St. Paul’s United Church in Sidney will host an all-candidates forum Oct. 3 dedicated to the environment as part of a national campaign. Two election-related events will also take place Oct. 2 (Black Press File).

Saanich Peninsula braces for a bevy of election debates

Four debates in two days await political observers on the Peninsula

Political junkies on the Saanich Peninsula should prepare themselves for a busy 48 hours with multiple scheduled election forums.

It all starts Wednesday, Oct. 2, when the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce hosts a luncheon with the five candidates running for office in Saanich Gulf-Islands. The ticketed event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre at $55 plus GST for chamber members, $65 plus GST for non-members.

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“This speed dating style lunch will give you the chance to meet the candidates face to face and ask your questions,” reads a chamber release.

The focus then shifts to Stelly’s Secondary School, which hosts an all-candidates forum with the Central Saanich Community Association. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the forum itself running from 7 to 9 p.m.

Candidates then gather again in Sidney on Thursday evening, when St. Paul’s United Church hosts one of 100 Debates on the Environment starting at 6:30 p.m.

GreenPAC, a “non-partisan, non-profit organization working to elect and support environmental leaders of all major parties running for office,” and Équiterre, a Quebec-based non-profit, are coordinating the project, which describes itself as a “strictly non-partisan initiative focused on bringing voters together at the riding level to hear candidates’ best policy proposals for the environment.”

Friday evening the public can hear another final debate, hosted by the North Saanich Residents’ Association. The forum starts at 7 p.m. in the Presbyterian church at the corner of East Saanich and Willingdon roads. Candidates will respond toquestions posed by members of the NSRA.

All five major candidates running in the riding — incumbent Green MP Elizabeth May and that party’s leader, Liberal Ryan Windsor, Conservative David Busch, New Democratic Sabina Singh and People’s Party of Canada candidate Ron Broda — are set to attend all events.


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