Esquimalt’s council candidates and acclaimed mayor will be in the spotlight at an upcoming all-candidates’ meeting, jointly organized by the Esquimalt Residents Association and the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce.
“I look at this as an opportunity to listen to the people who are going to govern our municipality for the next three years,” said Bruce Cuthbert, a director with the Esquimalt Residents Association. “It’s kind of like a job interview.”
Though it’s too early to tell what kind of turnout the event will attract, it was standing room only during the last civic election, also held at the Esquimalt High School’s theatre, which seats 250 people.
Residents are asked to submit questions before the meeting, due to time constraints and to give candidates more time to do their homework on the issues in advance.
“I thought that might help engage people,” Cuthbert said.
Residents and business owners are asked to send in their top three to five issues, with a brief question on each. The most popular will be asked at the meeting.
Suggested issues include the official community plan, development, image, accountability and transparency in governance, policing, infrastructure, regional issues such as sewage treatment, social issues such as secondary suites and community well-being, transportation such as light-rail transit, bike lanes and taxation, among other topics.
Each candidate will have two minutes to respond to questions posed by a mediator, who has not yet been selected.
Community organizations and high school leadership groups are also encouraged to provide questions.
“When you get the kids involved, they take it home,” Cuthbert said. “We need people to understand who they’re going to vote for.”
The all-candidates meeting is scheduled for Nov. 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Esquimalt High School theatre, 847 Colville Rd. Questions can be submitted by Oct. 28 at noon by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.