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Kelowna scraps policy of paying for political forums

FILE - Mayoral candidates Colin Basran and Sharon Shepherd at an all-candidates meeting during the last municipal election campaign. A long-standing policy of providing a free venue for an all-candidates forum during municipal elections has been dropped by city council, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015.
November 23, 2015 - 1:00 PM

KELOWNA - A long-standing policy of providing a free venue for an all-candidates forum during municipal elections has been dropped by city council.

Deputy city clerk Karen Needham told council today, Nov. 23, at their regular weekly morning meeting, the policy stems from 1976 when council granted a request for a grant-in-aid by the Kelowna Jaycees.

Since then, the request has been made only intermitently, Needham says, and the function is already covered by the citys existing grant-in-aid policy.

Coun. Charlie Hodge says the city should play a role in ensuring at least one all-candidates forum is held but other councillors say the city should avoid any organizational role and focus soley on providing a venue.

“The city needs to be separate from that,” Coun. Mohini Singh says.

Coun. Gail Given says the city should look at alternatives to old-style, all-candidates forums such as online and through social media.

“Participation at the forums and overall citizen engagement was very low as a percentage of our population,” she adds.

Council voted unanimously to rescind the policy.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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