The three candidates for the Columbia-River Revelstoke riding faced off in an election forum last night.
The event was hosted by the Revelstoke Review and sponsored by the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce.
General voting day is Saturday Oct. 24. Ballots can be cast in Revelstoke at the community centre.
Here are some summaries of candidates’ answers to specific questions.
What do you think is the main issue facing Revelstoke?
Samson Boyer, B.C. Greens: There are a number of problems facing Revelstoke. The loudest is affordability.
Nicole Cherlot, B.C. NDP: Affordability is one of the biggest challenges.
Doug Clovechok, B.C. Liberal Party: Housing is the number one issue.
In 2019, Revelstoke had the third highest living wage requirement in the province. How would you make Revelstoke more affordable?
Doug Clovechok, B.C. Liberal Party: Make sure people have the ability to make a decent living. The Liberal’s plan to cut two per cent from income tax for small businesses will let businesses hire more people and pay employees more.
Nicole Cherlot, B.C. NDP: Last year, the living wage dropped for the first time due to investments in childcare. We need to improve transit and further improve childcare.
Samson Boyer, B.C. Greens: One thing learned during the pandemic is that minimum wage jobs are essential workers, such as grocery store staff. I would like to tie the minimum wage to the living wage.
Revelstoke has an outdated land use management plan for development and environmental protection. Would you push for the development of a new plan? If so, how?
Nicole Cherlot, B.C. NDP: Mt. Begbie is the hot button topic. We need a broader policy in place to know what our values are and what we stand for. The new plan needs to be led and developed by the community.
Samson Boyer, B.C. Greens: It’s really sad that Revelstoke doesn’t have a comprehensive land use plan. We have a lack of environment planning. There is no real protection for endangered species. I would speak with city council, Rotary Club, Hiker’s Club. It needs to be a community based plan.
Doug Clovechok, B.C. Liberal Party: We have got to bring people together from all walks of life, from sledders to berry pickers. I presented a petition on Mt. Begbie to the legislature and wrote a letter to Minister Donaldson to examine the issue. The provincial government said they were too busy and maybe they would look at it in the future. That’s not a good enough answer.
COVID-19 has devastated the tourism economy and created a lot of uncertainty. Since Revelstoke is a resort community and largely dependent on visitor dollars, what you you do to help our local economy?
Nicole Cherlot, B.C. NDP: Rubber tire traffic is still coming to Revelstoke. Maybe we’re not as busy, but we’re still busy. The big challenge is the lack of staff. If staff can’t afford to live here, it’s hard to run a business. We need to help solve staff housing challenges.
Samson Boyer, B.C. Greens: We need to support our workers and them to have a living wage. As terrible as its been with COVID-19, the pandemic has shown that we can change the way we do things rapidly and quickly. We are facing a climate change crisis. Workers should be able to get to their job on renewable energy. B.C. Green also has a rent subsidy planned for small businesses.
Doug Clovechok, B.C. Liberal Party: Tourism is the hardest hit sector. We have to make up for the lack of international travellers. The Liberals plan to create regional tourism hubs. Provide business loans and eliminate PST for one year. We also plan to bring back the rural dividend fund.