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Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies candidates debate held Monday night

Recording of the debate viewable online

The candidates running for office in the Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies riding weighed in on a gamut of issues from the COVID-19 pandemic to Canada’s role in Afghanistan during an online debate on Monday night.

The all-candidates’ debate, hosted by the Prince George Citizen, Prince George Chamber of Commerce and Real Estate Board of Northern B.C., was streamed live online. Those who missed Monday’s event will be able to watch a recording of the debate on the Prince George Chamber of Commerce’s website.

Incumbent Conservative MP Bob Zimmer, Liberal candidate Amir Alavi, NDP candidate Cory Grizz Longley, Green candidate Catherine Kendall, People’s Party of Canada candidate Ryan Dyck and Maverick Party candidate David Jeffers took part in the debate. Phil Hewkins, who is running in the riding for Canada’s Fourth Front, did not participate.

Debate moderator and UNBC political science professor Gary Wilson put a series of 12 questions to the candidates, who each had between 30 and 60 seconds to respond.

Things heated up when Grizz Longley called out Dyck for his party’s participation in anti-mask, anti-vaccine rallies.

Grizz Longley said he has not patience for those who protest in front of hospitals, making things harder for those who are trying to save lives.

“I have been to some of the protests, and I have tried to convince them not to hold them in front of the hospital,” Dyck replied.

Dyck said the vaccine passports and “all the frantic overreaction” to the pandemic have caused more harm than the pandemic itself.

However, all the candidates agreed that it wasn’t the right time to hold an election.

“It’s an opportunity that Justin Trudeau has asked for to make a change in prime minister,” Zimmer said.

While Liberal candidate Alavi said he “probably would have advised against it,” had he been in caucus.

On the issue of climate change, Kendall said it’s time for Canada to build a new economy, develop a plan to sustainably manage the country’s resources and “become a global leader in clean technology.”

By contrast, Jeffers said his party would look to eliminate the tanker ban on B.C.’s north coast and the federal carbon tax and pave the way for Canada to export more LNG.

General election day is Monday, Sept. 20. If you did not receive a voter information card in the mail, which tells you where and when to vote, you can register to vote online through Elections Canada until Tuesday or in person at any Elections Canada office.

You can also register at your assigned polling station on election day. To register to vote you must be a Canadian citizen, be at least 18-years-old on election day, and prove your identity and address.

There is also still time to apply to vote by mail, the deadline for applications is Tuesday.

The Elections Canada website has further information on voting, polling stations, ridings and more.