It’s time to meet your candidates for the next federal election Sept. 20.
Well, at least meet them in a virtual sense. Social distancing has infiltrated the latest version of a Canadian federal election and there have yet to be any in-person forums or gatherings during this fourth wave campaign.
But there are a few online offerings in which people in the Kootenay-Columbia riding — which includes Nelson, Creston, Salmo, Kaslo and most of the RDCK — can get a sense of what mettle the candidates are made of.
The candidates currently include a roster of five:
• Rob Morrison - Conservative Party (https://voterobmorrison.ca/about/);
• Wayne Stetski - New Democratic Party (https://www.facebook.com/Stetski/);
• Robin Goldsbury – Liberal Party (https://www.robingoldsbury.ca/);
• Rana Nelson – Green Party (https://www.greenparty.ca/en/riding/2013-59015); and
• Sarah Bennett, People’s Party of Canada (https://kootenayppc.ca/kootenay-columbia-ppc-candidate-sarah-bennett/)
On Sept. 8 (6 p.m.) Fridays for Future Nelson area and GreenPAC will be hosting an Elections Forum and the climate emergency online for the Kootenay-Columbia. Questions will be coming in advance from organizations across the riding.
• You can set a reminder for when the forums go live at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJlMz5B5FjzV9-M8zBiCFMw
As well, the same folks will be staging South Okanagan-West Kootenay (Sept. 7, 6 p.m.) forum on the same theme for those in Castlegar and parts of the RDCK.
Through the efforts of some East Kootenay chamber of commerce’s the Kootenay-Columbia candidates gather again online, but in a closed format.
On Sept. 9 local media in Cranbrook and Kimberley will grill the candidates and the result will be recorded and posted online on chamber websites and social media sites.
Questions for the candidates are to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by Aug. 31 at 11:59 p.m.
The only other offering for the Kootenay-Columbia candidates so far will be another virtual event on Sept. 10 (5 p.m.) where people can hear from the five candidates.
The forum — hosted by Black Press media — will be online live at https://www.facebook.com/events/270603887916968/.
Currently, the traditional host of a federal election forum — the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce — has not announced any event prior to the election. In the last federal election in 2019, Nelson at its Best hosted an all-candidates forum, but has not confirmed an online version this time around.
This story will be updated if, and when, any other election-related forums are announced.
The area known as the Kootenay-Columbia constituency was created in 1996, pieced together with parts of the Kootenay East and Kootenay West-Revelstoke ridings.
Seven years later it welcomed the addition of a small part of the Kootenay-Boundary-Okanagan riding, with a further adjustment coming in 2012 during the federal electoral boundaries redistribution.
That move inserted Nelson, Salmo and Kaslo into the Kootenay-Columbia mix — moving over from the Southern Interior — while Nakusp joined the newly formed South Okanagan-West Kootenay and the Needles area were handed over to the North Okanagan-Shuswap.
Those boundaries were used when the writ was dropped in the 2015 federal election.
The riding contains:
• the Regional District of East Kootenay;
• Kaslo, Salmo, Creston and Nelson;
• RDCK areas of A, B, C, D, E, F and G;
• Creston Indian Reserve No. 1; and
• Revelstoke, Golden, subdivisions A and B, Tobacco Plains Indian Reserve No. 2.
Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Nelson Daily