Local debate brings exciting ideas and feuds
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
This year’s federal election is a three-way race between the Conservative Party, the New Democratic Party, and the Liberal Party, and anyone could win on election day. Many questions that may help undecided voters are answered in debates, as was seen in the riding of Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam.
Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam is one of the new names of Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam. That riding has been replaced with Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam-Port Moody. It has been held by James Moore, the Minister of Commerce, in recent years. Earlier this year, James Moore announced that he will not be running in the election this year in order to take care of his family. This means that Port Coquitlam will be electing a new MP.
This year’s candidates for Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam are Douglas Horne for the Conservative Party, Sara Norman for the NDP, Ron McKinnon for the Liberal Party, Brad Nickason for the Green Party and Lewis Clarke Dahlby for the Libertarian Party.
The All Candidates Debate took place in the Terry Fox Theater on September 29 and was moderated by Kevin Lim, a co-host of the 102.7 The Peak morning show and a Port Coquitlam native.
Candidates debated on various topics including the environment, parks and recreation, local government, post-secondary institutions, and seniors. In the opening remarks, Horne acknowledged all the great things that James Moore did in the riding despite the criticism he received from the public.
There were various mishaps throughout the debate. When Dahlby was about to run out of time talking about infrastructure, some audience members reacted to his response. Additionally, a comment he made about the environment led to an argument between all of the candidates, which eventually involved the audience. Lim said, “I feel like I’m watching Jerry Springer.”
Norman and Horne made several arguments throughout the debate. An example of this was when Horne said that the people that need affordable housing need support, and Norman connected this comment with a reference to the treatment of veterans in the country. The debate ended with the Mayor of Port Coquitlam, Greg Moore, asking the candidates if they will accept a pledge to act on various election issues. All except for Dahlby accepted the pledge.