Concerns have been raised over who is invited to attend all-candidates meeting for the upcoming municipal elections in the City of Duncan. (File photo)

All-candidates meetings should include all candidates, City of Duncan admonishes

City steps in after concerns raised

The City of Duncan has had to step in to ensure that all candidates in the upcoming municipal elections are aware of all-candidate meetings that are being organized.

Several gatherings for those running for Duncan’s city council that were billed as “all-candidates” meetings have been held, with more scheduled, in a number of senior citizens homes in the community.

But Tom Ireland, a former CAO of Duncan, claims that only certain candidates, those who had similar views on many city issues, were actually invited to attend.

Ireland said that when some of the attending candidates were asked why all the candidates were not at the meetings, they were told by organizers that they “couldn’t be bothered to come”.

Ireland said that some of the candidates who weren’t specifically invited to attend but found out by other means did come to the meetings.

He said he finds the issue “unethical”.

“There is little more heinous than exploiting some of the city’s most vulnerable and easily influenced voters,” Ireland said. “It’s not right that seniors are being misled like this.”

RELATED STORY: DUNCAN CANDIDATES AIM TO IMPRESS AT EARLY-MORNING GATHERING

Peter de Verteuil, the city’s current CAO, said Duncan’s chief election officer had learned of the issue and had sent an email to all candidates for Duncan’s city council to let them know the dates and times of all-candidates meetings, none of which are being organized by the city itself.

“In the email, it was suggested that it is certainly acceptable to campaign as a group or organize a meet and greet with only some candidates, so long as it is clear to the residents and building manager that not all candidates were invited,” de Verteuil said.

Mayoral candidate Martin Barker, who asked the senior homes to host the meetings, said he is the victim of a smear campaign that is being organized by his opponents.

RELATED STORY: MARTIN BAKER RUNNING FOR MAYOR OF DUNCAN

He said that while he did set the times and the dates for the meetings at these facilities, it was not his place to let all the candidates know about them.

Martin said it was never his intention to exclude anyone from the meetings.

“Anyone can pick up a phone and discover where and when these meetings are happening, and it’s up each candidate to find out,” he said.

“I’m in the crosshairs of a smear campaign and I’m finding it difficult to defend myself. I’m wondering why people are not more focused on issues that people care about, like homelessness and housing affordability in Duncan, and the controlled substance bylaw that I’m planning to move forward, instead of this.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Snow photos from around Cowichan Valley

Cowichan Valley residents were eager to share

Youth rugby players get national team experience

Cowichan’s U12 and U14 girls teams booming

T.W. Paterson column: Patent medicines: for all that ailed you

No reference to patent medicines would be complete without mention of Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Cowichan Coffee Time: New faces and chipping in

• Duncan resident Gianpierro (GP) Denomme is the newest volunteer member of… Continue reading

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Most Read