Signs promoting Parksville-Qualicum MLA candidates Sue Powell, Glenn Sollitt and Michelle Stilwell are lined up between Highway 19A and Northwest Bay Road in south Parksville. — J.R. Rardon photo

All-candidates meeting set for April 25

Provincial MLA hopefuls to answer questions at Parksville community centre

The three major-party candidates for the office of MLA for Parksville-Qualicum will square off in an all-candidates meeting Tuesday, April 25, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre.

NDP candidate Sue Powell, Green Party candidate Glenn Sollitt and Liberal Party candidate Michelle Stilwell, who is seeking re-election, will answer questions from the public between opening and closing statements. Terry Hand, running for the Refederation Party, is the fourth local candidate in the race in the provincial election, which will take place May 9.

Tuesday’s Provincial All-Candidates Meeting is co-sponsored by the Parksville &District Chamber of Commerce, the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and the Parksville Qualicum Beach News.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and candidates will meet onstage at 6:45 p.m. The meeting will be called to order at 7 p.m. with Matt Breedlove serving as moderator and the Toastmasters Club providing the official timer.

Each candidate will be allowed a maximum of four minutes for an initial address. Speaking order will be determined by a numerical draw.

Questions will be accepted from the floor – both verbal and written. Paper will be provided for written questions. Once completed, individuals will fold the paper and pass it to a designated person, who will then deliver the questions to a panel who will sort the questions for duplication and then give to the moderator. Questioners should address their question to specific candidates.

Candidates will have one minute to respond to each question. Thirty-second rebuttals will be accommodated by the other candidates.

Questions and answers are to conclude by 8:30 p.m. and will be followed by two-minute closing statements from each candidate.

Inside the meeting room there are no political activities permitted, such as handouts, banners, posters, rallies, promotional events, etc.

The local all-candidates meeting comes one day before a televised party leaders debate, scheduled for April 26.

Powell and Sollitt appeared with other Nanaimo-area NDP and Green candidates Tuesday at an all-candidates meeting hosted by the Nanaimo District Teachers’ Union, but the Liberal Party declined invitations, the Nanaimo News Bulletin reported.

Following the April 25 meeting in Parksville, the local candidates are scheduled to participate in another all-candidates meeting for students at Kwalikum Secondary School April 26. They will then go on to visit with Ballenas Secondary students in Parksville prior to the school’s mock vote April 27, said Sollitt.