NO independent voices in this forum’ – Kim Smythe, CEO of Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce

Nanaimo, BC – 10/03/2019 – Geoff Stoneman today announced that he is disappointed about being left out of the Chamber of Commerce debate for the 2019 federal election in Nanaimo-Ladysmith. Geoff Stoneman was told by Kim Smythe CEO of the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce it was his decision alone not to have an independent voice at the forum on October 10, 2019.

As an independent candidate, Geoffs’ platform is putting the community before party interests and obligations, but this does not sit well with chamber CEO Kim Smythe. When contacted by Mr. Stoneman’s campaign, Mr. Smythe said that the decision not to include Mr. Stoneman was one he made alone and he only invited the Liberals, Greens, Conservatives, and NDP because ‘audience members of past forums have requested it.’

Even with current members of the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce asking to have Geoff included in the forum, his response was that ‘no one has called him about it and comments online do not count.’ Mr. Smythe was asked if he believes that the heart of politics is having different perspectives and his response is that ‘the four parties involved will be enough perspective for Nanaimo.’

Mr. Stoneman responded to Mr. Smythe by saying “In my opinion, if we want to have an informed ridding, despite whether you agree or disagree, all parties should be able to attend the same forum that other candidates are invited to. Both the Conservatives and the NDP have no problem with me being there, but Mr. Smythe does. This is 2019, how can one person decide who get to be heard and who doesn’t, it certainly looks like Mr. Smythe is not a big fan of democracy?’

Mr. Stoneman believes the environment is more important than it’s ever been in any other election and wanted to make sure the debate would provide Nanaimo with credible people that could have an impact on the national decisions on the environment that come from the community, not an Ottawa think tank.

Mr. Kim Smythe contact information: ceo@nanaimochamber.bc.ca or by phone 1.250.740.0771 or 1.250.756.1191 at the chamber.