Concerns have been raised over who is invited to attend all-candidates meeting for the upcoming municipal elections in the City of Duncan. (File photo)

All-candidates meetings should include all candidates, City of Duncan admonishes

City steps in after concerns raised

The City of Duncan has had to step in to ensure that all candidates in the upcoming municipal elections are aware of all-candidate meetings that are being organized.

Several gatherings for those running for Duncan’s city council that were billed as “all-candidates” meetings have been held, with more scheduled, in a number of senior citizens homes in the community.

But Tom Ireland, a former CAO of Duncan, claims that only certain candidates, those who had similar views on many city issues, were actually invited to attend.

Ireland said that when some of the attending candidates were asked why all the candidates were not at the meetings, they were told by organizers that they “couldn’t be bothered to come”.

Ireland said that some of the candidates who weren’t specifically invited to attend but found out by other means did come to the meetings.

He said he finds the issue “unethical”.

“There is little more heinous than exploiting some of the city’s most vulnerable and easily influenced voters,” Ireland said. “It’s not right that seniors are being misled like this.”

RELATED STORY: DUNCAN CANDIDATES AIM TO IMPRESS AT EARLY-MORNING GATHERING

Peter de Verteuil, the city’s current CAO, said Duncan’s chief election officer had learned of the issue and had sent an email to all candidates for Duncan’s city council to let them know the dates and times of all-candidates meetings, none of which are being organized by the city itself.

“In the email, it was suggested that it is certainly acceptable to campaign as a group or organize a meet and greet with only some candidates, so long as it is clear to the residents and building manager that not all candidates were invited,” de Verteuil said.

Mayoral candidate Martin Barker, who asked the senior homes to host the meetings, said he is the victim of a smear campaign that is being organized by his opponents.

RELATED STORY: MARTIN BAKER RUNNING FOR MAYOR OF DUNCAN

He said that while he did set the times and the dates for the meetings at these facilities, it was not his place to let all the candidates know about them.

Martin said it was never his intention to exclude anyone from the meetings.

“Anyone can pick up a phone and discover where and when these meetings are happening, and it’s up each candidate to find out,” he said.

“I’m in the crosshairs of a smear campaign and I’m finding it difficult to defend myself. I’m wondering why people are not more focused on issues that people care about, like homelessness and housing affordability in Duncan, and the controlled substance bylaw that I’m planning to move forward, instead of this.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Chase away winter blahs at Cowichan Lake by visiting a market

Both Lake Cowichan and Honeymoon Bay are jumping at the idea

North Cowichan trail connector plans scrapped for 2019

Plans were to build a $460,000 trail connection between Stamps and Bazett Roads

Capitals drop two; Interior trip in the cards

Cowichan will face Penticton or Merritt in first round of playoffs

Unplowed Roads parody song destined to be a classic

Move over Weird Al, Island elementary students on the same level

Drugs a top priority for North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP, notes quarterly report

Drugs a priority for RCMP, notes quarterly report

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Coming up in Cowichan: Estuary fundraiser, landlord info and more

Chance for landlords to learn about their rights and responsibilities The Cowichan… Continue reading

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Missing Surrey snowshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

‘It consumed my life’: Inside the world of gaming addiction

World Health Organization classifies gaming disorder as a mental health condition

Police seize bottles of grapefruit vodka from wanted man’s snow-pants

The men were pushing two shopping carts with a woman inside

Most Read