Everything from the need for a highway bypass around Vernon — to how to combat drug addiction — were brought up at a forum for the Vernon Monashee candidates.
About 300 people were on hand for the event at the Performing Arts Centre Wednesday night.
NDP candidate Barry Dorval took Liberal Eric Foster to task about his claims of bringing in funding for two new schools.
“The facts are the facts. (Former Liberal MLA) Tom Christensen made the announcement and talked about the funding for VSS and for Coldstream. I’m not sure why he continues to want to claim credit for it,” Dorval told Kiss FM after the forum.
Photo: Barry Dorval of the NDP (left) and Eric Foster of the Liberals at the PAC forum (Pete McIntyre photo)
Foster says he has no problem taking some of the credit for the new schools.
“The schools weren’t started when I got elected, so I made sure that the funding didn’t get moved to something else. I made sure those schools got built,” Foster told Kiss FM.
The most audible jeers came when Foster was asked what he accomplished in the last four years, and he replied, among other things, getting the new hospital tower built.
“Maybe I don’t blow my own horn enough, but we’re doing very, very well here. Record housing starts, record construction. All a result of a great economy,” Foster said afterwards.
Green candidate Keli Westgate got some of the loudest cheers for her answers, and she feels she was able to accomplish one of her main goals.
“I think a lot of people use this forum as a way to decide between NDP and Green quite frankly, and I think I was able to delineate the differences between the two parties quite clearly tonight.”
Libertarian candidate Don Jefcoat thought it was a good event, and that he was able to get his message across.
“I’m hoping that people will see that I’m wanting to represent them, not just necessarily a party platform. Yes, our party does have a platform, but first we need to be representing the people who put an X beside our name,” says Jefcoat who tells Kiss FM he hopes to get up to 15% of the vote on election night May 9.
Other topics at the forum, which was co-sponsored by the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce, were about debt, Stickle Road, contracting out hospital jobs, how to create jobs in Vernon, the need for a disabilities advocate, poverty, political donations, the Site C dam, changing the voting system, sharing local services, seniors care, and how to keep young people in Vernon.
The candidates take part in the final forum Thursday night at 6 pm at the People Place put on by Independent Living Vernon.