The first confirmed debate between all four candidates in the upcoming federal election will be going down at the Heritage in on Oct. 7, 2015.
Organized by the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce, the candidates will have a chance to make their pitch and answer rebuttals in a two hour session open to the public.
The invitation was originally sent out back in May, and within days, all four candidates signalled their intent to participate, according to David D. Hull, the executive director of the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce.
As of right now, there isn’t a moderator set in stone, but Hull will be looking to recruit some members of the chamber executive board or other members of the community who can help move the conversation along and keep the discussion on topic.
“First and foremost, this is a Chamber of Commerce All-Candidates forum and somewhat of a debate, so we are focusing on things that are important to the business community, both nationally, provincially and locally,” Hull said.
“So that is going to be the focus of our evening.”
Breaking down the subjects, the discussion will focus on access to a powerful workforce, capital, technology and innovation and markets. Roughly 20 questions will be submitted in advance to each candidate to allow for time to research any background and consult with party platforms, said Hull.
There will also be a chance for the audience to submit written questions which will be presented to the candidates over the course of the forum.
Doors will open at 7 p.m. and the event should be wrapped up by 9 p.m.
The event will start with opening remarks chosen randomly from all four candidates and will end with closing statements in reverse order from how it started.
An interesting element to the event includes the use of rebuttal cards.
Each candidate will be issued five 30-second rebuttal cards to use as they see fit.
It’s a system Hull has used in the past with Chamber debates in other communities.
“They’ve become quite strategic and a lot of fun and I think it’ll put a very interesting interjection of debate within the forum,” Hull said.
The chamber forum is first confirmed event that will feature all four federal candidates in Cranbrook.
“I have no doubt there will be other groups beside the Chambers of Commerce in the communities in our riding hosting a forum and events and chances to quiz the candidates and ask them questions,” said Hull. “But I just wanted to get ours on the calendar first.”