Ward 7 voters had a lot on their minds, and candidates answered questions about everything from urban chickens to recycling to urban sprawl.
One single issue didn’t rise to the forefront for the packed Triwood Community Centre crowd of around 170, as the latest instalment of the Civic Camp’s 14 ward forums took place in the northwest on Thursday night.
Ward residents Kimberly Coutts and Jason Quenneville thought the issues were covered “adequately,” but even having the forum allowed them to solidify their decision on their future alderman.
“It definitely gave me the clarity for my final decision,” said Coutts.
“Because we have a well-known alderman, we know a lot about her, so it’s learning about the other candidates and what their position might be.”
Both thought the candidates’ knowledge of the issues was “inconsistent,” but Quenneville said the forum was enough of a cross-section to help him make his decision.
Getting people involved is the idea behind the ward forums, said Peter Rishaug of Civic Camp, hosts of the event.
“I think the awareness is building. People are getting out at the community level and attending these forums,” said Rishaug.
Not a lot is being done to get candidates in front of the voters at the ward level, Rishaug said, underscoring the importance of events like this.
“We’re more than happy to provide the opportunity for people to engage that way,” he said.
Ald. Druh Farrell, in her fourth run at the ward seat, said seeing the big crowd was inspiring.
“It’s democracy at work — people are engaged,” she said.
“It’s very positive.”
The next forum, involving Ward 9 candidates, is Friday at the Winston Heights-Mountview Community Hall at 520–27 Ave. NE, starting at 7 p.m.