Seniors' issues, and only seniors' issues, the focus of first mayoral candidates meeting

By Spencer Sterritt
September 6, 2016 - 5:00pm

Mayoral candidates in Prince Albert’s municipal election will have to stay focused during the first all candidates meeting.

All four-incumbent Greg Dionne, Conrad Burns, Josh Morrow and Martin Ring, have said they’ll attend the meeting on Sept. 8 at Abbeyfield Home from 1 to 3 p.m.

Moderator and Prince Albert Seniors Advocacy Centre representative Dr. John Fryters said he wants concrete answers to seniors’ concerns, not empty promises.

“I’m looking for real answers to real problems,” he said. “I don’t want something like ‘I’m going to work for the seniors in this town.’ I don’t want to hear that.”

Fryters will begin the meeting with his opening remarks, which he said will last roughly 10 minutes and highlight the 10 issues the candidates will discuss.

All candidates have been provided the opening remarks and will have prepared statements about the concerns.

Candidates will speak for eight minutes before the floor is opened to questions, all of which will be related to seniors’ issues.

“I’m asking the candidates to think outside the box because there are all kinds of services being offered by municipalities to seniors these days, and here in P.A. it’s not very much,” Fryters said. He cited tax waiving programs in cities such as Saskatoon as something to be addressed.

The municipal election has already been hotly contested and testy at times.

Fryters said he expects the debate process to go smoothly as long as candidates remain civil. He’ll shut off candidates’ microphones if he sees behaviour he considers unsuitable.

“It’s going to be respectful to seniors and hopefully we can get seniors issues to the forefront because we have to start paying attention. (Seniors) have voting clout in this city,” he said.

By the year 2020, Fryters said he expected more than 25 per cent of P.A.’s population will be over 65.

-with files from Nigel Maxwell

 

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