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No Shaw coverage for local election forum

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The four candidates vying to capture Thunder Bay-Rainy River in the Oct. 14 election will be in town tomorrow night for an all-candidates’ forum hosted by the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce.

It will begin at 7 p.m. at the Civic Centre.

Because there will be no televised coverage of the local debate by Shaw (Channel 10), Chamber of Commerce president Christine Denby is urging residents to attend in person.

“If you want to see the debate, you have to come to [council chambers],” she remarked, though adding while everyone is welcome, seating is limited.

The lack of TV coverage by Shaw is disappointing, Denby said, especially after the Chamber had been told that service to the community shouldn’t change with the recent restructuring of local programming.

“When we did approach them [Shaw], they said that the debate in Thunder Bay would be televised to this area,” noted Denby. “I don’t think it’s the same.”

The forum will feature opening remarks by each candidate (Green candidate Russ Aegard, Liberal incumbent Ken Boshcoff, Conservative candidate Richard Neumann, and John Rafferty of the NDP), followed by questions—generated by the Chamber’ membership—posed by media representatives and members of the Chamber executive.

Each candidates will have a few minutes to respond to each question, including time to respond to what other candidates have said. Candidates then will be given the chance for closing statements.

The speaking order will be chosen at random to avoid any candidate being given preference or an advantage, Denby explained.

Topics the candidates will address include Canada-U.S. relations (tourism), economic development, energy and the environment, fiscal policy, health care, and labour participation and skills development

A meet-and-greet will follow the debate, including free coffee and doughnuts.

The four local candidates also are scheduled to debate tonight (Sept. 29) at 7:30 p.m., hosted by the Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association, and then at the Legion Hall in Atikokan on Wednesday (Oct. 1) at 7 p.m.

The Thunder Bay debate is slated for next Tuesday (Oct. 7) at 7 p.m. (EDT) in the Thunder Bay Auditorium.

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