forum in advance by 4 p.m. on Sept. 3 by email to email@example.com.
Those who submit a question are asked to confirm whether they wish to remain anonymous or are comfortable being named in conjunction with their question.
As in previous years, questions will be categorized based on, but not limited to, the following topics: carbon tax; childcare; climate change; COVID-19; deficits; education; environment; health care; housing and homelessness; immigration; truth and reconciliation; jobs; pipelines; seniors; small business; taxes; technology; and transportation.
Similar or duplicate questions will be consolidated to ensure a broad range of topics are addressed without unnecessary repetition.
For more information, or if you are unable to submit your question by email, call the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce at 250-748-1111.
Seasoned moderator, Wade Simmons of Amber Education, returns to marshal proceedings at the forum, ensuring equal opportunities to hear from each candidate.