Televised federal election forum slated for October 7

Manitobans will get an opportunity to see and hear the four political parties discuss the federal election issues during a televised REALTOR®-sponsored forum.

The WinnipegREALTORS® Association and the Manitoba Real Estate Association are hosting the 2008 Federal Election Forum to be held October 7 at 7:00 p.m. at the Berney Theatre, Asper Jewish Community Campus, 123 Doncaster Ave.

“It’s for the benefit of the public,” said WinnipegREALTORS® civic and legislative committee chairman Don Cook.

“We pride ourselves on being able to offer Winnipeg and Manitoba voters a real opportunity to be more informed on how the four federal party platforms address issues important to them.” added WinnipegREALTORS® president Darlene Clare.

During the forum that will be televised live on Channel 9 by Shaw TV, Steven Fletcher will represent the Conservatives, Judy Wasylycia-Leis the NDP, Dan Hurley the Liberals and Marc Payette the Green Party.

“We wanted to get all the federal parties involved to make it as broad-based as possible,” said Cook. “It’s an opportunity for all of them to explain to Manitobans  why they should vote for them on October 14.”

The three media panelists have been confirmed for the forum — Richard Cloutier of CJOB, Tom Brodbeck of the Winnipeg Sun, and Catherine Mitchell of the Winnipeg Free Press.

The federal election forum is similar in many ways to last year’s REALTOR®-sponsored provincial election leaders forum, but is designed to address more issues. 

While the media panelists will be posing the majority of questions, Cook said other Manitoba stakeholders have been contacted to supply questions which will be asked by moderator Jennifer Dundas, a former CBC journalist. The stakeholder questions will be reviewed and selected by the committee overseeing the forum.

“A lot of subject matter will be covered,” Cook added.

“Our forum format will be fast-paced with lightning rounds, allowing one candidate to ask another a question with two follow-up rebuttals,” said Manitoba Real Estate Association president Dave Mackenzie.

Cook said every party representative  will be supplied with a package of subject material that will be covered during the 90-minute-long forum to ensure fair treatment “and no one is going to be surprised.”

Anyone missing the original live program on October 7 will be able to view subsequent rebroadcasts on Shaw TV on the days preceding the October 14 federal election.

Seating is limited for the forum. Tickets are available by calling Shaila at the WinnipegREALTORS® office at 786-8854.