Forum offers students opportunity to meet mayoral candidates
By Angela Espinoza, News Editor
The David Lam campus will be the venue for Douglas’ 2014 Tri-Cities All-Candidates Forum. The forum allows students, faculty, and members of the public to meet and talk one-on-one with various candidates in the upcoming Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody elections.
“It’ll be taking place in the main cafeteria [in the A-B building],” said Rodney Stehr, head of the Douglas Students’ Union Engage club. “In attendance there will be counsellors, mayoral candidates, and school board trustees running from each of the three cities.”
The purpose of the forum is to encourage students to engage in their local politics. As polls open on November 15, students are being provided with an opportunity to meet and discuss with those who could change their respective cities in the future. “The people actually get to have direct interaction with the candidates rather than just being addressed in a speech,” said Stehr.
“The format [of the evening] is that … depending on how many candidates show up … we’re going to have two candidates per table, and each table will have different themes.” Stehr stated some of the discussion themes would include affordable housing and budgets, as well as “honouring historic contributions of all cultures to our cities” and “the Riverview lands and what our visions for mental health in the different communities are.”
Students will also have an opportunity to talk with their representatives during the dialogue period, and afterwards when candidates and the public alike will be encouraged to engage with one another in conversation. The forum will provide a unique opportunity where “people can actually ask questions to individual candidates and also brainstorm with them, which is not an opportunity you normally would get. People interested in attending don’t have to be experts in their field nor are they expected to be fully versed in political affairs.”
The DSU Engage club has organized and will be hosting the forum on behalf of the college. The club offers opportunities for students to be involved with and discuss important issues in their respective communities. In a statement on the group’s Facebook page, the Engage club is described as wanting “to inspire students to become leaders who will take on the role [of] educators who … from their experiences, will redistribute their knowledge.”
The forum will run from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on November 7, and you can register online free of charge at http://goo.gl/DWvaUG