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

Sylvan Lake Community Partners helps families prepare for school

The Tools for School is in its second year, and has helped around 50 families

PHOTOS: Jazz at the Lake swings into its 17th year

The annual music festival ran over three days this past weekend

Town of Sylvan Lake looking at lake usage in new survey

The Town is in talks to contract part of the lake, but has to have a plan for water usage first

Over 1,000 barrel racers pouring into Ponoka next week for ABRA Finals

The Alberta Barrel Racing Association Finals will be held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre Aug. 19-25

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Alberta oil curtailment rules extended to late 2020 as pipeline delays drag on

At issue is ability to export oil in face of regulatory and legal challenges against pipelines

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

Panel to review impacts of safe injection sites in Alberta

It will look at crime rates, social order and property values, and not harm reduction or housing

Five suspects arrested by Leduc RCMP with help of Wetaskiwin and Maskwacis

Leduc RCMP work with Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP to make arrests

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Most Read