CENTRAL OKANAGAN - Several businesses and organizations in the new Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola electoral district are making it possible for voters to meet the candidates who want to represent them in Ottawa.
The new riding includes all of West Kelowna, Summerland, Princeton, Keremeos, Logan Lake, Merritt and Peachland and the majority of Kelowna excluding downtown, the North End, Rutland, Glenmore, Black Mountain, East and South Kelowna and the Mission. Residents around the Springfield-Spring Valley area will want to check their postal code to be sure which riding they are in.
The candidates include incumbent Conservative Dan Albas, Liberal Karley Scott, Green Party Robert Mellalieu and NDP Angelique Wood.
The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has released candidates’ answers to key business questions on their website, but many other groups will provide pulpits for the candidates and microphones for the voters.
Attendance for each of the candidates is optional at all public forums.
The next public forum is Wednesday, Sept. 23, at the Peachland Chamber of Commerce on Sixth Street. All four candidates have confirmed, according to this website, and will take questions from the public from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
The Okanagan Young Professionals Collective has organized an all candidates meet and greet at BNA from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The biggest forum of the election will take place at Manteo Resort Sept. 25. Hosted by the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, this all-candidates forum will be broadcast live on AM1150. It starts at 7:30 p.m.
And on Saturday, Sept. 26, the West Kelowna Arts Council will host a forum at The Heritage Retirement Residence from 2 to 4 p.m. Tickets for this forum are free but should be reserved ahead of time at this website.
The National Association of Federal Retirees and the Central Okanagan Retired Teachers` Association are holding a public forum at the Mary Irwin Theatre Sept. 29. Hosted by Chris Walker of CBC Daybreak South, the forum runs from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. Candidates from both Kelowna ridings will be present. You can reserve your free tickets at this website.
October kicks off with the Summerland all candidate forum on Oct. 5. It takes place at Summerland Middle School from 10 a.m. to noon. The Summerland Chamber of Commerce is holding a forum later that day from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
This information will be updated in the coming weeks as more forums are announced.
The 42nd General Election takes place Monday, Oct. 19, with advanced voting held Oct. 9, 10, 11 and 12.
Elections Canada hasn’t yet announced where the polling stations will be, but information will be on voter information cards, which will be delivered by Oct. 1.
You don’t have to register beforehand to vote, but doing so can save time and ensure a speedy process. Elections Canada has information on acceptable ID and how to register.
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