Election 2014: Debates set for municipal election

Voters who want to see their politicians in person before they vote in a new council.

  • Oct. 15, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Voters who want to see their politicians in person before they vote in a new council for four years will have a few chances in both Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

On Tuesday, Nov. 4, the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce will host a midday meeting for Maple Ridge mayoralty candidates only. However, that’s a luncheon event and will cost $25. Location is at the Arts Centre Theatre in downtown Maple Ridge, 11:30 a.m.

The meeting will have a moderator and each candidate will have two minutes for opening statements, followed by a question-and-answer session. The audience can also ask questions. Payment is preferably in advance, or at the door.

Two days later, on Thursday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m., candidates for Pitt Meadows council and mayor will have their turn.

The location for that debate will be at the Pitt Meadows Heritage Hall, 12460 Harris Rd. That event will be free admission and open to the public.

The Salvation Army also wants to hear from politicians. Maple Ridge mayoralty candidates will debate the issues Monday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. at The Caring Place on 222nd Street and Lougheed Highway.

It’s the second election in which the Salvation Army has hosted the event. There will be some discussions about housing and poverty and questions will be allowed from the floor.

Ernie Daykin, Mike Morden, Nicole Read and Graham Mowatt all have confirmed attendance.

With 26 candidates running for a Maple Ridge council seat, hearing from each one isn’t easy.

But one of those candidates is organizing at least two events where voters can chat with all of them.

Morgan Jensen has booked St. John the Divine Anglican Church, on River Road and Laity Street, for two Sundays, Oct. 19 and Oct. 26, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The first hour of each session will be a meet-and-greet format so voters can chat with candidates. A question and answer session will follow.

Jensen said some mayoralty candidates have criticized him for organizing the events while running as a candidate, but others appreciate what he’s doing to raise public interest.

“Nobody else is doing it. I’m doing this for all the candidates, it’s pretty obvious. I’m doing it for the common good.”

On voting day, Saturday, Nov. 15, Maple Ridge residents can vote at any one of the seven locations, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Those locations are Hammond, Laity View,  Yennadon, Albion and Whonnock elementary schools as well as Garibaldi secondary and Ridge Meadows Seniors Activity Centre.

If that’s not convenient, people can vote early. Advance polls take place Saturday, Nov. 1 at Ridge Meadows Seniors Activity Centre on 224th Street or Fraserview Village Small Hall on 116th Ave.

Wednesday, Nov. 5 is another day for early voting. That can be done at Maple Ridge city hall.

Saturday, Nov. 8, people can vote early at Planet Ice, Maple Ridge Leisure Centre and Maple Ridge Alliance Church.

In Pitt Meadows on voting day, people can cast their ballots at Pitt Meadows Family Recreation Centre and at Pitt Meadows Heritage Hall on Harris Road.

Advance voting takes place Nov. 5 and 7 at Pitt Meadows city hall and on Nov. 8 and 9 at South Bonson Community Centre.