School District 69 candidate’s forum

Around 80 people attended a forum for school board candidates in Qualicum Beach on Thursday.

School trustee candidates in District 69 (Qualicum) faced a mostly-empty civic center Thursday night.

School trustee candidates in District 69 (Qualicum) faced a mostly-empty civic center Thursday night.

Around 80 people attended a forum for school board candidates in Qualicum Beach on Thursday.

Nine of the 11 candidates  for the five trustee positions attended the public forum in the civic centre’s big room, making the audience look empty.

The candidates gave opening and closing statements and about 15 questions where asked from the audience, many answered by each candidate.

A number of the questions and statements revolved around the fears of school closures first sparked by a facilities report introduces a year ago in the same room.

All candidates spoke passionately throughout the evening for the need to keep all the schools and for the board to be more transparent about those kind of decisions.

Throughout the evening the candidates spoke of their backgrounds and depth of experience in the district, ranging from people like Bruce Cownden, the only incumbent, and Barry Kurland who taught in the district for decades from 1973 to Willow Bloomquist.

“Please don’t discount my youth, I can totally do this,” plead Bloomquist who attended Kwalikum Secondary and, at 31, is the youngest candidate.

A team of candidates from the Oceanside Communities for Quality Education (OCQE) spoke well of the group and their fellow candidates.

“I’m proud of the OCQE group,” said Lynnette Kershaw who highlighted successes the group that was formed in response to school closure fears, including being recognized by Premier Christie Clark, organizing a forum and meeting with the minister of education.

Of the candidates who didn’t attend, incumbent Bill Preston sent his regrets that he was out of town. Incumbent Eve Flynn later told The News she didn’t receive her invitation.

– For more check out Tuesday’s edition of The News.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
Baseball community mourns death of legendary Parksville Royals coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

Remains of the scene off Melrose Road in Whiskey Creek where three bodies were found on Nov. 1, 2020. (Mandy Moraes photo)
RCMP investigation continues into grisly discovery of 3 human bodies, 4 dead dogs near Whiskey Creek

Police still want to speak with motorist who picked up hitchhikers near scene on Nov. 1

An man from Errington died when his ATV went over an embankment on Northwest Bay Logging Road on the weekend. (File photo)
Errington man dies in ATV crash southwest of Parksville

Incident happened on Northwest Bay Logging Road on Saturday afternoon

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Most Read