Chamber of Commerce all-candidates forums planning committee members Diana French

Chamber of Commerce all-candidates forums planning committee members Diana French

Chamber presents all-candiate forums

The Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce will host two all-candidate forums.

The Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce will host two all-candidate forums.

One for councillors on Monday, Oct. 27, which is free and will be held at the Gibraltar Room from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The second one, which will be for mayoral candidates, will be held Tuesday, Oct. 28, at the Pioneer Complex for a luncheon at 11:30 a.m.

The mayoral forum costs $20 each to cover the cost of the food and venue, explainedchamber director Scott Durward who is chairing the forums’ organizing committee.

“Traditionally the chamber has had a lunch forum for mayoral candidates,” he said.

“It’s for our chamber members, but is also open to the public.”

The committee has been soliciting questions for the candidates from chamber members and working with the Social Planning Committee and the BC Northern Real Estate Board to plan both forums.

“So far we’ve received 50 questions and are expecting more,” Durward said.

The format of the councillor forum will see all 12 candidates participating.

Each of them will be given two minutes to introduce themselves, and answer two questions as if they were being interviewed for a job.

Questions received beforehand will be sorted into various issues — economic, taxation and social, for example — and then names of councillors will be randomly drawn to answer a randomly drawn question.

The forum will close with an opportunity for each candidate to make a closing statement.

“We won’t have time for an open mic so we encourage the public to send us their questions. They might not hear their exact question asked but at least one that is close to theirs,” Durward suggested.

Responding to criticisms that the mayors’ forum is a paid event, Durward said it’s always been tradition and maybe in the future the chamber will revisit that.

“This is just one event,” he reminded. “People are more than welcome to organize something else and I am sure that the chamber would support them.”

The chamber has also been questioned about the fact it’s working with the Social Planning Council to organize the forums, however, Durward said while the chamber’s primary goal is to represent its members social and livability issues are very important for the health of the entire community, including businesses.

Tickets for the mayors’ lunch forum will be sold in advance because space is limited to 100 seats.

Please RSVP by Friday, Oct. 24 by phone 250-392-5025 or by e-mail to visitors@telus.net.

Questions for candidates can also be directed to the same phone number and e-mail.

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