An ArmchairMayor.ca 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.