Top contenders in Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola take a pass on environmental forum | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Top contenders in Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola take a pass on environmental forum

Climate strike protestors gathered at Kelowna city hall, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019.
September 27, 2019 - 5:30 PM

KELOWNA - While thousands of people across Canada have staged climate strikes, federal candidates from both major political parties will be no-shows at an environmental forum in Peachland next week.

There were about 400 people striking at Kelowna City Hall today, Sept. 27, in the final of three local climate strikes, only blocks away from the Kelowna portion of the Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola riding.

Both Dan Albas, the Conservative elected as MP for that riding in 2015, and his Liberal rival, Mary Ann Murphy, have prior commitments and won’t attend the Oct. 3 forum in Peachland.

That event is part of the 100 Debates on the Environment campaign being organized by GreenPAC. Similar events are scheduled the same day for Kelowna-Lake Country.

A poll by Abacus Data this past summer showed climate change as third on the list of issues that matter most to voters.

“This is the first time that climate change has occupied such a central place in the public debate,” Abacus’ web page states.

The cost of living and healthcare ranks one and two while taxes and housing affordability are just behind climate change as a priority.

Albas’ prior commitment was to attend the 60th Anniversary of the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club, his campaign manager Rob Murphy said in an email.

Murphy’s campaign manager, Crystal Wariach, said Murphy had committed to two meetings and had a family event that day.

Candidates from four other parties have agreed to attend. They are NDP's Joan Phillip, the Green Party's Robert Mellalieu, Allan Duncan with the People's Party and the Marijuana Party's Brynn Jones.

The Peachland event is in the Peachland Community Centre starting at 6 p.m.

Both Albas and Murphy are expected to attend the Peachland Chamber of Commerce forum on Monday, Sept. 30 in the hall at 6 p.m.

The Kelowna-Lake Country forum is at UBCO at 7 p.m.


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