Candidates square off tonight in Trail

Forum set for Cominco Gym starting at 7 p.m.

  • Apr. 26, 2011 4:00 p.m.

The campaign race is wrapping up with a final opportunity for local residents to hear from federal party representatives at an all-candidates forum tonight.

The Southern Interior riding’s two-time winner – Alex Atamanenko of the NDP – will line up against Conservative Stephen Hill, Liberal Shan Lavell and Green Party candidate Bryan Hunt at the Cominco Gym in the Trail Memorial Centre from 7-9 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.).

“When you talk to the average person they say, ‘Another federal election? Right, it’s like what’s the point?’” said Maggie Stayanovich, executive director of the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce. “You can choose not to vote, but then you have to accept what is actually decided on your behalf, whether you voted or not.”

The chamber is making it easy for voters who will head to the polls next Monday.

“We’re being impartial – giving the opportunity for all the candidates to present their position in a forum,” said Stayanovich.

Candidates will make an opening statement before a media panel will fire their questions and then open the floor up to the public.

Trail chamber president Ron Clarke will act as the mediator, ensuring candidates stay on track and that questions are kept within a certain time limit.

“We’re looking forward to people being informed,” said Stayanovich. “Nothing is more of a pet peeve in my mind than when the people that complain the loudest are those who don’t’ go out and vote.”

The City of Trail councillors are starting their regular meeting an hour early today to ensure they get out to hear from the federal candidates.

“Basically, I know what the position of the different parties are already, I’m not sure whether or not they’ll be able to add any value to that or not,” said Trail Mayor Dieter Bogs. “For me, of course, it’s always how the municipalities are going to come out of this. It’s been really hard work to establish that at least they recognize that municipalities just don’t have the revenue stream that they deserve.”

Bogs said local government is struggling with more responsibilities being downloaded on them without the revenue to support their new tasks. With an obligation to keep property taxes low for their residents, municipalities are stuck with a large infrastructure deficit as a result.

“Our infrastructure deficit is around $20 million and it’s growing,” he said. “It’s not decreasing because simply we don’t have the funds to update it and replace it and I know in many ways the City of Trail is in better shape than some of its neighbouring communities and some of the communities outside of our area.”

Beyond his own interests, he expects that a vast group of residents will check out the community forum, including seniors who are thinking about their pensions and young parents with a keen eye on the economy.

Stayanovich is hoping to create a level playing field, where candidates who may have had less face time locally will also be in the spotlight. This is even more beneficial as some people running live outside of the Southern Interior riding, which stretches from Princeton to Salmo and up to Kaslo, an area of about 26,700 square kilometres.

“I’m quite interested to hear their positions,” she said. “I mean Shan Lavell is not local but she represents our area and Brian Hunt, he doesn’t live here but he did a lot of growing up in Kaslo. When you don’t know them face-to-face, it’s different.”

Stayanovich is wishful that residents will be able to pull away from Game 7 of the Vancouver Canucks-Chicago Blackhawks series, to hear from the candidates.

Rossland is putting on its own forum on Wednesday from 7-9 p.m. at the Rossland Miner’s Hall while Castlegar attracted about 75 citizens to its debate about two weeks ago.

“I hope people realize that voting is a week away (Monday) and that they put some time into their plan to go out and vote,” she said.

“I think a lot of people look at it and go what’s the point of us voting here because it’s all going to be accounted for in larger centres where you have high population, and yes in some ways this is true,” she said. “But in your own heart, I think people really think this is our home and our area and you want to make sure that the representative that represents your home has the same passions and values when it comes to putting their voice forward and speaking for the people, not on their own agenda.”

Residents are encouraged to go and vote with proper identification at their appropriate stations, depending on where they live.

Election day is Monday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. at the Trail Memorial Centre, Glenmerry Elementary School, Rossland Secondary School and Warfield, Montrose, Fruitvale, Oasis and Genelle community halls.

More information can be found at www.elections.ca

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

South Slocan’s Ti Loran is among the recipients of this year’s Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
Neil Muth Memorial Scholarships awarded to 4 students

Students in Creston, South Slocan and Revelstoke are sharing the honour

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

A wildfire near Cottonwood Lake was put out by Nelson firefighters Sunday night. Photo: Submitted
Wildfire extinguished near Cottonwood Lake

Lightning-caused fire was near one of Nelson’s water sources

West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air leaving Castlegar airport in July

The airline says market can’t handle two airlines

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read