Lethbridge-East candidates go head-to-head during library-hosted forum

Click to play video: 'Lethbridge library hosts all-candidate forums ahead of Alberta election'
Lethbridge library hosts all-candidate forums ahead of Alberta election
WATCH ABOVE: On Monday, the two Lethbridge-East candidates sat down in front of a media panel and a few dozen members of the public. Eloise Therien has more on how the first of two forums at the public library's main branch went, and why the evening was cut short. – May 9, 2023

With election day for the province of Alberta just under three weeks away, candidates in Lethbridge are attending public forums to discuss their stances on various issues.

On Monday evening, Nathan Neudorf (United Conservative Party) and Rob Miyashiro (New Democratic Party) sat down for a forum at the Lethbridge Public Library’s main branch.

Neudorf, the incumbent for the riding, said the events he attended during the 2019 election looked a little different.

“It is interesting,” he said during an interview following the event. “Last time around in Lethbridge-East there were five candidates, this time there’s two. There’s even four in the west.”

Both candidates cleared the air on several topics, with Neudorf reinforcing Albertans will not have to pay to see their family doctor under the UCP, a topic that arose after a member of the audience criticized the NDP’s advertising campaign over comments UCP Leader Danielle Smith previously made. 

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Audience members also voiced concerns over the local doctor shortage.

Click to play video: 'Ipsos poll predicts very tight Alberta election'
Ipsos poll predicts very tight Alberta election

“Some really great social questions about our affordability, about supportive housing, all of those kind of things and how governments, inflation, taxation, and the economy all relate,” Neudorf said.

“So very pleased to be able to have some time for the conversations.”

Candidates had two minutes to answer each question posed to them. Housing was brought up several times.

“We will provide affordable housing for 40,000 more people across the province, and we will do that in a systematic manner,” said Miyashiro post-forum. “We will make sure that people have a safe place to live.”

“We’ve invested in seniors housing, we’ve invested in affordable housing, we’ve invested in continuing care,” Neudorf added. “We are trying to hit all of those things to work together.”

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Scheduled to run until 8:00, the forum ended almost an hour early. Miyashiro informed attendees at the start of the forum he would have to depart to attend Rachel Notley’s local rally at the Galt Museum.

“The questions were good, the media did their job…hopefully we did ours,” the NDP candidate said.

Both Neudorf and Miyashiro had hoped for a slightly larger turnout. With around 40 people in attendance, several chairs sat empty.

Lethbridge-West candidates Shannon Phillips (NDP), Cheryl Seaborn (UCP), and Braham Luddu (Alberta Party) will take part in the second forum, which runs Tuesday from six to eight o’clock in the theatre gallery of the Lethbridge Public Library’s main branch downtown.

Election day is May 29.

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