City council set to question federal candidates

Councillor wants politicians from two levels to work together to get things done

For the first time, the City of Maple Ridge will be involved in a federal election.

On Monday, Coun. Corisa Bell’s idea of holding an all-candidates forum in the Maple Ridge Seniors Activity Centre was supported.

The time and date of the forum are to be determined. Voting day for the federal election is Oct. 19.

The intent is to enhance communication between local and federal governments and to help the public sort out the differences at each level.

“Whatever we say in campaign time, let’s achieve those things together,” Bell said.

“Let’s all be in the same space and show the public we can work together for common issues on behalf of the people we work for.”

Once the election results are in, it’s hoped that such a meeting will impel whoever’s elected to fulfill any commitments.

“We really want the community to see us work together in order to find solutions for Maple Ridge.”

Bell initially bounced the idea off Mayor Nicole Read, who liked the idea.

“I’m just so happy to have a mayor who supports open government and public engagement,” Bell said.

All of council is expected to be there and, so far, most candidates are responding positively. Green candidate Peter Tam and Liberal candidate Dan Ruimy have said they’ll attend, while Conservative Mike Murray has to clear it with his campaign manager. She’s waiting to hear from NDP candidate Bob D’Eith.

Another goal of the forum is to attract younger voters, so Bell is looking for a moderator who could fulfill that function.

“We’re going to make it a big community event.” It’s going to be a positive atmosphere and help the community.

“All the candidates will be there. I know they will be. How can you miss this event, it’s going to be like history setting?”