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Fort Macleod Chamber of Commerce to host election forum

Fort Macleod residents have a chance Wednesday, Oct. 4 to hear from candidates in the municipal election.
The Fort Macleod and District Chamber of Commerce is hosting an election forum at 6 p.m. at the Empress Theatre.
“The Chamber of Commerce hosts a forum for our community and district to engage our candidates in discussions of our community’s issues,” Chamber president Becky Housenga said. “We provide a place with strict guidelines and rules so that all candidates in attendance receive equal opportunity to state their belief and drive for issues that pertain to our town.”
The three mayoralty candidates and 14 town council candidates from Fort Macleod have been invited to the forum.
The Chamber also extended invitations to MD of Willow Creek Division 1 candidates and Livingstone Range School Division Ward 3 candidates.
“We are hoping to have many safe and relevant topics brought up and discussed during this forum,” Housenga said. “We would like to remind people that this is not a debate, it is a forum and each candidate will receive an opportunity to speak their platform.”
Each candidate will have the opportunity for a three-minute opening statement, beginning with school board candidates, followed by MD of Willow Creek candidates.
The floor will then be opened for questions from the audience, followed by summaries from each candidate.
At about 7:10 p.m. town council candidates will be introduced and provided the opportunity of a three-minute opening statement.
A question and answer period will follow, with candidates then allowed to present a summary.
“We would like to remind people that our chair will rule out of order any questions deemed inappropriate, offensive and derogatory, that seems to attack the integrity of any candidate,” Housenga said.
In Fort Macleod, incumbent mayor Rene Gendre will be challenged by Brent Feyter, who served the past term as deputy mayor, and Bill Kells.
Incumbent councillors Michael Dyck and Gord Wolstenholme are being challenged by Donna Bird, Ted Buzunis, Dee Coma, Mike Dawson, Kristi Edwards, Werner Dressler, Mary Anne Gendre, Sherry Hirsche, Jim Monteith, David Orr, Joe Rigaux, and Marco Van Huigenbos.
In Division 1 of the MD of Willow Creek, incumbent councillor Henry Van Hierden faces a challenge from John Van Driesten.
Division 2 Coun. John Kroetsch and Division 3 Coun. Maryanne Sandberg were acclaimed to council when no one else filed nomination papers Sept. 18.
In Ward 3 of Livingstone Range School Division, which includes Fort Macleod and Pincher Creek, there are four candidates for three trustee positions.
Incumbent Lori Hodges, Jim Burdett, Lacey Poytress and Terri Stano are the candidates.
Housenga said the Chamber is encouraged by the strong interest in the Oct. 16 election shown by the number of candidates.
“Our community members have a strong voice with what has happened and those events may cause a large amount of interest in this forum,” Housenga said.

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