All-candidates forum planned for April

Chamber of Commerce to host debate with Liberal and NDP candidates running in provincial election.

Randal Macnair

Randal Macnair

The public will get the chance to hear both candidates running in the next B.C. election sell their visions for the region and the province at an all-candidates forum on Tuesday, April 25.

Using the ballroom at the Heritage Inn, both Tom Shypitka, running for the B.C. Liberal Party and Randal Macnair, representing the B.C. NDP, will be fielding questions from the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce in a public forum.

Doors will open up at 6 p.m. with the forum kicking off an hour later, wrapping up by 9:30 p.m..

David D. Hull, the executive director for the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce, will moderate the debate. The format will follow a similar pattern to the all-candidates forum for the federal election in the fall of 2015.

“Our plan is to solicit questions or issues from three sources,” Hull said. “Locally, of course, from the business community and the public…from the B.C. Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

“So what we’ll do is we’ll provide the questions and background information and links to even more information and we’ll provide those to all the candidates and then we’ll have the questions on separate slips and literally, in a random draw, the candidates will have to answer the question.”

The forum will be open to the public with roughly 190 seats at a first-come, first serve basis.

The debate will cover a wide range of issues, however, Hull warns that the focus will be on business and the economy as it is a Chamber-organized event.

“Our purpose, to be frank, is looking to have candidates review all the issues…and bring their attention to all the issues that we think are important in the provincial election and then give them a chance to answer a number of them,” Hull said.