Better housing, crime reduction, capitalizing on tourism and improving business relations were all hot button topics at the first Port Alberni municipal election candidates’ meet and greet, held Sept. 25 at the Italian Hall Events Centre.
Two dozen city council, mayoral and school trustee candidates set up tables and prepared their spiels for the general public, sharing their platforms and answering questions.
The two-hour event drew about 100 people with similar goals—to learn more about the 22 city council, six mayoral and 11 school trustee candidates. Not all candidates were able to make the event.
Sandy McRuer, who started the Alberni Valley Politics page a few years ago to offer a place for residents to discuss local politics, said the meet and greet gave him a better chance to meet candidates and ask them questions than a traditional all-candidates’ meeting format.
“I prefer this to the candidates’ debate where it really isn’t a debate; you get two minutes to say your piece, then people have to go away and vote for you,” McRuer said.
At the meet and greet, with two dozen candidates in the room, he said he got to approach all the candidates for whom he had questions, meet others as well as chat with their supporters.
McRuer also complimented Port Alberni-based videographer Dallas Dalziel on the video series he has done on issues facing the community.
There are several other events planned for all-candidates’ meetings and meet and greets in the next two weeks. The municipal election will take place Saturday, Oct. 20, with advance voting on Oct. 10 and Oct. 16; locally, people will vote for Port Alberni city council, the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District and six of seven School District 70 trustees (west coast communities will vote on one seat).
The Alberni Valley News will be running candidates’ profiles in our online Election section on a first come, first served basis. All candidates have been invited by e-mail to submit their profiles.