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UPDATE/REACTION – All Candidates Forum Chilliwack-Hope – Monday is Live Streamed. Tuesday Debate CANCELLED Amidst Controversy

Chilliwack – SEPTEMBER 13 UPDATE – With the federal election only a week away, there were two Chilliwack Debates scheduled.

The second one has been cancelled.

First, on Monday September 13th the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown BIA are once again hosting an all candidates debate with chillTV’s Clint Hames as host. That will be virtual and live streamed through the Chamber’s social media.

What was scheduled for the next evening, chillTV was to feature the ALL-Candidates debate live from the Chilliwack Cultural Centre,hosted by the Editor of the Chilliwack Progress, Paul Henderson.

After complaints from the PPC Candidate Rob Bogunovic , pertaining to mask rules and vaccination passports/cards, followed by CPC’s Mark Strahl asking that all candidates be involved either live or virtual — came the twist.

The Tuesday debate was cancelled.

From the Chilliwacl Cultural Centre Board of Directors:

The reason stated was that the board “did not want to put their staff in a position where they would be risking their health”, and were clearly disappointed.

Prior to the cancellation announcement, NDP Candidate DJ Pohl posted this to social media:

Although I appreciate our MP Mark Strahl’s concern for fairness in the democratic process, I think his refusal to participate in the event in the format originally intended not only undermines the hard work of the organizers, but also emboldens the voice of a small minority of individuals who believe they have the unfettered right to jeopardize the health and safety of others. The organizers have offered to accommodate those that are ineligible, allowing them to attend virtually instead. Despite this, the PPC has threatened the organizers with legal action, when all they are doing is following the health directives of the local health authorities and the government. Mr. Strahl’s statement is defending the PPC’s actions when he should be rejecting and condemning them. This is not leadership and, far worse, this statement jeopardizes the event entirely. If cancelled will be a serious blow to our democratic process.

The FVN Rob Bugonovic story is here.

The FVN Mark Strahl story is here.

The FVN Kelly Velonis Story is here.

On Sunday, Liberal Candidate Kelly Velonis issued a rebuttal to the PPC –

“No Special Privileges for Electoral Candidates” – Kelly Velonis, Liberal candidate for Chilliwack-Hope made the following statement:

I fully support the decision of Fraser Health to require that all attendees at Tuesday’s Cultural Centre political debate provide proof of vaccination and comply with provincial health guidelines.

The candidates are

Conservative Party of Canada and incumbent MP Mark Strahl*

Green Party of Canada –  Arthur Green

Liberal Party of Canada – Kelly Velonis

New Democratic Party –  DJ Pohl

People’s Party of Canada – Rob Bogunovic

And Advance Polls are open at Evergreen Hall in Chilliwack from Friday through next Monday

ORIGINAL STORY SEPTEMBER 8 – With the Federal Election taking place on September 20, 2021, The Chilliwack Arts & Cultural Centre Society is proud to announce that The Chilliwack Cultural Centre will host an All-Candidates Meeting for the Chilliwack-Hope Riding. Taking place in The Centre’s HUB International Theatre at 7:00 pm on September 14, 2021, this All-Candidates Meeting will provide a platform for members of the community to pose questions to the parliamentary candidates for the Chilliwack-Hope Riding.

The event will be moderated by Paul Henderson from The Chilliwack Progress, who will pose questions to the candidates that have been submitted by the public prior to the debate, as well as field questions from audience attendees.

Questions can be submitted before the event through this link:

This event will also be live-streamed. Details coming soon on The Centre’s website page!

Tickets are by donation, and registration is required. For more information, and to register, contact the Centre Box Office, online at, or by calling 604-391-SHOW(7469).

Safety Protocols:

As of September 13, 2021, by order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), proof of vaccination is required to access some events, services and businesses. This includes our facility – the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.

Starting September 13, you must have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. By October 24, you must be fully vaccinated. The requirement is in place until January 31, 2022 and could be extended. 

The requirement applies to all people born in 2009 or earlier (12+)

We ask that you arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of your event and come ready to present their government-issued ID and provincial App and/or government issued print out of vaccination (youth aged 12 to 18 are not required to show valid government ID).

Masks are required in all public indoor settings for all people born in 2009 or earlier (12+). 

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