Election candidates field the questions at forum

Chamber of Commerce hosted forum for business community. See Friday's Townsman for coverage of JCI forum Wednesday night.

On Wednesday, May 1, the public had a chance to field their questions to local candidates for MLA at two all-candidates forums. The first, held by the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce, brought forth questions from the business community. The second forum was hosted by JCI Kootenays and took questions from the general public. The latter will be covered in Friday’s Townsman.

At the Chamber of Commerce all-candidates forum, Bill Bennett for the B.C. Liberals and Norma Blissett for the B.C. NDP answered questions submitted by the business community.

The candidates received the questions a week in advance, so had some time to think about their answers.

Bennett talked about his background running a tourism business, which he said made him qualified to represent the business community.

Blissett said while she doesn’t have the same business background, she is prepared to listen to the local  businesses to solve their issues.

On party platforms, Bennett said that the difference between his party and the B.C. NDP is the latter tends to focus more on the environment and social issues, while the B.C. Liberals focus more on the economy. He said the economy is in good shape and is the envy of many other provinces.

Blissett noted that while life is good in B.C. for the top tier of earners, not enough is being done for low income earners, who once pulled up, could put more money back into the economy.

On the subject of challenges to the business community Bennett said the government needs to invest in skills training, nurturing consumer confidence and making sure local government doesn’t inhibit local businesses.

Blissett said that it is money leaving the area, a lack of skills training and antiquated liquor laws are causing the most problems. She said the B.C NDP plan to address those issues.

Blissett said natural resource development is the foundation of the B.C. economy, but shouldn’t be limited to liquid natural gas (LNG).

“We know there are opportunities in liquid natural gas, as well as mining, forestry and agricultural, but we think the best way to face the future of economic growth is to have a diversified economy, because our resource industries are dependent on foreign markets,” she said, adding that some of those things are beyond the province’s control.

She said it’s better to invest in a variety of resources.

Bennett said the LNG is a “game-changer,” though added that other industries like mining are bigger for the local area.

“The impact (of LNG) on our province will be in the hundreds of billions of dollars,” he said, pointing at Alberta and Saskatchewan that have had success with LNG. “We’re going to have to work with these companies and figure out how we can do this in an environmentally responsible way, generate these jobs and generate these jobs revenues.”

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

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
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read