The very last Red Deer election forum was held at the Harvest Centre on April 11th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
It was a forum filled with respect by both the audience and the candidates who all generally possessed a sense of reverence for one another. Candidates were seen nodding with other candidates that shared a common interest in helping solve the province’s issues. The crowd was receptive to all parties and showed no particular signs of favouritism to any candidate.
At a previous election forum at the Golden Circle Senior Centre, people were turned away due to fire code regulations; however, at the Harvest Centre, there were quite a few empty seats.
Ken Kolby, President, and CEO of Alberta Chambers of Commerce who hosted and moderated the Red Deer forum believed that despite the empty seats, it was a decent turnout.
“This is my seventh one now, certainly it is a reflective turnout. I was actually surprised that there were as many people out given that it is so close to the election but I think it is a good representative turnout,” said Kolby.
He believes that now that the election is so close, election forum attendances are starting to thin out because people have made their decisions. Being that Kolby had hosted and moderated seven election forum he had a good handle on the issues that have been being presented throughout Alberta.
“It is the typical spectrum, the economy in Alberta, health care, education, what’s happening to the provincial budget. So, the questions asked here were pretty standard in the other forums as well.”
Among all the issues in Red Deer area, the current state of healthcare stood out the most and although all parties had different strategies of improving Red Deer’s healthcare system, all of the candidates could agree that change had to happen.
In the end, every candidate was given equal and fair opportunity to speak on their party’s behalf and given two ‘bonus questions’ that they could address if the question was not directed at them and if they simply had a prepared response.
For more information on the Alberta provincial election and its candidates, click here.