Tracy Hughes, Salmon Arm Observer editor

Column: Hunting for votes

It’s election season and it’s going to be a short one

’Tis the season.

No, not spring, although some people may be thinking of just calling it the rainy season this year.

It’s election season and it’s going to be a short one, with just three weeks to go until the May 9 vote.

The Shuswap riding has three confirmed candidates: Kevin Babcock for the BC Green Party, Greg Kyllo for the BC Liberals and Sylvia Lindgren for the BC NDP.

With a much smaller field than say, the municipal election, where dozens of candidates vie for city council, CSRD and the school board, the provincial election provides voters a chance to get to know the candidate’s thoughts on a number of issues from the economy, to health care, education and infrastructure.

We hope candidates will go beyond platitudes and generic talking points, and offer the voters of the region some concrete goals they plan to achieve for this constituency.

One such opportunity is the chamber of commerce-sponsored All Candidates Forum, which is being held April 24 at the SASCU Recreation Centre auditorium beginning at 6 p.m. and running until 8:30 p.m.

Questions for the forum must be submitted in advance to www.sachamber.bc.ca by April 19. All three candidates are confirmed to be in attendance.

Another chance is a forum, tonight, at 7 p.m. at the First United Church. Four local citizens groups are sponsoring this all-candidates forum with a focus on the environment.

The four groups, Wetlands Alliance (WA:TER), KAIROS Salmon Arm, Shuswap Water Action Team (SWAT) and the Shuswap Environmental Action Society (SEAS), believe that a special forum is needed because there is often little time to cover important environmental issues at the community forums.

Kyllo has already turned down the invitation, but Lindgren and Babcock are both confirmed.

Another addition to the candidate’s agendas is a forum on Wednesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. at the Fifth Avenue Seniors Centre.

Two more forums are planned in the region including one on Tuesday, April 25 at 6 p.m at the Enderby Seniors Complex and another Thursday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Sorrento Hall.

The Observer is also giving the candidates some space to share their views with readers. This week, we feature a brief biography of the candidates along with why they chose to run and what they see as the most pressing issues in the riding.

Over the next two weeks, we will be asking a couple of questions of our own so that readers can compare the answers from each candidate. We will also be running some candidate video clips on our website at www.saobserver.net.