By way of a press release, Conservative Party candidate Helena Konanz issued a challenge to all the other candidates in our riding to participate in a comprehensive set of debates that span the entire riding in the lead up to the election this fall.
Green Party candidate Tara Howse was quick to accept the challenge, as were NDP candidate Richard Cannings and Liberal candidate Connie Denesiuk.
Konanz proposed the creation of a committee that includes one representative from each campaign who can work with debate organizers from community-based groups to schedule a series of debates throughout the riding. Denesiuk expressed an opinion that the debates should be organized by the host communities as they were for the previous election, rather than having a committee of the candidates’ campaign staff organize them.
“I think that there should be a minimum of 12 debates so that everyone has the opportunity to attend one near their home.” said Konanz. Cannings pointed out that he and Denesiuk both participated in at least 20 forums before the last election.
Green Party candidate Tara Howse, of Rossland, responded: “Yes, I am up for the challenge! I will travel to hear and answer everyone’s questions, and go to local debates on my e-bike. I will cooperate, coordinate, and carpool with other candidates. It’s the Green way!
“With the Richter fire burning now, and last year’s Snowy Mountain fire and Grand Forks flooding, climate change continues to threaten our farmers, our health, and our tourism. It affects all of our families, our neighbours, and our economy. This is a time of crisis where we must set aside Party lines and come together.”
Besides being eager to debate with other candidates, Howse stated that she is actively engaged with community groups and organization to better understand the needs and opportunities within the riding. Her says that her previous work and volunteer experience has allowed her to work across many community areas of concern, such as homelessness, sustainability, economic development, and inequality.
The People’s Party of Canada candidate, Sergio Zanatta, has made no comment, so far, about taking part in debates.