Some highlights from the heated Kamloops candidate forum - InfoNews

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Some highlights from the heated Kamloops candidate forum

Liberal candidate Terry Lake answered questions about the electoral reform, with one audience member correcting him on the number of referendums that have occurred on the topic.
October 09, 2019 - 4:02 PM

KAMLOOPS - All seven of the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding candidates met last night at the Thompson Rivers University Grand Hall for a somewhat rowdy forum.

Candidates were asked questions by members of the audience and were allowed to speak until the main podium went from green to red. Questions ranged from the candidates' personal behaviours to reduce their carbon footprint, tuition reduction, First Nation reconciliation, veteran affairs funding, local job creation, and the proposed Performing Arts Centre.

Liberal Terry Lake focused on the moves he’s made within the community while working in his previous roles.

“What have I brought to Kamloops? Not a cancer clinic, but a $500 million new hospital here in Kamloops,” Lake answered. “I think that’s pretty significant and I want to do more of that.”

Other candidates who answered questions on how to create or keep jobs in the local economy had various solutions.

“When a factory is about to close, the workers should be given the legal opportunity to take that factory over and run it as a cooperative worker-run worksite,” Communist Party of Canada candidate Peter Kerek said, referencing the mill closures at Vavenby and Lumby.

Green candidate Iain Currie and Kira Cheeseborough of the Animal Protection Party suggested that shifting to a green economy could help to create new jobs in the area, although Lake suggested that transition could hurt local workers. Conservative Party incumbent Cathy McLeod suggested that there needs to be a focus and investment in the natural resource industry and the technologies associated with it.

Some of the other questions focused on the candidates' personal efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and how the candidates include people of diversity and different socio-economic backgrounds in their lives.

Ken Finlayson of the People's Party of Canada was the first to answer, and his belief that climate change is a hoax influenced his short answer.

“With all due respect - what I do to reduce my carbon footprint, you might have guessed,” he said, getting a laugh from the audience. For what he's doing to connect with people of other backgrounds? He says he is simply running for office.

NDP candidate Cynthia Egli noted that it was her 15th day on the campaign trail, and had to defer some of the questions her way to her campaign manager.
NDP candidate Cynthia Egli noted that it was her 15th day on the campaign trail, and had to defer some of the questions her way to her campaign manager.

Other candidates answered the climate questions with a varying array of their personal efforts.

Currie and Lake both drive electric cars and prioritize walking, while others like Kerek and NDP candidate Cynthia Egli credit cutting down household electricity use as their main contribution. McLeod says that she grew up with the first solar panels in the 70s, and referenced how her father would keep the heat down and lights off. There was no mention of how she continues to reduce her footprint other than by walking in cities like Ottawa. Cheeseborough references her veganism and abstaining from children as her methods.

One thing all of the candidates could agree on is the issue faced by veterans waiting for help from Veterans Affairs, as well as poverty faced by seniors. All agreed that more attention needs to be focused on those groups.

Members of the audience lined up to ask either one or all of the candidates a question.
Members of the audience lined up to ask either one or all of the candidates a question.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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