B.C. premier, opposition leader to face off in electoral reform debate

The ballots have gone out and now, the debate is set.

Debate hosted by CBC British Columbia will be broadcast Nov. 8

Premier John Horgan and Opposition leader Andrew Wilkinson will debate electoral reform in a discussion hosted by CBC British Columbia on Nov. 8, beginning at 6 p.m. PT. (Canadian Press/Mike McArthur/CBC)

The ballots have gone out and now, the debate is set.

On Nov. 8, Premier John Horgan and Opposition Leader Andrew Wilkinson are taking part in a joint debate on B.C.'s electoral reform referendum.

The referendum asks British Columbians if they want to change the system by which they elect leaders in the province — whether to move to a form of proportional representation or keep the current first-past-the-post method. 

This fall, B.C. will choose whether to keep its current first-past-the-post electoral system or change to a proportional representation model. Here's what you need to know. 2:51

Wilkinson challenged Horgan to a debate on Sept. 24, saying it was Horgan's job to defend the referendum because his government put it forward.

The premier, who has said he is in favour of proportional representation, said he was open to a debate as soon as a date was set.

Wilkinson released a statement about the debate after it was announced Tuesday, saying the referendum has been "flawed from the start."

"The premier must explain to B.C. why he's trying to change our democracy to hold on to power and, on Nov. 8, I will be doing everything I can to make sure he does that," the statement said.

Andrew Wilkinson says the electoral reform referendum has been 'flawed from the start.' (Mike MacArthur/CBC)

When and how to watch

A special broadcast will air on CBC British Columbia from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. PT on Nov. 8. 

Viewers can tune in on CBC Television, CBC Radio One, CBC British Columbia's website, CBC Vancouver's Facebook page, and @CBCNewsBC Periscope.

The debate will be moderated by CBC Vancouver's Stephen Quinn and Global's Lynda Steele.