About 120 people attended the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum on Oct. 16 at the Prince Charles Theatre.
All six candidates running for federal office in the Kootenay-Columbia riding were in attendance: Abra Brynne (Green), Robin Goldsbury (Liberal), Trev Miller (Animal Protection), Rob Morrison (Conservative), Wayne Stetski (incumbent, NDP) and Rick Stewart (People’s Party).
The event was moderated by Creston Valley Advance publisher Brian Lawrence and 94.1 Juice FM reporter Jensen Shields.
The forum opened with two-minute opening statements followed by questions previously submitted by locals via email.
Candidates fielded questions on security for seniors, climate change emergency, carbon tax, supply management for dairy farmers, universal pharmacare, and small business.
Goldsbury was the first to tackle the question of security for seniors emphasizing the Liberal Party’s promise to boost Old Age Security at 75 and increase the Canada Pension Plan for widows.
Miller discussed the Animal Protection Party of Canada’s strategies for combating climate change which included the removal of large subsidies from “ecologically ruinous industries” and divert the funds to strengthening the environment and climate change in Canada.
Morrison echoed the Conservative Party of Canada’s promise to cancel the carbon tax when asked if he thought it was fair to impose the B.C. carbon tax on the rest of Canada.
When asked if the New Democrat Party would either eliminate or protect supply management for dairy farmers, Stetski reiterated the party’s vow to protect supply management.
Stewart, from the People’s Party of Canada, discussed replacing the Canada Health Transfer cash payments with a permanent transfer of tax points of equivalent value to provinces and the territories, giving the regions a stable source of revenue.
When asked if the Green Party would support the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses’ proposal to reduce CPP and EI contributions from small businesses, Brynne discussed the importance of small businesses in Canada and the Green Party’s commitment to a vibrant green economy.
Each candidate ended the forum with a two-minute closing statement.
Watch the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum in its entirety below.