Three events will give Alberni voters a chance to question mayoral candidates and at least meet and greet they and city council seekers as well.
The Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce is hosting a mayoral candidates forum at the Capitol Theatre on Thursday, Oct. 27, from 7–9 p.m.
Each candidate will have five minutes to make an opening address. Audience members will then have 30 seconds each to ask a question and candidates will have two minutes to answer them.
The forum was originally going to be split in order to accommodate the four mayoral and 19 city council candidates, but now only a mayoral forum is being held, Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce president Mike Carter said.
“We just couldn’t accommodate 23 people on the stage at once,” Carter said. “The night would be over after just three questions from the floor.”
Also complicating the forum is that there is a set nailed to the theatre stage that can’t be moved, Carter said.
The idea of a second council candidates forum on Friday, Oct. 28 was tossed around but the theatre wasn’t available, he added.
The chamber has hosted an all candidates forum every civic election for as long as he could remember, Carter said.
A second all candidates event is being held on Wednesday, Nov. 2, hosted by the Alberni District Secondary School Civics 11 class, in the school auditorium from 9-10 a.m.
Candidates will be asked one of six questions the students have come up with, and will have 90 seconds to answer. While the public is welcome to come and listen, this forum has been set up as part of the Civics 11 class.
A third forum – a ‘Meet and Greet’ with mayor and council candidates — will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 8 from 7–9 p.m. at the Steelworkers Hall on Montrose Street. This one has hastily been arranged by the Port Alberni District Labour Council.
Each candidate will have two minutes to address the audience after which they’ll retreat to tables set up around the hall, where they’ll answer audience questions.
A sense of duty to the public moved the labour council to organize another forum after the event at the theatre was peared down, PADLC treasurer Leslie Walerius said.
“We just had to do something so that candidates would have an opportunity to speak to the public,” Walerius said.
The hall holds approximately 125 people. “I hope we get a full house,” she said.