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This article was published 14/4/2016 (1454 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Two back-to-back debates tonight will give Wheat City voters a more in-depth look at the local candidates vying to represent Brandon in the Manitoba legislature.
With only a few days left before the provincial election, residents are encouraged to attend the free event at the Keystone Centre Amphitheatre.
The Brandon West debate will kick off the evening at 6 p.m., with Progressive Conservative incumbent Reg Helwer and NDP candidate Linda Ross squaring off. Liberal candidate Billy Moore has been invited, but has not confirmed his attendance.
"I look forward … to hearing some specifics from Reg Helwer, the sitting Progressive Conservative MLA, about what his and his party’s plans would be if they form government, which appears to be a fairly good likelihood of that taking place," said Brandon Sun political columnist Kerry Auriat, who will serve as moderator.
"I also look forward to hearing from Linda Ross … What she has to offer after 17 years of the NDP in government and asking for a continuation of their mandate. That’s going to be challenging to defend."
Immediately following Brandon West will be the Brandon East debate at 7:35 p.m. All three candidates are confirmed: NDP incumbent Drew Caldwell, Tory candidate Len Isleifson and Liberal candidate Vanessa Hamilton.
"Brandon East to me is a much more intriguing debate," Auriat said. "You have a cabinet minister and a member of the caucus who has been there from Day 1 of this NDP government. So I’m looking forward to ... a spirited debate between he and Len Isleifson as well as Vanessa Hamilton, in regards to defending his record and the record of his government."
Auriat said he’s looking forward to seeing how both Isleifson and Hamilton handle themselves in a debate with a cabinet minister.
"You’ve got three pretty formidable people on stage," Auriat said.
The debates are presented by The Brandon Sun, Westman Communications Group, CKLQ radio and the Brandon Chamber of Commerce.
They will be broadcast live on CKLQ as well as WCGtv. The debates will feature four panellists: Brandon Sun reporter Charles Tweed, CKLQ news director Clay Young, Brandon University political scientist Kelly Saunders and Brandon Chamber of Commerce vice-president Terry Burgess.
Audience members will have a chance to write down questions prior to the debate. Questions can also be sent in advance to Brandon Sun editor Matt Goerzen via email by 4 p.m. to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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