Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman, left, and Surrey-Guildford Green Party candidate Jodi Murphy.

BC Election 2020

Surrey Board of Trade insists forum will be ‘democratic’ despite Green candidate’s criticism

Respondents will be answering alphabetically by party per riding

A Surrey MLA hopeful is calling the format of an upcoming all-candidates forum “quite unfair.”

Thursday (Oct. 8), the Surrey Board of Trade is hosting a virtual business dialogue for the 32 provincial election candidates in Surrey’s nine ridings.

READ ALSO: Final list shows 32 candidates for the nine Surrey-area ridings, Oct. 5, 2020

READ ALSO: Zoom in to hear Surrey candidates debate B.C. election issues starting Thursday, Oct. 6, 2020

SBoT CEO Anita Huberman told the Now-Leader the respondents will be “placed per riding by alphabetical order as per their party;” Conservatives, Green Party, Liberals and NDP.

Huberman said this “doesn’t have anything to do with not being democratic,” adding that it’s a “democratic opportunity to hear what the other candidates’ perspectives are on different issues in advance of the election.”

“It has to do with things being simplified and organized for the candidates – and to ensure that everything runs on time, especially as we are not in a person environment, but in a digital environment. Everyone will have closing remarks, and I will as moderator call each person’s name out in alphabetical order by last name.”

However, Surrey-Guildford Green Party candidate Jodi Murphy said this format gives the NDP candidates a chance to respond and rebut.

“There’s no question that answering last gives you that advantage,” Murphy said.

Murphy said she also ran in the 2017 provincial election, and took part in a SBoT event, and this wasn’t an issue then.

She said she knows it’s a very “challenging” event to host and organize, especially in a digital environment, but it’s “certainly not an impossible thing to do” to rearrange the order between questions.

“I think as a non-partisan organization, it’s important to not be biased,” said Murphy.

But Huberman said the problem is being in a digital environment.

She said “to scroll through, to unmute” between each respondent would be “humanly impossible, unless we were to hire another event company which is a significant cost to us.”

Huberman said she “understands where (Murphy) is coming from” and the board of trade looked at other options, “but we hope the candidates can appreciate we are doing the best we possibly can.”

Asked if she thinks Murphy’s criticism of the format is fair, Huberman said: “It’s not a fair criticism.”

Voters go to the polls Oct. 24.

For more election coverage, click here.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

BC politicsBC Votes 2020Surrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The many faces of Daon Glasgow. (Photos: Surrey RCMP)
Glasgow found not guilty of trying to murder transit cop in Surrey

Transit Police Constable Josh Harms was shot Jan. 30, 2019 at Scott Road SkyTrain Station

Police surround a vehicle with smashed windows outside Langley Memorial Hospital on Sunday evening (Oct. 18) at around 9 p.m., in possible connection to a shooting in Surrey at the intersection of 184th Street and 80th Avenue earlier that evening. (Photo: Curtis Kreklau/South Fraser News Services)
Shooting in rural Surrey leads police to vehicle with smashed windows at Langley hospital

‘It is believed that this is a targeted event and the general public is not at risk,’ Surrey RCMP say

J&L Beef Ltd. located at 17565 65A Ave. (Google street view)
Fraser Health declares 3 COVID-19 outbreaks in Surrey, Langley

13 staff members at J&L Beef Ltd. test positive for COVID-19

BC Liberal candidate for Surrey-Guildford Dave Hans says his office was vandalized. (Dave Hans photo)
Surrey-Guildford BC Liberal candidate office vandalized

‘We won’t be intimidated,’ says candidate Dave Hans

The BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Alberni. (News Bulletin file photo)
Sunday ferry breakdown means cancelled sailings to and from Tsawwassen

Queen of Alberni out of commission for the rest of the day

In this photo provided by Shannon Kiss, smoke from the CalWood Fire billows, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, as seen from Gunbarrel, Colo. (Shannon Kiss via AP)
‘First guys out:’ Western Canadian air tanker fleet busy despite drop in wildfires

CEO believes wildfires have become more dangerous in recent years as people live closer to where they start

Fort St. John councillor Trevor Bolin (B.C. Conservative Party)
BC Conservatives leader fights back after BC Liberals leak 2018 workplace harassment case

Sexual harassment case was connected to employee being terminated, WorkSafeBC found

Employee Sophia Lovink shows off a bag of merchandise in Toronto on Thursday, June 11, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Canada gets C-average grade on 2nd year of cannabis legalization

Cannabis Council of Canada releases report card on federal government and legalization

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. suburbs could see increased demand for rental units as people work from home

Vancouver’s average monthly rent is the highest out of 35 cities across Canada

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Oak Bay. (News Bulletin file photo)
‘Buy a boat,’ Horgan advises anti-maskers on BC Ferries

NDP leader John Horgan talks COVID-19 misinformation

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada-USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Restrictions on non-essential travel between Canada and the United States are being extended until at least Nov. 21. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
Non-essential travel restrictions at Canada-U.S. border extended to at least Nov. 21

The restrictions do not apply to those providing essential services in either country

Most Read