CARP Chapters Catch Election Fever: CARP Edmonton Election Forum

CARP Chapters are playing a key role in the federal election. During this short election campaign they have demonstrated the potential of our networks and partnerships! On April 13th 2011, CARP National held a debate that was webcast and televised across the country. During the following couple of weeks several chapters held their own events and raised CARP advocacy priorities with their local candidates. With the National office team keeping in touch with the major media outlets, the chapters facilitate a powerful communication from constituent to elected official or candidate. More local representation for our issues means a much more powerful message is sent to your members of parliament. It also makes politicians aware that they will be held accountable for their actions by their local constituents. It’s enough to make almost anybody behave (even a politician)! Here’s what some of our chapters have been up to in this election campaign: Congratulations to the Belleville/Brighton/Quincy West, Edmonton, Whiterock/Surrey, Ajax/Pickering and Windsor Chapters.

CARP Edmonton Election Forum

About seventy people attended a City wide all-party election forum hosted by CARP Edmonton Chapter 13 Tuesday, April 26. The forum focused on issues of interest to aging Canadians. Moderator for the event was Fil Fraser, long-time broadcaster, journalist, filmmaker, Member of the Order of Canada and CARP Member.

The four main parties each designated who would represent them. Candidates included David Parker, Green party, Edmonton Centre; Laurie Hawn, Conservative, Edmonton Centre; Ray Martin, NDP, Edmonton East; and Mary MacDonald, Liberal, Edmonton Centre.

Each candidate was given five minutes for an opening statement followed by a three-minute rebuttal from each. Following this, Moderator Fil Fraser took written and oral questions from the floor. At the conclusion of the question period, each candidate was given three minutes for a closing statement.

Among the seventy attendees were a fair number of younger voters, which broadened the range of issues discussed. Candidates were asked for their positions on everything from pension reform, healthcare, income security to international relations, defence spending and voter apathy. Discussion was lively, cordial and very respectful.

While CARP Edmonton has sponsored provincial forums previously, this was its first federal election forum, and was very well received. It demonstrated that CARP definitely has a role to play in promoting democratic participation as part of its goal of better quality of life for Canadians as they age.

The CARP National Office would like to extend a big thanks and congratulations to Fil Fraser who did us the honour of brilliantly moderating the debate. To learn more about Fil, please visit his website by clicking here. We would also like to extend our congratulations to Bernice Rempel and her executive – you all did a fantastic job and hosted great debate!

Keywords: election, event