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ELECTION 2015: Hundreds attend emotional debate in Kamloops

Federal candidates (left to right) Matt Greenwood, Cathy McLeod, Steve Powrie and Bill Sundhu.
October 15, 2015 - 6:58 AM

KAMLOOPS - With only a few days left until election day, an emotional crowd of about 700 came out to hear the local candidates during one of the last all-candidate forums last night.

The crowd heckled, questioned and cheered while the candidates tried to keep their composure under direct questioning and technical issues like faulty microphones.

The questions from the audience were generally thoughtful and ranged widely from Canada Post, to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to missing and murdered Aboriginal women.

One young woman approached the mic, admitting she would vote for the Green Party if she thought her vote would count. She asked McLeod about electoral reform, and why her government would only attempt to change this through referendum. McLeod responded that a decision this large could not be decided through legislation.

“Like every other bill?” the young woman interrupted.

“Let’s have a referendum on C-51 while we’re at it,” Green candidate Matt Greenwood said to the loudest cheer of the night.

One resident asked Conservative Cathy McLeod how she could represent a liar, she attempted to answer the question but was berated by the audience as she finished with shouts of 'you didn’t answer the question.' The incumbent remained composed though. 

“I’ve worked hard on your behalf and developed many millions of dollars in your riding,” McLeod said, reminding residents what she’s done since 2008.

Greenwood lost his train of thought several times but used humour while he was speaking. He called bitumen 'cancerous peanut butter,' receiving a round of giggles and cheers, and received even more cheers when he mentioned party leader Elizabeth May.

“Like others, I worry about Canada if we stay the course," Liberal Steve Powrie, who faced several technical difficulties throughout the night, said, while NDP candidate Bill Sundhu, who was was greeted by loud cheers and applause, questioned the Prime Minister's tactics. “Stephen Harper uses fear and division, but you and I know it doesn’t have to be that way.”

At one point a young man asked Powrie why he bothered to run knowing that he had no chance of winning, which elicited boos and taunts from the crowd.

“I have one word; democracy.” Powrie responded.

The candidates will meet for the final time this morning, Oct. 15, at the Plaza Hotel at 9 a.m.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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