*This blog has been updated.
New Westminster civic election candidates will apparently no longer be charged to attend an all-candidates meeting.
I reported on this blog early this morning that the Queensborough Residents Association will be holding an election event for mayoral and city council candidates at the Queensborough Community Centre on Monday, Sept. 24, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.
According to an email sent to candidates, “In the past we have been granted this room space without a charge. Changes at City Hall have been implemented and the QRA now has to pay the QCC a room rental rate for the evening. To cover this rental rate we are asking each presenting candidate to offer $5.00 to cover the cost of the room.”
After posting this blog, I received a message from someone with the city who said it was a misunderstanding. I was told a city staffer didn't realize the nature of the event and so charged a fee, which led to the charge.
Again, it was only $5, but it was a new one for me after covering civic politics since 1990. I don’t ever remember a candidate being charged a fee to attend such an event.
It was more about the principle.
Anyways, I hope people will turn out to the meeting and the whopping number of other all-candidates events New West groups are hosting. So far, Burnaby has only two events planned – one for mayoral candidates and the other a meet-and-greet with a business group. Good on New West groups for kicking election butt!
If you are looking to do some prep before attending any of these meetings, check out our special page with candidate profiles, in which candidates give answers to our questionnaire. Not all of them are up yet, but it will be updated through the following week.