The Battlefords Chamber of Commerce will be making changes to its all-candidates event in 2019.
Instead of a forum that is open to the general public, the chamber has decided to hold an all-candidates event open to chamber members only, tentatively scheduled for Oct. 17.
The proposed format would see all of the candidates invited, and allow chamber members to pose questions with their business perspective.
The chamber settled on this format after considering an even more radical change to a “speed-questioning” format. That proposal would have seen five tables set up for each of the candidates, with candidates meeting about six chamber members at the table for a few minutes and answering their questions. Participants would then rotate amongst the candidates’ tables in what was described by some chamber directors as a “speed-dating” format.
In the end, directors expressed their preference to go with a question-and-answer forum open to members only. Both options were discussed at Tuesday night's monthly Chamber board meeting.
While a few reasons were cited for the changes, declining attendance at the public forums were identified as one factor.
Meanwhile, the Lloydminster chamber has confirmed plans to proceed with their own all-candidates forum event.
The Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce will be holding a joint Federal Election All Candidates Forum on Oct. 10 at the Prairie Room, Lloydminster Exhibition. The Battlefords-Lloydminster candidates will speak between 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Candidates from the neighbouring Alberta riding of Lakeland will speak between 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
As of Tuesday, Battlefords-Lloydminster candidates Larry Ingram of the Liberals and Jason MacInnis of the People’s Party have confirmed their attendance at the Lloydminster forum. The full list of candidates participating will be announced at a later date.