Input still welcome on candidates’ forum

FORT FRANCES—With the municipal election coming up Nov. 13, the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce is providing a chance for the local mayoral and council candidates to speak out at a forum coming up Tuesday, Oct. 17.
And organizers still are asking Chamber members for topics they may be interested in hearing the mayoral candidates debate, Chamber manager Dawn Booth said Monday.
She noted five or six people have given their input so far. But if anyone else contacts her between now and Wednesday at noon, their ideas will be considered in planning talks.
The Chamber’s government relations committee meets Wednesday at noon, at which time it will go through any comments received from the membership.
It also will review topics used during the 2003 forum (including leadership and accountability, infrastructure, fiscal policy, and community services) to see if they should be revisited this time around.
When the topics are determined, they will be given to the local media (the Times, Westend Weekly, Fort Frances Today, B93•FM, and The Wolf 92.3 fm Border Rock), which, in turn, will ask the mayoral candidates questions based on those topics during the Oct. 17 forum.
Booth noted the format will run the same as in previous years. Council candidates will not participate in a debate, but be given four minutes to discuss themselves, their priorities, and their action plans.
The mayoral candidates also will be given four minutes to do the same.
But after that, only the two mayoral candidates—Mayor Dan Onichuk and Coun. Roy Avis—will be asked questions by the media, given two or three minutes to answer them, and then one minute for rebuttal.
Booth noted something new this year is the fact the media will be given a 30-second window for a follow-up question just in case the candidate failed to sufficiently answer their initial one.
The forum is slated for 7 p.m. at the Civic Centre. The public is welcome to attend in person or can watch it at home via a live broadcast on Shaw (Channel 10).
(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)