Debates? Yes! — but federal candidates differ on process

Conservative candidate Helena Konanz enjoys some gelato ice cream after door-knocking in Osoyoos earlier this week.

Federal Conservative candidate Helena Konanz wants to talk issues — in as many South Okanagan-West Kootenay communities as possible.

So does her Liberal contender.

Where the two differ is in process of organizing a series of debates. Such is the first “contrast” in what will likely be a contentious federal campaign as voters go to the polls October 21.

Ms. Konanz, the Conservative candidate, is proposing the creation of a committee that includes one representative from each campaign “who can work with debate organizers from community-based groups to schedule a series of debates throughout the riding.”

“It is crucial that all candidates make themselves available to every constituent so that all voices can be heard,” said Ms. Konanz.

“We should have a full slate of debates that cover the entire riding and I am committed to attending every single one.

So is Ms. Denesiuk, it appears — she just doesn’t want to engage in the organization of local events.

“The South Okanagan-West Kootenay community groups, schools and issue-based groups have a strong tradition of organizing debates,” Connie Denesiuk said Wednesday “We expect close to two dozen. These debates have always been fair, thoughtful and well-run.

“I see no reason to hijack the process.”

Also running in the riding — which stretches from Penticton to Castlegar and north to Nakusp — are New Democrat incumbent Richard Cannings, Green Tara Howse and the People’s Party’s Sergio Zanatta.

So far, they’ve remained outside of the conversation.

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