The Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding candidates.

Chemainus Residents Association plans all-candidates forum

Citizen questions will formulate the agenda

The Chemainus Residents Association plans to hold an all-candidates forum for the Nanaimo-North Cowichan leading up to the Oct. 24 provincial election, Communications Committee Chair Craig Spence said Monday.

“Although the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to change how we bring candidates and voters together, the objective will be the same — to help citizens in our area make informed choices on election day.”

Instead of a panel debate in front of a live audience, the CRA has opted for an online forum that will become a resource voters can go to when they want to find out the positions taken by the three Nanaimo-North Cowichan candidates: Chris Istace (Green); Don (Duck) Paterson (Liberal) and Doug Routley (NDP).

“The way we’re looking at it, it doesn’t occur on one day,” explained the CRA’s Bernie Jones. “We’re going to be reaching out and get questions to be asked.”

Starting as early as Oct. 9, the forum will be open for citizens to send in questions via an online form which can be accessed from the ChemainusResidents.ca website. Their questions will be added to a running list for Nanaimo-North Cowichan.

“One of the main benefits of all-candidate meetings at the riding level is they give people a chance to air regional as well as provincial issues in coming to a decision on who they want to support,” Spence said. “By inviting public input, we are better able to bring local concerns into the debate.”

Candidates will be notified as questions are asked, and will have their own space in the forum where their responses can be posted.

“Over the course of the election, voters will be able to check in and get a more complete idea of where the candidates stand on the issues that are important to them,” Spence said. “They may also learn from the ongoing discussion about topics and perspectives they hadn’t considered.”

COVID-19 is forcing community organizations like the CRA to rethink many of the things they do, and in some cases they are discovering new possibilities. On the one hand, people like the ‘up close and personal’ drama of a live debate; on the other, they may find value in a comprehensive and accessible forum format.

“The pandemic is forcing us to try out a very different approach,” Spence said. “We hope voters and candidates will appreciate it, and who knows, it may become a part of our election coverage in the future, even after a vaccine for COVID-19 has been discovered.”

—Craig Spence, www.craigspencewritewr.ca, with Don Bodger.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Doug Routley meets and greets young and old alike on the campaign trail for the NDP in Chemainus. (Photo submitted)

BC Green Party candidate Chris Istace hits the road and the ferry to Gabriola Island on the campaign trail. (Photo submitted)

Nanaimo-North Cowichan Liberal candidate Duck Paterson at work at Mysty Valley Farm, putting in a day seeding while also working on his campaign for the pending provincial election. Paterson counts more than 50 years of community volunteering service and 30-plus years as a councillor for the Town of Ladysmith among his assets for election. (Photo submitted)

Chris Istace talks with residents at the Gabriola Island Farmers’ Market while campaigning in the Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding. (Photo submitted)

Downtown Chemainus mural provides the backdrop for Doug Routley to do some elbow-bumping amid campaigning in the Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor has expressed concerns about the excessive freighters parked in the Salish Sea for quite some time. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address problem freighter anchorages

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

The Cowichan Fury’s Conor Williams steals the ball from a JDF Kings player during Saturday’s Div. 3 match at the Sherman Road turf. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Fury play to another tie on the road

Tolfo and Smith each score two for Div. 3 team

Halloween will be different this year but the CVRD and volunteers are working hard to make it special. (CVRD photo)
Youbou Halloween festivities a go, but digitally

Swing by the Hall to add to your haul

The Cowichan Bulldogs’ Ben Wilson runs the 40-yard dash during the Vancouver Island football combine at McAdam Park on Oct. 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Island football players meet in Cowichan for combine

48 players test their skills in bid for provincial programs

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Campbell River's new hospital, July 2018
Nurse diverts opiates and falsifies records at Campbell River Hospital

Nurse facing disciplinary action for moving opiates out of the hospital

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

Most Read