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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Revelstoke Rotary Club celebrates over 90 years of service

Globally, there are over 1 million Rotary members

UPDATE: Revelstoke City Council gives themselves a raise, councillor resigns in protest

The mayor’s pay is set to go from $30,000 to $60,000 over three years

Highway 1 closed near Golden

DriveBC estimates the road to reopen at 1 p.m.

Rain for Revelstoke

Temperature hovering around zero for today

UBCO students raise funds for those affected by Philippine volcano eruption

All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Empty speedboat sinks off Kelowna shore on Okanagan Lake

This is the third report of a boat found in the lake in the past two weeks

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Kelowna General Hospital takes steps to prevent spread of coronavirus

So far, at least six people have died and 275 people have contracted the virus worldwide

Pumphouse project puts North Okanagan taps back on Kal

The capital project at the Kal Lake Pump House to make it flood-resistant is near completion

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

Most Read