Chamber debate brings candidates to Carman

Five candidates, Aaron Archer (People Party of Canada) Candice Bergen (Progressive Conservative) Jerome Dondo (Christian Heritage Party) Beverly Eert (Green Party) and Ken Werbiski (Liberal Party) were all in attendance last week. (Aaron Wilgosh/Postmedia)

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The Carman and Community Chamber of Commerce’s All Candidates Forum drew a large crowd of people from around the riding to Carman last week as all five candidates vying for peoples’ votes in the upcoming 2019 Federal Election were in attendance to answer as many questions as possible in the time allotted.

“I was very impressed with the turn-out,” said Chamber executive director, Jodi Winkler. “150 people or so I would peg the total number of people at. I was very impressed with the people in attendance and the candidates. Scott (Johnson) did a great job of moderating the debate. The questions were well received and well answered by all the candidates. All in all, it was a great night.”

Chamber members themselves came up with three questions to ask the candidates while people in attendance were encouraged to take the time to write out questions for them as well.

“Scott, having more of a political brain, brought those questions forth and we thought they were good and well answered,” said Winkler.

The three questions posed by the Chamber were:
What is your long term view of the water in the PV and what long term measures would you plan to support?
What is your plan to make the government more efficient and decrease taxes?
Please share your ideas on increasing economic development in the riding.

“The water issue is always a big one, whether it be provincially and federally,” explained Winkler. “Our economic development and stuff like that inside of Carman as well. I was surprised at the number of questions we got from the floor. Tyler King and I were sitting at the front of the stage looking over some of the questions and combining the similar ones, or the repeating ones, and we would make the best we could out of some. A lot of those questions were very good.”

Winkler says the Chamber is thrilled to have almost 100 per cent attendance from candidates in the riding. The only candidate that didn’t make it to the debate/forum was New Democratic Party’s Cindy Friesen.

“We had some help from Carman Collegiate student Javan Neufeld (Grade 12),” added Winkler. “We needed someone there who knew what they were doing and luckily we had him because we had a couple of mic issues that he dealt with very quickly.”

Below are the questions from the audience that were asked to each candidate:
How would you define success as an MP for Portage-Lisgar?
What is your personal position on building more pipelines in Canada?
Can you provide one area of your party’s platform that you truly stand behind?
With voter turnout being close to 60% what do you propose to do to encourage higher voter turnout?
What is your strategy for addressing climate change?
Farmers are dependent on access to export markets. What will you do to allow for greater access?
What is your stance on abortion?

The Federal Election is set for October 21, 2019.