An all-candidates meeting focusing on anti-racism and equity-related issues that had been scheduled for this evening (Sept. 10) has been cancelled.
Delta’s Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) Committee was to host a virtual all-candidates meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. to “address anti-racism and equity related issues relevant to federal issues.”
The meeting follows “anti-racism rallies responding to incidents of power and privilege globally and in Delta this past year,” according to the event’s description. “This will be an opportunity for candidates to talk about their own positions, as well as each party’s platform related to systemic issues of racism, hate and other injustices.”
However, in an email Friday morning, organizers announced they had made the “difficult decision” to cancel the event “due to circumstances beyond our control.”
“While we had good participation from most of the candidates, the NDP candidate was the only campaign to prioritize our event,” wrote Andrea Hilder on behalf of Delta’s OARH Committee.
“Instead, we will send the candidates written questions and post their answers on our Facebook page next week.”
The meeting was to be the first of three opportunities for voters to hear from the candidates running for Delta MP.
The Delta Residents Association is hosting a virtual all-candidates meeting on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 1 p.m., however voters won’t get to watch that meeting live. Organizers say the video will be posted later to the DRA’s YouTube page, possibly as soon as Monday, Sept. 13.
Next, the Delta Chamber of Commerce is hosting a candidates event addressing “business and business-related community issues” on Tuesday, Sept. 14, from 7-8:30 p.m.
Candidates, moderators and technical staff will be the only ones attending in-person; for everyone else the meeting will be livestreamed via YouTube. To watch live, voters must register at deltachamber.ca to receive a link to the event.
Organizers have made the decision to follow participation criteria set out by the Leaders’ Debates Commission (the independent entity that organizes the two leaders debates), meaning that unlike in previous elections, only some of the candidates running for Delta MP have been invited to participate in the event.
Under the commission’s rules, only parties that are represented in the House of Commons by an elected member of Parliament, that received at least four per cent of votes cast in the previous federal election, or that are polling at at least four per cent support nationally five days before an election is called may participate in the leaders debate.
What that means in this case is only the Liberal (Carla Qualtrough), Conservative (Garry Shearer), NDP (Monika Dean) and Green Party (Jeremy Smith) candidates have been invited to participate in the Delta Chamber’s event.
People’s Party of Canada candidate Paul Tarasenko and independent Hong Yan Pan are the two candidates not invited to participate.
Questions for the candidates participating in the Delta Chamber event can be submitted in advance either by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), by mail or in person (6201 60th Ave., Delta, V4K 4E2). Those watching the livestream may submit their questions live via the Slido app — a code to access the app will be sent to registered participants prior to the event.
Voting day is Monday, Sept. 20, with advanced voting happening Sept. 10-13.
— with files from Katya Slepian