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Kamloops all-candidates forum a civil affair

Questions discussed ranged from transportation to better communication
Candidates wait to be called to the stage. (vie Brendan Kergin)

The biggest municipal campaign event before the vote happened Monday night (Oct. 15) as more than 400 people crammed into the Grand Hall at Thompson Rivers University.

They were there to hear the Kamloops This Week all-candidates forum. Both mayoral candidates attended, along with 19 of the 21 councillor candidates. With so many councillor candidates they were split into groups, facing different questions from public participants.

Despite the relatively random nature of the questions, a few themes were easily apparent as members of the public voiced concerns and candidates reaffirmed platforms. By far the five most regularly discussed issues were: communication (or lack thereof) between councillors and the voting public; affordable housing, homelessness and crime; well-paying jobs, red tape for businesses and investment; and transit.

In general (and unsurprisingly), candidates were in favour of more transit, communication, affordable housing, well-paying jobs and investment while against red tape and crime, but all spoke in general terms.

While there was only standing room by the time the forum started, many of those in attendance were affiliated for one of the candidates or another. KamloopsMatters spoke to two attendees who were unaffiliated.

Trevor Pratt, a recent arrival from Calgary, says he thought all candidates did well, echoing a sentiment most attendees had.

"A lot of the responses were good, though not all of it related to me as a young person," he says.

"I thought everyone did very well," says Sharon Jones of Aberdeen. "I think we have a lot of talented people."

Both Jones and Pratt felt that while they'd read material about candidates before the forum, they wanted more information before making their choices.

"It's the first one I've ever been to ... and I really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it." Jones says. "I wanted to see the people, I wanted to know their personalities."

"This was my way of researching what the candidates have to say," Pratt says. "It definitely helped me make choices."

For more on the municipal election, KamloopsMatters has collected all of our coverage in one place — click HERE.


Brendan Kergin

About the Author: Brendan Kergin

Brendan Kergin is a digital reporter based in Kamloops.
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