On April 29th, four local citizens groups are sponsoring a special all-candidates forum on the environment at the 5th Ave. Senior’s Centre in Salmon Arm at 7 p.m. The four groups are Shuswap Naturalists, KAIROS Salmon Arm, Shuswap Water Action Team (SWAT) and the Shuswap Environmental Action Society (SEAS).
“Everything, including the economy, is dependent on a healthy environment as we all depend on clean water, clean air, and healthy forests,” explained SEAS president Jim Cooperman, “and thus we need to find out where Shuswap MLA candidates stand on the environmental issues that are so significant in the upcoming provincial election.”
So far three of the four local candidates have confirmed their attendance at the forum. Only the BC Liberal candidate, Greg Kyllo, did not respond to the invitation.
Kyllo told the News that he’s already committed to six all-candidates meetings, and that each takes a lot of time to prepare for.
“I think we’ve touched on all the major communities and I think the right platform is through the chamber of commerce,” said Kyllo.
“There’s just so many different special interest groups, whether it’s health, tourism, logging, there’s just so many different areas, if we attend one special interest group, it’s going to be pretty hard to turn down all of the other ones that may look at hosting as well.”
Key environmental issues that will likely be covered in the forum include watershed management, agricultural pollution, pipelines, fracking, pesticides, the Site C dam, run-of-river independent power projects, forest health, environmental assessments, BC parks and the need for greening the economy.