The winners and the highlights at the Kamloops election forum

Candidates receive their instructions as tonight's election forum at Kamloops Convention Centre got underway.

Candidates receive their instructions as tonight’s election forum at Kamloops Convention Centre got underway.

Well, I told you there would be no knock-out punches at tonight’s KDN-CBC-sponsored election forum, but it was a whole lot of fun and even somewhat informative. Though there were no knockouts, I proclaim the winner by majority decision, on points, Terry Lake.

Here are a few highlights of the evening:

  • Terry Lake was easily the best debater, which was to be expected given his experience and natural speaking ability.
  • Tom Friedman was also strong, starting very aggressively but fading a little in the home stretch.
  • Peter Sharp’s Best Moment came when he used his previous experience on the regional health board to slam the all talk-little action Liberal record on over-crowding at RIH.
  • Kathy Kendall showed she can be articulate but she really does need to study up on the issues.
  • The always entertaining and often incomprehensible Brian Alexander got in some good one-liners, such as “I don’t think Terry, as environment minister, knows what an environment is.”
  • The Twitter feed was a great addition, though I found myself often paying more attention to the tweets on screen than the candidates on stage.
  • Thank you, Donovan Cavers, for shutting up Lake campaigner Emile Scheffel (who believes, I’m sure, that the Liberals are 100-percent responsible for the sun rising each morning) when Scheffel was dominating the Twitter debate. After an hour and 20 minutes of this, Cavers tweeted a polite request that Scheffel desist, and he did.
  • Lake’s best zinger totally shut down Dr. Jill Calder of Kamloops Physicians For a Healthy Environment, who demanded a yes or no answer to a loaded question about Ajax. “You wouldn’t do that to your patients,” said Lake. And he impressed with his defence of the Liberal handling of the Pacific Carbon Trust issue.
  • Kendall scored high on the applause meter for insisting that the Ajax assessment process needs to be better.
  • Todd Stone, as expected, took the opportunity to pin Friedman on his comment a few days ago waffling on the RIH master plan.
  • Tweeter Jeremy Reid summed things up quite nicely with, “Lively debate, few young people, partisan twitter feed, & no snacks.”
  • Several tweeters called Stone on his use of the slogan-like phrase “continue the momentum,” pointing out that Lake’s campaign slogan was “maintain the momentum” when he ran for mayor.
  • Ajax was clearly the big issue, with health care a close second.
  • Co-moderators Tim Shoults of The Daily News and Doug Herbert of CBC did a great job, keeping candidates and audience on point and on time.
  • Ed Klop, the Conservative candidate in Kamloops-North Thompson followed a spotty performance with a good close, using a “We can’t please all of the people all of the time” theme.
  • Shoults wins the Best Closing Remarks award as he thanked the candidates for the sacrifices they make in order to seek office.
  • Up until Shoults’ comments, I was leaning toward giving the Best Closing Remarks trophy to Alexander for his good cop-bad cop routine, and for plaintively asking the Liberal and NDP contingents in the audience, “Are you guys paid or what?”
About Mel Rothenburger (8573 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on The winners and the highlights at the Kamloops election forum

  1. Selena Lawrie // May 3, 2013 at 7:52 PM // Reply

    This is an interesting CBC document on Alberta government bullying physicians who speak out on health issues/advocacy.

    Physicians have no agenda other than health in speaking out for a rigorous health impact assessment on Ajax. In fact, we have much to lose in the current negative “attack” those with different views political environment.

    I look forward to a BC and Canada where we can have respectful dialogue over our differences, ideas, and concerns.

    Selena Lawrie

  2. Selena Lawrie // May 3, 2013 at 7:38 PM // Reply

    Please find information below which outlines health impact assessments. It answers who might make up these independent review panels.

    Health impact assessments are not unusual and may include an examination of the social health of a community in the context of a proposed large development. These have been done on a number of large resource based projects across Canada for some time.

    Kamloops residents deserve the highest level of independent health research and advice when it comes to the potential health effects of the proposed Ajax mine. This is part of the process and does not presume a particular outcome. We should not be afraid of an independent health impact assessment – we should welcome it as necessary information in making informed choices for the future for our community.


    HIAs can be conducted by a variety of agencies, organizations, or individuals.

    A decision-making body—such as a department of planning or transportation—

    can conduct an HIA to inform its own decision. It is also common

    for local, state, or tribal health departments to undertake an HIA to inform another

    agency’s decision-making. University researchers have conducted HIAs,

    and community-based organizations have conducted HIAs with technical assistance

    from public-health experts to inform officials who are deliberating on a

    legislative or administrative proposal. HIAs are also done by private consultants

    who are hired by a project proponent or decision-maker or by private-industry

    Because the assessment of health effects depends on an in-depth understanding

    of changes that may affect health—such as changes in traffic flow,

    roadway design, air quality, or community revenue sources—HIAs are inherently

    multidisciplinary; public-health experts may lead the effort but must draw

    on resources and expertise from other disciplines. Thus, HIA teams may include

    not only health experts but professionals in other related disciplines, such as air

    or water quality or traffic modeling. As discussed in greater depth in the section

    on scoping, it is common to convene advisory or steering committees, which can

    include both technical and policy experts and representatives from stakeholder

    groups that have an interest in the decision outcome.

    The training and credentials of HIA practitioners are variable, and there is

    no universally accepted standard for a level of training necessary to lead an HIA.

    In the United States, HIAs have commonly been undertaken by people who have

    an MPH or equivalent degree and have attended a brief (2- to 5-day) training
    session. In this report, HIA practitioner refers to the person (or people) involved

    in conducting an HIA.


    The tasks or elements that are described as part of an HIA are fairly consistent

    in the peer-reviewed literature and guides reviewed by the committee.

    The grouping of the elements in discrete stages or steps of an HIA is less consistent;

    some guides list as few as five steps, and others describe as many as nine

    (Quigley et al. 2006; Bhatia 2010; ICMM 2010). The committee selected a sixstep

    framework as a clear way to organize and describe the critical elements of

    an HIA. The steps can be described as follows:

    (1) Screening determines whether a proposal is likely to have health effects

    and whether the HIA will provide information useful to the stakeholders

    and decision-makers.

    (2) Scoping establishes the scope of health effects that will be included in

    the HIA, the populations affected, the HIA team, sources of data, methods to be
    used, and alternatives to be considered.

    (3) Assessment involves a two-step process that first describes the baseline

    health status of the affected population and then assesses potential impacts.

    (4) Recommendations suggest design alternatives that could be implemented

    to improve health or actions that could be taken to manage the health

    effects, if any, that are identified.

    (5) Reporting documents and presents the findings and recommendations

    to stakeholders and decision-makers.

    (6) Monitoring and evaluation are variably grouped and described. Monitoring

    can include monitoring of the adoption and implementation of HIA recommendations

    or monitoring of changes in health or health determinants.

    Evaluation can address the process, impact, or outcomes of an HIA.

    Selena Lawrie

  3. In regards to Lakes response to Dr. Calder, I think you are completely off base. Asking candidates if they support a health impact assessment on the Ajax mine isn’t a loaded question. Lakes response was insulting and provided no information. It certainly didn’t shut down the question asker. The format which prevented her from responding to Lakes pathetic answer did.

  4. Kerriann // May 3, 2013 at 6:52 AM // Reply

    I think the zingers should be for the other debaters. Yelling at and insulting a very respected specialist assessment who asked for a full health impact assessment (which is not being done well in the Ajax mine proposal as Terry Lake should know) was inappropriate. I can’t believe that you thought that was good. Made me feel sick. I sure didnt want to stand up and as my question after watching that. Terry Lake showed his arrogance and lack of respect for others. I thought he was horrible.

    • Alan Forseth // May 3, 2013 at 8:55 AM // Reply

      Kerriann … let me first be clear, I am a BC Conservative and I DO NOT support Terry Lake. Regardless, the incessant and never ending clamor by what must now be nearly 24 dozen group opposed to the mine, in now way strengthens the demand that it never begins operation.

      BEFORE the hysterical clamour reaches much more of a fever peak, is it possible for those of us who wish to hear the facts of the two environ reviews which MUST be done, to actually be completed?

      As was stated last night — ‘Who would make up this so-called independent review committee?” which you and others feel is your right to demand?

      It seems you and others are fully prepared to negate the work of people whose profession (in both Federal and Provincial Environment Ministries) is to independently review all aspects of any proposed mine development.

      Let’s get ALL of the fact — then let’s make an informed decision.

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