Residents across the city will be able to have their questions asked directly to council and mayoral hopefuls as the Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce plans to hold a virtual all candidates forum later this month.

Board Chair Larry Gibson says with last week’s virtual federal all-candidates forum now in the books, they can turn their attention to the municipal election. He adds, however, if every registered candidate attends, they will have to tweak the format a little to try and provide an equal opportunity for everyone to speak.

“With 20 candidates for council, and three mayoral candidates, it’s going to be a little different, and a little tougher to manage for sure,” he says. “The allotment for time is going to have to be reduced, just to give them the [number] of candidates on the docket.”

Gibson says in elections gone by, forums like this would usually be held in person, but with several positives coming out of the virtual forum, they will continue the trend of digital events this election season. He adds it also allows for more flexibility when it comes to questions to be asked.

“We were able to spotlight the candidates a lot better, zooming in on them and giving them that dedicated time and the opportunity to speak, and of course the footage we can get after the fact,” he says.

“You get to view all the questions coming in, and pick that cross-section of questions so you can cover a diverse amount of categories people have questions on.”

The candidate’s forum is scheduled for September 28th at 6 p.m. There is no cost to attend, but anyone interested in tuning in will be required to register. An all-candidates forum for potential councillors in the County of Grande Prairie will also be held on October 5th. The chamber says all candidates in Divisions with more than one candidate in the County of Grande Prairie are invited to take part.