COURTENAY, B.C. – With the municipal election just around the corner, North Island College is hosting an all-candidates meeting next Wednesday, Oct. 10.

The free event is open to the public and runs from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Stan Hagen Theatre on NIC’s Comox Valley campus.

Members of the public will have the opportunity to engage candidates in a Q&A session.

The non-partisan event is being hosted by a group of fourth-year nursing students, supported by the North Island Students’ Union, nursing instructors and peers.

Sarah Vallintine is co-organizing the meeting with two fellow fourth-year NIC nursing students. Vallintine is also moderating the meeting.

“We want to inspire and motivate college students to vote,” Vallintine said. “We also realize that students have important knowledge and insight into the future of our community, and we wanted to provide a space to allow these students, our community, and the candidates to collaborate.”

Vallintine said the priorities set by the municipal council members directly affect the health of the community and the environment.

“We see that civic decision making and health care are intertwined,” Vallintine said. “And as nurses caring for the community, we see the effort (and) the impacts of this.”

The first sets of questions will come from Comox Valley’s nursing population, and long-time community activist Vanessa Scott will be the emcee at the start and end of the meeting.

“We’re going to ask questions that are submitted by the public, and by the nursing students and we’re going to give three people the maximum of a minute each to answer,” Vallintine explained. “And we’re going to have a card format, and if they (candidates) really feel they want to answer (a question), that they can hold up (a card) and answer that specific question. We want to make it even so everybody gets a chance to speak but not everyone is going to be able to answer the same question.”

All 20 of Courtenay’s candidates have received invitations and seven have RVSP’d, however there is a conflict on that date, as there is a watershed demonstration happening that night at the Florence Filberg Centre.

Courtenay candidates include:

Mayor – Bob Wells, Erik Eriksson, Larry Jangula, and Harold Long.

Councillor – Will Cole-Hamilton, Brennan Day, Darwin Dzuba, David Frisch, Tom Grant, Doug Hillian, Kiyoshi Kosky, Jin Lin, Penny Marlow, Melanie McCollum, Wendy Morin, Judi Murakami, J. Murray Presley, Deana Simkin, Manno Theos, Starr Winchester, Janice Caton, and Kathleen (Kat) Hawksby.

The civic election happens Saturday, Oct. 20.