Letter: Looking forward to grilling candidates

I hope at meetings candidates will discuss the economy, leadership, security, healthcare, the environment, muzzling of federal scientists…

To the editor:

Re: Local Tory Candidates Not Afraid to Face the Public (Sept. 2, Capital News). Online version is titled: Local Conservative candidates won’t be muzzled http://www.kelownacapnews.com/news/323788141.html)

The Toronto Star story by Richard J. Brennan and Robert Benzie quoted an unnamed Conservative Party insider saying the message to Tory candidates in this campaign has been “no debates and no media.”

Both Mr. Cannan and Mr. Albas have agreed to participate in all-candidate “meetings”. But a debate is more formal than a meeting/forum, which resemble “meet-and-greet” events with few, if any, hardball questions asked of candidates.

I hope the upcoming meetings with candidates include time to discuss topics including: the economy, leadership, security, healthcare, the environment, muzzling of federal scientists, veterans, and how to engage more youth in the political process.

Phil Johnson of Radio AM 1150 has mentioned he is trying to organize one or more of all-candidate forums/debates. Perhaps these forums/debates could also be live streamed on radio, cable TV and other media platforms, so those who cannot attend can review in an online archives.

I asked Mr. Cannan four questions in an email dated Aug. 28, and did not receive a reply. Perhaps he (and Mr. Albas) can respond in an open letter to the Capital News.

Questions:

1. How do you answer the following statement: Those working in the PMO – under Mr. Harper’s direction – control the MPs.

Yes or No?

2. Have you read the book: Tragedy in the Commons: Former Members of Parliament Speak Out About Canada’s Failing Democracy (2014) by Alison Loat and Michael MacMillan?

3. Are the forums you have agreed to (so far) include questions from the audience?

4. Are you willing to participate in one or more formal debates?

David Buckna, Kelowna