WORCA gives candidates relaxed forum 

Municipal candidates will have the chance to speak to the people of Whistler at an informal get-together Oct. 29 hosted by the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association and Pique Newsmagazine.

The forum is an easy-going alternative to next month’s all-candidates meeting, organized by the Whistler Chamber of Commerce.

"The WORCA format is a bit more laid back and relaxed and not too uptight," said Bob Lorriman, WORCA’S membership director.

The set-up will be different from the all candidates meeting where each municipal candidate is given an open forum to talk to the audience.

At the WORCA meeting each candidate will be sitting at a table. They will have seven minutes to talk with people, a whistle will blow and then they will move along to the next table.

It’s hoped the small table format will encourage a more comfortable and personal environment.

"What we’re trying to do with the WORCA (meeting) is just make it a little less intimidating for people," said Lorriman.

"At the big all candidates meeting I’m not sure that there are some people that are comfortable getting up and asking a question in front of a whole bunch of people."

It might also put those candidates who are not used to speaking in public at ease too, said Lorriman.

He was not sure how many candidates had signed up to participate in the event as of Wednesday.

The idea for the informal gathering came up at WORCA’s annual general meeting last month. About 50-70 people were at that meeting and many loved the idea of hearing the candidates speak at a mini candidates meeting.

Lorriman calls the response overwhelming.

"Everybody wanted to do it," he said.

WORCA also hosted a Whistler. It’s Our Future workshop this summer after the municipal workshops fell on two consecutive Thursday nights (Loonie Races) and the final weekend workshop fell on the Cheakamus Challenge.

"That sort of got me a bit ticked off that these consultants hadn’t given that some thought," said Lorriman.

"It surprised me the numbers that showed up to the Whistler. It’s Our Future workshop."

He said that sustainability initiative might have more people thinking about the election this year.

"When you look at the demographics of the WORCA membership, we cross a pretty broad spectrum. There’s a lot of people that are interested in what’s going to happen five years down the road," he added.

The WORCA and Pique Newsmagazine-sponsored meeting will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Spruce Grove Field House.

"I think the people asking the questions will be a bit more comfortable and I think for some of the candidates... it gives them a chance to work on their answers before they get to the big all candidates meeting," said Lorriman.

The Whistler Chamber of Commerce all candidates meeting will take place on Nov. 2 at 3 p.m. at Myrtle Philip school.

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