DIDSBURY - Due to new COVID-19 restrictions, the Didsbury and District Chamber of Commerce has set aside plans to host an in-person, all-candidates forum planned for this week, say officials.
Instead the chamber will be spearheading a unique question and answer project that will give residents a chance to hear from candidates via video presentations.
The Didsbury Chamber Thinking Outside the Box Candidate Forum will see each candidate for council and mayor asked four questions prepared by chamber officials.
The candidates will, in turn, submit video replies to the questions, with the videos submitted by Oct. 1 and airing on the chamber’s social media platforms on Monday, Oct. 4 and will remain on the sites until election day on Oct. 18.
“Not quite a forum and no chance for rebuttals, but a way for each candidate to answer questions that may make you think beyond your platform speech,” said chamber president Helen Hafke.
The questions being posed to all the candidates are as follows:
• Strengthening business competitiveness - During the pandemic, we saw municipalities around the province move with incredible speed to accelerate permit approval processes for businesses to construct or expand patios. How would you propose that sense of urgency be applied to all permit approval processes to support business growth in our community?
• Growing business partnerships - Our chamber network has been regularly monitoring and measuring barriers to business in our community and communities across the province. Do you see opportunity to work together with business to establish a framework of measurement to improve services and make our community more attractive to investment?
• Building healthy communities - Access to affordable housing is a major barrier to providing livable communities and attracting and retaining skills that can support business growth. What are you views on ensuring affordable housing is available in our community?
• Improving government accountability - If elected, how would you propose our community be made aware of the efforts by local leaders to improve business services on an ongoing basis?
“We look forward to everyone’s participation and using technology as a work-around,” said Hafke.