B.C. Liberal candidate turned away from UBC debate
Organizers say Premier Christy Clark should have attended Vancouver-Point Grey debate
The B.C. Liberal Party says it wasn't fairly represented at an all-candidates debate in Point Grey last night.
The Vancouver-Point Grey riding is currently held by Premier Christy Clark, who wasn’t able to attend the townhall debate hosted by UBC's Alma Mater Society. The debate focused on issues that affect UBC students, such as transit along the Broadway corridor, university funding and affordable housing near campus.
The B.C. Liberals sent Vancouver-Quilchena candidate Andrew Wilkinson to take Clark’s place but he wasn’t permitted to take part.
"The essence of a political debate is to get all the issues on the table and haggle them out," Wilkinson said. "That didn't happen, because the B.C. Liberal Party was excluded from this event."
UBC Alma Mater Society vice-president Tanner Boker says Wilkinson wasn't allowed to participate because he can't speak for the riding.
"It's not a Point Grey candidate. [Clark] is the candidate and if she is going to be a part of these debates, it should be appropriate for her to debate herself," Boker said.
"This is her riding, we are her constituents. She has a responsibility to her riding and to debate her fellow candidates."
The Liberal Party says it didn't receive the invite to the event until Easter Sunday because of an internal e-mail problem with the UBC society.
The invite also said Clark could send a representative, which organizers say was a mistake on their part.
The AMS is hosting another debate in three weeks, which Boker hopes Clark will be able to attend.
The B.C. Liberal Party says the premier will focus on leader-to-leader debates once the election campaign is underway, and other candidates will continue to step in to represent the Liberals in Point Grey.