By Trevor Busch
An opportunity to obtain perspective in making an informed decision, Taberites and other area residents are invited to an all candidates election forum at the Heritage Inn on Oct. 7.
The election forum is being organized by the Taber and District Chamber of Commerce and the Taber Sugar Town Sweet Talkers Toastmasters Club, as is expected to be at 7 p.m., although the time has yet to be officially determined.
Chamber president Tyrel McLelland referenced recent polls which show a tight three-way race between the federal Conservatives, Liberals and NDP.
He encouraged voters to get familiar with their local candidates rather than voting based simply on idealogical lines or party platforms.
“Especially in this election, it’s incredibly important because it’s such a close race. A lot of people seem to be decided who they’re voting for, but you really have to listen to what each candidate has to say, and ask the questions. Make the intelligent, informed decision,” said McLelland.
No longer part of the previous Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner federal riding, Taberites will be electing a new MP in a new riding, Bow River, which includes the population centres of Brooks, Bassano, Vauxhall, Strathmore and Chestermere, and lies in a north-south geographic orientation across a central area of the province.
The campaign for Bow River currently features five candidates, including Martin Shields for the CPC, Fahed Khalid for the Democratic Advancement Party of Canada, Mac Alexander for the Liberal Party of Canada, Lynn MacWilliam for the NDP, and Frans VandeStroet for the Christian Heritage Party of Canada.
The Times will update readers when other candidates have been confirmed during the campaign. The 78-day 2015 federal election is scheduled for Oct. 19.
McLelland suggested making an informed decision at the ballot box in October would help avoid a protest vote skewing results.
“My impression so far is that Canada is looking for a change in leadership, but what concerns me is you can’t vote against somebody, you have to vote for somebody, so you have to know what you’re voting for. Otherwise we’re going to get surprised like we did in the provincial election.”
No matter what your political stripes, McLelland recommended voters hear what their local candidates have to say on Oct. 7.
“I’d like to invite everybody out to come and hear what the candidates have to say, make an informed decision, and get involved.”