Scheduling conflicts derail Livingstone-Macleod election forum in Pincher Creek

·2 min read

*Editor's note: This story was originally published at 3:48 p.m., Wednesday, May 17. It has been updated to correct a misspelling of UCP candidate Chelsae Petrovic's first name.

A forum for Livingstone-Macleod candidates scheduled for Wednesday evening in Pincher Creek has been cancelled after the top two contenders confirmed they weren’t coming.

Emails sent Wednesday morning to Marie Everts, who volunteered to organize the forum on behalf of the Southwest Alberta Sustainable Community Initiative, show a last-minute cancellation from the NDP’s Kevin Van Tighem and more qualified regrets from the United Conservatives’ Chelsae Petrovic, who couldn’t attend owing to a work commitment.

Van Tighem’s campaign manager Stephanie Keyowski emailed Everts at around 9:45 a.m., writing that, “... given the UCP candidate will not be present, I am afraid Kevin must decline to attend as well.”

Petrovic’s campaign manager Thane Hurlburt followed suit roughly an hour later. Petrovic, who is an ER nurse in Claresholm, was scheduled to work Wednesday night and couldn’t find another nurse to take her shift, despite her best efforts, Hurlburt wrote.

Hurlburt notified Everts late Monday afternoon that Petrovic likely wouldn’t be able to attend, but SASCI chose not to cancel the forum in hopes the candidate would find a way to come.

“When putting together a forum, you have to set a date and hope that the candidates do their best to make it,” Everts said Wednesday afternoon.

“I am saddened that we were not able to host a forum in Pincher Creek, but I’m grateful that Crowsnest Pass’s chamber of commerce will host a forum next week and that technology allows us to watch recent forums that did go ahead.”

Both candidates joined the Alberta Party’s Kevin Todd, the Independence Party’s Corrie Toone and the Alberta Liberals’ Dylin Hauser at forums earlier this week in Claresholm and High River.

Hauser informed Everts last week that he couldn’t attend the Pincher forum, owing to a long-standing prior commitment, Everts said.

The Crowsnest Pass Chamber of Commerce confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the five candidates have accepted invitations to attend the chamber’s forum on May 24.

A sixth candidate, Erik Abildgaard, will not be attending, according to the chamber.

Laurie Tritschler, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze