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

Cowichan United bounces back to tie Castaways

U21 soccer team overcomes slow start on the road

Music of Beethoven and Brahms featured in the Cowichan Consort’s Nov. 3 event

Discovery Elementary School’s choir will present songs in this show as well

Kerry Park repeats at Alberni atom A tourney

Islanders win battle with Surrey in gold-medal game

Robert Barron column: Don’t forget to vote tomorrow

The very first night I put an election campaign sign on my lawn, someone used it like a football.

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

Coming up in Cowichan: Pair of Mill Bay Marine Rescue Society fundraisers

Fall Fishing Derby will benefit Mill Bay Marine Search and Rescue Mill… Continue reading

Cowichan Coffee Time

Chain of Love and Lake to Lake Walk

B.C. high school teacher faces sexual assault charges

A Mt. Boucherie teacher has been charged with child luring, sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Former B.C. cop sentenced to jail ‘in the community’ after caught in Creep Catchers sting

Dario Devic pleaded guilty after getting caught up in Surrey Creep Catcher sting in Whalley in 2016

5 races to watch in B.C.’s municipal elections this Saturday

This year’s election results across more than 160 cities in B.C. will start pouring in after polls close Saturday at 8 p.m.

Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada said Friday the consumer price index in September was up 2.2 per cent from a year ago compared with a year-over-year increase of 2.8 per cent in August

Dog deaths in Lower Mainland may be tied to suspected mushroom poisoning: RCMP

Police have received reports in the last month about several dogs becoming ill after visiting a park in North Vancouver

Most Read