General voting day is October 20 for the 2018 local government elections. (Trail Times file photo)

Have a question for political hopefuls in the Trail area?

The chamber is going ahead with All Candidate Forums in Warfield, Trail, Montrose and Fruitvale

Do you have a burning question for Greater Trail hopefuls seeking a seat – or re-election- on municipal council this fall?

The good news is you’ll have a chance to put all candidates in the hot seat after all.

Historically, the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce (TCOC) has hosted All Candidate Forums in the city and surrounding towns prior to local government elections.

With chamber staff down to the bare bones, this year’s public events were on the chopping block.

Fortunately, the Rotary Club of Trail volunteered to step in and help the chamber host community forums in Warfield, Trail, Montrose and Fruitvale.

Audry Durham, TCOC’s executive director, says the public meetings are slated for the last week of September.

“More details are to follow,” she explained. “But we are now accepting questions from citizens and businesses, and we will take questions at the forums as well. We just can’t guarantee they will all be answered because that is dependent on how many questions are submitted to us.”

Questions can be emailed to the chamber at info@trailchamber.bc.ca.

So far, Montrose is tentatively pencilled in for Sept. 25 and Trail, Sept. 26.

Now in Week 2 of the nomination period, anyone wishing to run for mayor, councillor, or school trustee on Oct. 20, General Voting Day, can do so by completing a package available at municipal offices.

The nomination period closes this Friday at 4 p.m.

The campaign period begins Sept. 22, though candidates can be actively campaigning now.

“In the year of a general local election, the ‘election period’ opens on January 1,” clarified Trail’s Chief Elections Officer Michelle McIsaac. “The differentiation between the two ‘periods’ mostly relates to whether or not sponsorship information must be included on the advertising, (meaning) sponsorship details must be included during the campaign period but not in the election period,” she continued.

“And if the expense is subject to the expense limit,(as) there is a limit to expenses incurred in the campaign period but not in the election period.”

Those running for mayor have a $10,000 spending limit during the campaign period, whereas candidates for either councillor or school trustee have a $5,000 limit during the campaign period.

Additionally, in accordance with the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act, the third party advertising limit for 2018, is $750.

McIsaac also pointed to the rules around “vote for” signage, which is often seen at election time.

“Each local government determines when such signage can be placed; it is not dictated by the provincial legislation/regulations,” she said.

“In Trail, election signs cannot be placed until 30 days prior to the election, which will be Thursday, September 20th, as per our Sign Bylaw.”

Rules also apply for anyone seeking an elected position in local government.

First of all, the person must be a Canadian citizen and 18 years of age or older on election day. Additionally, the candidate has to be a resident of B.C. for at least six months immediately before the day nomination papers are filed, and cannot have been disqualified by the Local Government Act or any other enactment from voting in a B.C. election, or from being nominated for, being elected to, or holding office.

Notably, candidates do not have to live in the jurisdiction in which are running for office.

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