Candidates at the reverse forum Wednesday included (L-R): Rick Stewart, Trev Miller, Robin Goldsbury, Terry Tiessen, Abra Brynne and Wayne Stetski. Andrea Wilkey of Community Futures (far right) moderated. Photo: Tyler Harper

VIDEO: Kootenay-Columbia candidates stop talking, start listening at reverse forum

Nelson at its Best hosted the event Wednesday

Kootenay-Columbia candidates had the opportunity to save their voices and work their eardrums Wednesday night.

Nelson at its Best held a reverse forum that included six of the seven candidates and a packed room of participants at the Nelson United Church.

The unique format called for attendees to discuss topics around three tables while candidates made the rounds to listen in.

George Chandler, a board member of Nelson at its Best who helped organize the event, said the reverse forum highlights local issues that might be lost in traditional debates where the focus is on party platform minutiae.

“There’s a limited opportunity for voters to speak, so we’ve reversed the forum to make this the one where candidates are coming in listening mode and they’re going to listen to a variety of topics from average every day voters who have things to say, stories to tell,” said Chandler.

Candidates included Wayne Stetski of the NDP, Robin Goldsbury of the Liberal Party, Abra Brynne of the Green Party, Rick Stewart of the People’s Party of Canada, Trev Miller of the Animal Protection Party and Libertarian nominee Terry Tiessen.

Conservative candidate Rob Morrison did not attend.

The two-hour event began with candidates circulating around tables that focused on the climate crisis, poverty and inequality, and economic development and technological disruption. Afterward, Indigenous issues and the health care system were also discussed as a group.

Attendees were asked not to direct questions to the candidates but instead to participate in group discussions on a variety of issues including: cost of living; lack of transportation options; dental health insurance; small business taxes; fossil fuel alternatives; tax bracket reform; affordable housing; transition economies; and food security.

Chandler said he believes the format helps voters feel heard.

“Sometimes they get to raise issues that are not really part of a party platform,” he said. “I mean, you get more party platforms the higher you go up. … So some people say they get a chance to raise issues that they hope will be taken into account or some takes on policies that people already have.”

It’s the second event attended by candidates ahead of the Oct. 21 federal election with the next scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 26, in Kimberley.

Nelson will host two more events before voters go to the polls. The West Kootenay EcoSociety and Citizens Climate Lobby co-host a climate change forum at the Nelson United Church on Oct. 7, and the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce is hosting a meet and greet with candidates on Oct. 10 at the Chamber’s office.

Related: Kootenay-Columbia election debate and forum roundup



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Green Party candidate Abra Brynne (centre) takes notes while attendees speak. Photo: Tyler Harper

Liberal Party candidate Robin Goldsbury hears what attendees have to say about the economy. Photo: Tyler Harper

People’s Party candidate Rick Stewart (centre) listens on during a round table focused on climate change. Photo: Tyler Harper

NDP candidate Wayne Stetski (centre left) and Libertarian candidate Terry Tiessen (centre right) pay attention to local feedback. Photo: Tyler Harper

The well-attended event packed the basement of the Nelson United Church. Photo: Tyler Harper

Just Posted

Fernie loses tough battle against Kelowna

Ghostriders sit second in Eddie Mountain Division, three points behind Kimberley

Delays at railroad crossing cause for concern

About 1870 Fernie residents are temporarily isolated when the train passes through town

Kootenay-Columbia candidates attend Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum

About 120 people attended the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum on Oct. 16 at the Prince Charles Theatre.

Fernie’s Tiny Home Hotel celebrates grand opening

Mayor Qualizza said many other communities have been asking about Fernie’s groundbreaking project

Two years later, City of Fernie remembers

Oct. 17, 2019 marks two years since the tragic ammonia leak at Fernie Memorial Arena

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read