EDITORIAL – Maybe after election writ is dropped, Liberals will attend candidates’ forums

Candidate Peter Kerek (left) speaks at forum, as other candidates listen. (Facebook)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

LIBERAL CANDIDATES were missing in action again at a forum at Thompson Rivers University last Thursday. Everybody else was there.

Green party candidates Donovan Cavers and Dan Hines attended. So did Barb Nederpel and Nancy Bepple of the NDP and Peter Kerek and Beat Klossner of the Communist Party.

The only no-shows were Peter Milobar and Todd Stone of the Liberals. They declined an invitation from TRU International Days, pleading “scheduling conflicts and prior commitments.”

Let’s be fair, though. I don’t know what prior commitments the mayor had that night, but the Legislature is still in session, and Stone has to be there. The Ledge takes a break for weekends after wrapping up Thursday sessions so that MLAs can head home — that’s why so many official functions that need to be attended by MLAs in their constituencies happen on Fridays.

It’s a bit of a grind getting from Victoria to Kamloops by air, requiring a stop-over in Vancouver, and Stone and Terry Lake often don’t make it home until late evening Thursday at the soonest.

So Stone, at the least, can’t be faulted. The absence of the Liberal candidates, however, does fit with what could soon shape up to be a familiar trend. As noted earlier in this space, Milobar and Stone did not attend a forum in February, either. That one was on Friday night; the subject matter was air quality and other environmental issues.

This past Thursday’s forum, hosted by TRU International Days along with the TRU Political Science Club and the B.C. Council for International Cooperation, asked candidates to share their vision on broad issues but also how they align with the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“This forum will touch on relevant issues that are impacting the people of the City of Kamloops (and surrounding regions), tying back to the Global Goals and learning how our candidates are going to implement the SDG’s if elected,” the notices said. Worth talking about.

Too bad the Liberals couldn’t make it. When the election writ is dropped on April 11, the Lieutenant Governor will dissolve the Legislative Assembly and the MLAs who are running again will become simply candidates, free to fight the good fight. And, Milobar will begin his leave from his City Hall job.

Maybe then we can look forward to a full slate of candidates at forums.

About Mel Rothenburger (5785 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.

6 Comments on EDITORIAL – Maybe after election writ is dropped, Liberals will attend candidates’ forums

  1. Missing this forum to attend a retirement dinner for city staff is not an acceptable excuse. The mayor can send the Deputy Mayor, any councilor or even an assistant in his place. I can’t ever recall Mr. Milobar attending a single Day of Mourning ceremony held in Kamloops to remember all workers who have died or been injured on the job in Kamloops, and around the world, although sometimes he asked someone else to attend on his behalf. And the DoM carries far greater significance for the working people of Kamloops than does any retirement shin-dig.

    It’s likely that even the retiring workers would have preferred Mr. Milobar attend the forum rather than use their event as an excuse to avoid facing the public and other candidates.

    Really though, does anyone expect Christy’s corporate cronies to be looking for opportunities to take on their political foes in public arenas? Expect a lot of staged events, photo-ops, press releases, statements – the usual tactics to avoid accountability while appearing accessible.

  2. FYI,Peter Milobar provided organizers of the forum with a legitimate excuse for his absence- he had a function to honour retired employees of the city. If anything, I think this demonstrates his ongoning commitment to the citizens of Kamloops.

  3. A quick peruse of Mr. Milobar’s twitter feed, or most of the Kamloops City council members respective accounts, will clearly show he was at a City of Kamloops staff retirement dinner.

    A perfectly reasonable reason to not be at this debate.
    But maybe that’s not scandalous enough?

    Try the headline, green candidate neglects his duties as city councillor by ducking out of appreciation event to campaign provincially.

    Another lazily researched one-sided “article” by Mr. Rothenburger.

  4. Each forum could be looked upon as a job interview.
    Enough said.

  5. If Milobar is showing this kind of arrogance now, just imagine what will happen if he is elected. That he thinks so little of his constituents is pathetic. Stone at least has a good excuse, and gets a pass, but Milobar has no excuse at all.

  6. One of the many reasons he does not deserve to be elected.

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