Residents of Thompson will have the opportunity to ask four of the candidates seeking to be the next Churchill-Keewatinook Aski MP questions at University College of the North tonight at 7 p.m. during a town hall forum organized by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO).
NDP candidate Niki Ashton, Conservative candidate Cyara Bird, Liberal candidate Judy Klassen and Green candidate Ralph McLean have confirmed their attendance with organizers.
The event will include a panel discussion where First Nations citizens will be given to opportunity to ask questions face-to-face, said an AMC press release about the Sept. 19 forum, which will also be streamed live on the AMC Facebook page and the AMC YouTube channel, with viewers having the opportunity to submit questions for the candidates.
Part of AMC’s I’m First Nation and I Vote campaign that aims to encourage Indigenous voters to cast ballots in provincial and federal elections, the forum is the last of a series of three such events. The first was held in Winnipeg Aug. 15 during the provincial election campaign and a second took place Sept. 16, also in Winnipeg. Candidates at the most recent town hall included Bird as well as Liberal Dan Vandal, the Green party of Canada’s James Beddome and Kathy Guimond-Doyle, an independent candidate in the Winnipeg north riding.
“The influence of out citizens and their voices cannot be ignored this federal election,” said AMC grand Chief Arlen Dumas following the Sept. 16 forum. "First Nation issues must be at the forefront of every party platform. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs will continue to provide an outlet for First Nations citizens to engage with federal candidates before they cast their vote in October. When our collective voices are heard, we send a strong message that can change the outcome of an election.”
The federal election is Oct. 21.