A technician cleans the set in preparation for Thursday night’s French language leaders debate Wednesday, September 23, 2015 in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Federal leaders’ debates conflicts with countrywide environment panel in October

The two sides are looking at options to resolve the scheduling conflict

The official English-language leaders’ debate for the fall election is set to conflict with more than 100 planned all-candidates events focused on the environment.

GreenPAC, a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to electing environmentalist candidates, announced in early June that it would help co-ordinate environment debates in ridings across the country on Oct. 7.

Several weeks ago, the group learned the about the timing of one of the two official campaign debates — also Oct. 7.

Holding the debates at the same time would force voters to split their attention, or choose to watch just one debate live, potentially to the detriment of both events that hope to reach the widest audience possible.

GreenPAC’s executive director says it became clear after speaking with the Leaders’ Debates Commission that it would not adjust its schedule.

Sabrina Bowman says she understand the commission was operating under constraints, but had hoped it would be more flexible.

READ MORE: Election leaders’ debates will be more accessible than ever, commission says

“While they were apologetic, they weren’t really willing to shift,” she said in an interview Thursday.

The commission’s executive director says the commission is willing to help make GreenPAC’s debates, “or any other debates,” successful, but wouldn’t change dates.

Michel Cormier didn’t say whether the commission considered the dates of other debates when determining its scheduling.

The two sides are looking at options to resolve the scheduling conflict.

“Ultimately we’re both trying to do the same thing — we want Canadian engagement in democracy,” Bowman said.

She said GreenPAC is talking with local organizers to determine if they need to move the dates for their 100-plus events, which they began organizing early this year.

More than 50 local groups organizing debates have already booked venues for Oct. 7, and changing the date would require substantial effort, Bowman said.

Christian Paas-Lang, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

OPINION: Ten signs that Port Alice has changed

“Right now, our lack of amenities is holding back economic growth in our village”

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Port McNeill council discusses ‘bear aware’ and what you can do to stay safe

Port McNeill’s Conservation Officer Brad Adams gave a presentation about being ‘bear aware’.

Port Hardy RCMP release tips to prevent fraud and theft from vehicles

In many of the incidents reported, “the vehicles that were broken into were unlocked.”

Stranded hikers rescued by helicopter on Mt. Schoen

Campbell River Search and Rescue used hoist operation to rescue trio

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

Island murder victim’s mom expresses outrage over mental fitness decision of the accused

Smith vows to keep fighting until justice served for Descoteau

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Most Read