The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce has tentatively scheduled Oct. 1 for an all-candidates forum in the Smithers municipal byelection.
The meeting will be primarily conducted online via Zoom and broadcast on The Interior News Facebook page, but there will be a limited live audience, restricted to seniors.
Many seniors don’t have the same kind of access to or comfort with technology as other people, therefore, the Chamber wanted to give as many people as possible the opportunity to participate, explained Jill Barrowman, temporary Chamber executive director. The number of audience members allowed will be dependent on the venue, which is yet to be scheduled, but will be under 5o according to provincial health guidelines.
“We’re also encouraging family members to help their seniors with the technology,” Barrowman said.
Live participation will be by reservation on a first-come, first-served basis.
Whether or not the forum will be required at all is still not certain as only one candidate, former deputy mayor Gladys Atrill, has announced an intention to run for mayor and nobody has come forward to contest her vacated council seat.
Atrill resigned from council Aug. 11.
The forum, if necessary, will be sponsored by The Interior News and The Moose and moderated by Interior News editor Thom Barker. The Chamber is also looking for businesses to step up as venue sponsors.
The format of the event will consist of opening statements, pre-submitted questions, live questions and closing arguments.
Questions can be dropped off either at the Chamber or Interior News offices or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Nominations for both mayor and councillor positions open Sept. 1 and are due at Town Hall Sept. 11. If necessary, voting will take place on Oct. 17.