All-candidates forum offers opportunity to seek answers

On Monday night, the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce is hosting an all-candidates forum in the Cominco Gym, doors open at 6:30 p.m.

With the upcoming provincial general election only weeks away, are you still sitting on the fence about who deserves your vote?

On Monday night, the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce is hosting an all-candidates forum in the Cominco Gym, doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The objective of the forum is to provide the community an opportunity to learn about the platforms of each Kootenay West candidate, including a chance for the public to question agendas, goals and political focus.

Beginning at 7 p.m., the forum will be called to order, with an introduction of candidates and an outline of rules for the ensuing discussions.

Candidates will be seated alphabetically at the speakers table and each is allotted three minutes to make an opening statement.

Catherine Adair, from Teck Trail Operations, will moderate the proceedings and two time keepers will be on hand with stop watches, warning cards and a bell.

Adair will guide the panel to balance the questions so that each candidate has equal time.

Additionally, people attending have the opportunity to fill out a question form at the door in advance, to avoid duplicate questions during the public Q&A, which is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.

NDP candidate, Katrine Conroy, spoke to the Trail Times on Sunday about the forum.

“It’s great. That’s what democracy is all about, it is important to hear all sides,” she said. “I’m looking forward to it, during the election you can focus on the constituents, and it’s good to get out and talk to people.”

Glen Byle, Kootenay West independent, said without a lot of funds in his campaign cache, talking to the media and public in forum, is the best way to get his ideas out in the open.

“My hope is that once people start to understand the idea of “Technology Enabled true Democracy”, they will talk about it.”

The second independent in the Kootenay West riding, Joseph Hughes, said that he is looking forward to meeting residents in Greater Trail on Monday.

“I find reaching out is a challenge, especially because I represent a change in political philosophy,” he said.

“I want to reach out to people who are seeing that the democratic process is failing and that they are basically choosing between the better of two “evils,” as the saying goes.

“One of the issues that is very near and dear to me that I would like to talk about is the Columbia River Treaty.”

Hughes said that he is also visiting local businesses to interact and promote his message in person, because he doesn’t support lining the highways with plastic signs to promote his identity in Kootenay West.

Liberal candidate, Jim Postnikoff said that he is getting to know the issues of the area by talking to people.

“Trail is a much older and established city, therefore a lot of the aging infrastructure is going to need or needs upgrading,” said Postnikoff.

During the discussion, he may address upgrades and staffing at the Trail hospital.

The night will wind down, with each candidate’s closing statements at 8:50 p.m., with concluding remarks and adjournment at 9 p.m.

There are two more opportunities to listen to the candidates and ask questions in forum: Castlegar at the Sandman Inn on May 7 at 7 p.m.,  and the Rossland Miners Hall on May 8 at 7 p.m.