Organizers looking for clarity and civility in first all candidates forum

City of Prince Albert -- Herald file photo.

Clarity and civility are the two biggest things organizers are hoping to see as the first all candidates forum of the 2019 election season approaches.

Voters will have their first chance to hear from Prince Albert’s three declared candidates when the Senior’s Advocacy Centre hosts them on Thursday, Sept. 5.

Advocacy Centre executive director John Fryters said more than 25 per cent of Canada’s population will be age 65 or over by 2031, and whichever party wins the next election needs to be prepared.

“That’s going to put a strain on the healthcare system and the social system and the pension system,” Fryters said on Tuesday. “I hope they can give some indication of what the individual parties are going to do.”

Fryters added that the forum will give voters a chance to see how each candidate personally views seniors’ issues. He said it’s important that whoever represents the riding considers seniors’ issues a serious priority.

“I think it’s really important for us as seniors that we have a sitting member who is going to understand and work for seniors in the community,” he explained.

Incumbent Conservative MP Randy Hoback, Liberal candidate Estelle Hjertaas and People’s Party of Canada candidate Kelly Day have all agreed to attend the forum. Fryters said he’s tried to contact members of the NDP and Green Party to find out if they had candidates yet, but had not heard back.

He expects between 40 to 70 people to attend what he hopes will be a productive question and answer format.

“We’re going to be very polite and very civil,” he said.

The Seniors Advocacy Centre All Candidates Forum will be held at Solutions Point 777, located on 10th Street East. Start time is scheduled for 1 p.m.

The next federal election can be held no later than Oct. 21.