Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce to host a virtual all-candidates forum on Oct. 13. (File photo)

Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce to host a virtual all-candidates forum on Oct. 13. (File photo)

Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce to host virtual candidates forum

Questions to be submitted beforehand

The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce is hosting a virtual candidates forum for the candidates in the upcoming provincial election for the Cowichan Valley riding.

The candidates forum will be professionally filmed on Oct. 13, and will be available on YouTube and social media on Oct. 14.

Chamber president Julie Scurr says that a snap election being called in the middle of a pandemic has created some interesting challenges for the Chamber team, who have historically hosted both federal and provincial candidates forums in Cowichan for more than 20 years.

“With only weeks until the election, it’s important that Cowichan voters have the opportunity, at least in some capacity, to engage with the candidates on issues that impact their communities,” Scurr said.

“That being said, public safety has to remain a top priority as we continue to exercise caution in the face of the coronavirus.”

To this end, the candidates forum on Oct. 13 will not be open to public attendance.

Instead, Cowichan residents are encouraged to submit questions in advance by 4 p.m. on Oct. 8.

Those who submit a question are asked to confirm whether they wish to remain anonymous or are comfortable being named in conjunction with their question.”

As in previous years, Scurr said questions will be categorized based on, but not limited to, a number of topics.

They include child care; climate change; education; housing and homelessness; indigenous matters; jobs and skills shortage; seniors; small business; taxes; transportation; and health care and social services.

Similar or duplicate questions will be consolidated to ensure a broad range of topics are addressed without unnecessary repetition.

Participating in the candidates forum for the Cowichan Valley riding are the NDP’s Rob Douglas; Green incumbent MLA Sonia Furstenau, and Liberal Tanya Kaul.

Seasoned moderator Wade Simmons, from Amber Education, returns to marshal proceedings, ensuring equal opportunities to hear from each of the candidates.

Allen Felker of VITV will be recording the forum, which will be available to view on the Chamber’s YouTube and Facebook pages on Oct. 14 ahead of advance polls, which open on the following Friday.

Questions can be emailed to manager@duncancc.bc.ca.

For more information, or if you are unable to submit your question by email, call the chamber at 250-748-1111.