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Candidates for Change deny Capital Daily entry at debate, escort one candidate out

The event was boycotted by some candidates

By Ryan Hook
October 7, 2022
Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Candidates for Change deny Capital Daily entry at debate, escort one candidate out

The event was boycotted by some candidates

By Ryan Hook
Oct 7, 2022
The Candidates for Change event was held at the Oaklands Bible Chapel. Photo: Google Maps
The Candidates for Change event was held at the Oaklands Bible Chapel. Photo: Google Maps
Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Candidates for Change deny Capital Daily entry at debate, escort one candidate out

The event was boycotted by some candidates

By Ryan Hook
October 7, 2022
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Candidates for Change deny Capital Daily entry at debate, escort one candidate out
The Candidates for Change event was held at the Oaklands Bible Chapel. Photo: Google Maps

On Tuesday night, at an all-candidates meeting hosted by Candidates for Change, Capital Daily was refused entry.

“We’ve had bad experiences with Mr. Ryan Hook,” the volunteer told reporter Ryan Hook. “Don’t care too much for his kind.” 

The volunteer is associated with WeUnify—the organization that coordinated the Victoria Freedom Convoy in Victoria—and Candidates for Change deny any association with the Freedom Convoy, as well as the People’s Party of Canada (PPC). 

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This Saturday, WeUnify is hosting a Thanksgiving dinner with PPC leader Maxime Bernier at Oaklands Chapel—the same venue as the Candidates for Change event—which prompted a group of candidates to boycott the Candidates for Change meeting. 

The volunteer took issue with the boycott and Capital Daily’s article, A new ‘non-partisan’ slate in Victoria's election has extensive ties to the People's Party of Canada, in which WeUnify’s Reclaiming Canada Conference was mentioned. The article laid out the multiple connections between the VIVA Victoria slate and the PPC; it also found connections between the slate and WeUnify and other movements that have grown during the pandemic in response to government health measures.

Further reporting on the slate’s tactics led to the dismissal of its communications manager (a former PPC candidate) earlier this week. VIVA Victoria and WeUnify deny any connection to each other. 

“We’re not the PPC,” the volunteer told Capital Daily at the door. “We are conservative.” 

Victoria city council candidate Shea Smith said he was escorted about by WeUnify organizers later that evening, and took a video of the interaction.

According to Smith, he RSVP’d to the invite but was late for the 6pm briefing.

“I got there at about 7:10 and they said it was fine and that I had a spot,” he said.

According to Smith, organizers then told him they couldn’t provide him with a microphone. “So I asked if it was possible [to] use the power of my own voice; I even addressed the crowd,” he said. “They invited me in, so I’d have liked to have been part of the democratic process.”

Shortly after Smith addressed the crowd, he said he was ushered away. “I feel pretty discriminated against,” he said.

Council candidate Derek Pinto attended the event and said kicking Smith out was the right action. “He’s a highly disruptive individual …and he chose to shout and to try to basically control the airwaves,” Pinto said. “In my opinion, from what I've seen, it’s his behavior at every meeting.”

Pinto said he disagreed with Capital Daily being refused entry, and also disagreed with candidates boycotting the event.

“I don't agree with them, even though I'm supporting some of them,” he said.

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Ryan Hook
Food, Arts & Culture Reporter

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