Two candidates vying for the opportunity to serve as Kootenay East MLA drew the crowds to the Fernie Community Centre last night for a Fernie all-candidates forum hosted by the Fernie Chamber of Commerce.
Nearly 100 people were on hand for the first candidate forum of this election putting Liberal incumbent Bill Bennett against NDP candidate Norma Blissett.
The candidates were asked questions that had been submitted to The Free Press ahead of time. With Glen Purdy moderating, the candidates were asked their opinion on topics from the legalisation of marijuana to how they feel about Coal Bed Methane extraction in the Elk Valley.
The environment appeared to be a big concern for voters, with questions also about selenium in the Elk River, but the candidates were also asked how they plan to promote tourism, meet the skills shortage facing the region, support small businesses, take care of the seniors and enhance education.
The forum was the first of several leading up to the May 14 election date. There will be a forum in Sparwood May 7 and one in Elkford May 8.