The Kootenay-Columbia Conservative Party candidate is issuing a debate challenge to all federal candidates running in the fall election.
Rob Morrison, the Tory nominee for the riding, is asking for fellow candidates to participate in a series of debates across the Kootenay region in a minimum of 12 communities.
“I have spent the last two years traveling throughout our riding, meeting with folks and hearing their stories”, said Morrison, in a news release. “They have made it clear that they want to have their voices heard before the Election. I agree with them wholeheartedly and believe that it is our duty as Candidates to make ourselves available to constituents and in their home towns. Folks should not have to travel more than 30 minutes to participate in democracy.
“Those candidates unwilling to participate in each one of these debates are signaling that they don’t value the voices of the Constituency. Kootenay-Columbians deserve better representation than that and I am committed to participating in each of these debates. Time will tell if our current MP agrees with Conservatives on this.”
Wayne Stetski, the incumbent MP for Kootenay-Columbia with the New Democrat Party (NDP), welcomed Morrison’s challenge, noting he participated in many debates around the riding during the 2015 election cycle.
“I enjoyed every one of them; absolutely they’re important to the community,” Stetski said.
Stetski said the debates should be organized by a community group, that all candidates are given a chance to represent their parties and policies and that everyone is given time to prepare for the debates.
“That’s what fairness and democracy looks like,” he added.
Wesly Graham, Morrison’s campaign manager, proposes a committee comprised of a representative from each Kootenay-Columbia candidate campaign teams, according to a news release. So far, Stetski, Morrison (Conservative Party), and Rick Stewart (People’s Party of Canada) are the only confirmed nominees for their respective parties.
“Kootenay-Columbians will be looking to make an informed decision on Election Day and these debates will provide an important opportunity to discuss the current MP’s voting record, which requires some explaining,” continued Morrison. “By planning these events well in advance there will be no excuse for Mr. Stetski to miss a single debate.”
Stewart, the PPC candidate, endorsed the proposal, and said his campaign has been in touch with Morrison’s team about coordinating the future debates.