Provincial election candidates in the Nanaimo riding are Kathleen Jones, B.C. Liberals, left; Sheila Malcolmson, NDP; and Lia Versaevel, Greens. (Submitted and News Bulletin photos)

Provincial election candidates in the Nanaimo riding are Kathleen Jones, B.C. Liberals, left; Sheila Malcolmson, NDP; and Lia Versaevel, Greens. (Submitted and News Bulletin photos)

Nanaimo candidates will debate provincial issues at a local level

Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce hosting forum Wednesday, Oct. 14

Nanaimo voters will have a chance to see and hear candidates debate provincial issues through a local lens.

The Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce hosts a candidates’ forum on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 6:30 p.m., broadcast and live-streamed from the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

All three candidates in the Nanaimo riding – Kathleen Jones, B.C. Liberals; Sheila Malcolmson, NDP; and Lia Versaevel, B.C. Greens – have committed to attend the forum. Carrie Chassels, a chamber of commerce board member, will moderate.

Kim Smythe, chamber CEO, said he thinks non-partisan organizations like the chamber of commerce should be the ones to host debates. He said people expect the chamber to host these sorts of events and said he’s happy to comply.

“We’ve developed a format that works, we have the reach into the community that works, we have the confidence and trust,” Smythe said.

The chamber has been asking for submitted questions and Smythe said the questions that have come in so far have been a mix of provincial and local issues. The forum will last an hour and a half which Smythe said should be plenty of time for rebuttals and good debate, especially since the public will not be there in person in the auditorium.

“I don’t need to allow time for cheering and jeering … I think without that, we’ll actually get more substance, more answers in,” he said.

The forum will be broadcast on Shaw TV and live-streamed on the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce website at

READ ALSO: Nanaimo’s Jones will draw on her experiences in first political campaign

READ ALSO: MLA in a pandemic, Nanaimo’s Malcolmson looking to be part of B.C.’s recovery

READ ALSO: Versaevel representing B.C. Green Party in Nanaimo riding

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