Give a rip this time

Editorial comment suggests that anytime is a good time to show concern over what happens in the community

The Castlegar Chamber of Commerce is hosting a by-election debate for the candidates running for City Council in our fair city. It is set for Tuesday, Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Sandman Inn, 1944 Columbia Avenue.

Will the Castlegar electorate turn out for a debate involving local political candidates or will voter apathy rear its ugly head again?

The all-candidates forum held in May, for those vying for the Kootenay-West MLA seat, was abysmal. Less than one per cent of eligible voters took an interest in learning more about those who sought to represent us at the Legislature.

Is it that the collective masses feel they already know enough about these candidates? Even if one of the candidates running for a seat on council is your next-door neighbour, do you know where they officially stand on issues you care about?

“We want as many people there as possible,” said Tammy Verigin-Burk, executive director of the Castlegar Chamber of Commerce. “Even though it’s a summer night, I think a lot of people will be there. It’s creating quite a bit of interest.

“Based on how many candidates there are [currently three confirmed] and the fact that people want it, we decided to go ahead and host one.”

The format has not been finalized but it is expected to run about two hours.

One can only hope residents jump at the chance to learn more about those running. The decisions made by local politicians         directly influence day-to-day life and wallets.

Let’s see pertinent questions on important matters from more people this time.

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