The all candidates forum in Fernie attracted a full house at the Best Western Hotel, bringing with it many questions which challenged candidates. There was such high interest from the crowd that the over-abundance in questions pushed the forum over its time limit of two-and-a-half hours.
Questions were asked in relation to the housing shortage, labour shortages, climate change, transportation, affordable housing, the most challenging issue facing youth, if each of the candidates considers themselves team players, and also questions regarding support for federal public servants, the status of the Columbia River Treaty, womens rights and more.
One question in particular, asked by Fernie’s Randal Macnair, with an answer by Abra Brynne, sparked the largest applause of the evening.
Before asking his question, Macnair commented on how many young people had attended the debate and commended them for it.
Candidates were asked if they, as the MP of Kootenay-Columbia, would support their leader if they allowed fellow MP’s to reopen the debates on women’s reproductive rights and same sex marraige.
Trev Miller said everyone deserves control over their own life. Goldsbury said that the government needs to stay out of the beds of Canadians.
Morrison said he felt like the question was directed at him but said these matters have been put to bed. Stetski said the government has no business telling people who they can love. Stewart acknowledged what others had said but said he floated in the middle and would be open to discussion.
Brynne said she would not support her leader in reopening those discussions. She said any woman and any person of any gender must have complete agency over their own bodies.
For the first 11 years of her now 26-year relationship with her partner, Brynne said they did not have the legal option to get married.
She said it is important for anyone, no matter who they love, if they choose to make a monogamous long-term commitment to that person, that they have the opportunity to celebrate that with their community under the law.
This received a standing ovation by several including Goldsbury.