Chilliwack – This statement is from DJ Pohl, NDP candidate for Chilliwack-Hope.
I want to sincerely thank the organizers of the Chilliwack Cultural Centre debate, staff and volunteers who worked diligently to create this important space for democratic debate in a safe way. Debates are an essential part of democracy. We must create all opportunities possible for voters to have access to candidates and to be able to compare platforms and leadership to make an informed decision on who to vote for. This must also never compromise one’s safety.
I am profoundly disappointed that voters have lost this opportunity for critical debate. This is a direct result of a refusal to abide by health orders by Rob Bugonovic, his threat of legal action and incumbent MP Mark Strahl supporting the stance and perpetuating the narrative. A narrative not reflected of the leadership Chilliwack-Hope deserves, and that left the organizers no chance for success in the event. The outcome being Chilliwack-Hope voters have lost this opportunity to have their voices heard and are impacted by the undermining of this important democratic process.
While I remain disheartened by the fact this debate will not be occurring, I support the organizers decision to put the health and safety of all involved first. Chilliwack-Hope deserves better, I am committed to fighting for change, protecting the health and safety of our community as well as democracy. I will ensure all voices are heard and no one is left behind. If you are an undecided voter who was hoping to get answers from the debate, please reach out to the campaigns directly to ensure your questions are asked and tune in tonight for the virtual chamber of commerce debate.