Attendees listen to candidates during a 2014 meeting at the White Rock Community Centre. (File photo)

Seven confirmed for South Surrey-White Rock all-candidates meeting

Debate set for Dec. 5 at White Rock Community Centre

All seven candidates in the running for the upcoming byelection have confirmed they will be at Tuesday’s all-candidates meeting, organizers say.

Cliff Annable, executive director of the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce, which is hosting the meeting, said he got the seventh ‘yes’ Wednesday.

“They’re all attending… and they all seem quite enthusiastic,” Annable said Wednesday of Larry Colero (Green); Kerry-Lynne Findlay (Conservative); Gordon Hogg (Liberal); Michael Huenefeld (Progressive Canadian); Jonathan Silveira (NDP); Rod Taylor (Christian Heritage Party) and Donald Wilson (Libertarian).

The meeting is set for 7-9 p.m. at the White Rock Community Centre (15154 Russell Ave.). Moderator is to be Frank Bucholtz, a weekly columnist for Peace Arch News and former editor of both the Langley Times and Surrey Leader newspapers.

Annable said candidates’ seating and speaking order will be determined by draw, and each will have two minutes each for both introductory and closing statements.

For questions – which are being gathered in advance, through email to executivedirector@sswrchamber.ca – candidates will have one minute to respond.

Annable said a three-member panel will vet the emailed questions prior to the meeting. He said the email address is separate from his personal address at the chamber, and that he will “keep out” of the vetting process.

So far, “quite a few” questions have been received, he said.

Candidate wrap-up statements will be done in reverse order from the introductions, Annable noted.

No other all-candidates meetings have been announced in the lead-up to the Dec. 11 byelection, which was triggered by the resignation of Conservative South Surrey-White Rock MP Dianne Watts, who is vying for leadership of the BC Liberals.

Past candidate goes Green

A former federal NDP candidate is going Green for the upcoming byelection.

According to a news release issued Wednesday evening, Pixie Hobby – the New Democrats’ South Surrey-White Rock candidate in the 2015 general election – is endorsing Green Party candidate Larry Colero for the seat.

“I am excited to offer my support for Larry Colero. He is a most honest, caring and intelligent person, and someone I would be proud to call my MP,” Hobby states in the release. “And, my experience tells me that there is only one party in Canada that is fundamentally dedicated to securing the change we need to face the challenges of our times.”

Hobby, an environmental lawyer and South Surrey resident, ran against Colero in the 2015 election that saw former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts fill the seat under the Conservative banner.

The byelection, set for Dec. 11, was triggered by Watts’ decision in September to resign her position to pursue leadership of the BC Liberals.

Hobby could not be reached for comment by Peace Arch News press time Thursday morning, however, in an email chain shared by the Green Party of Canada, Hobby describes the quote attributed to her in the news release as “fabulous.”

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