Kootenay-Columbia NDP issue eight-debate challenge

The Kootenay-Columbia NDP campaign has issued a challenge to all candidates to take part in eight debates throughout the riding.

Only three out of five candidates attended the 2011 federal election debate in Revelstoke.

Only three out of five candidates attended the 2011 federal election debate in Revelstoke.

The Kootenay-Columbia NDP campaign has issued a challenge to all candidates to take part in eight debates throughout the riding.

The challenge was issue by candidate Wayne Stetski on Friday. He called for all four candidates to take part in debates in Revelstoke, Golden, Invermere, Kimberley, Cranbrook, Fernie, Creston and Nelson.

“I intend to be there, debating the current MP at every opportunity,” said Stetski in a news release. “We are all asking the people of this area to choose us to be their representative. This is a job interview, so we all have to show up.”

He also called for each campaign to appoint a representative to a committee that would organize the eight debates.

By press time, Green Party candidate Bill Green had accepted and upped the ante, proposing additional debates in Salmo, Kaslo and Crawford Bay.

“We have a very large riding with many smaller communities and we need to work to make sure that very few voters need to travel more than 30 min. to listen to and ask questions of their federal election candidates,” he said in a news release.

A campaign assistant for Liberal candidate Don Johnston said in an e-mail they would talk to the Stetski campaign about coordinating debates, though he didn’t go so far as to commit to attending eight debates.

MP David Wilks did not respond for comment on the challenge. In the 2011 election campaign he failed to show up for four of seven debates, including the one in Revelstoke.