The Souris-Glenwood Chamber of Commerce hosted a candidates' forum on Wednesday evening with two of the three candidates running for Spruce Woods Riding in attendance.  MLP Candidate, Michelle Budiwski, and PC Candidate, Grant Jackson, were both in attendance for the Q&A.  NDP Candidate, Melissa Ghidoni, was unable to attend.

"As a business leader in the community, it was very important for us to host the event and we wanted to be able to hear from all of the candidates," shares Chamber President, Loretta Turner, "and share with the community, who may not have otherwise had their door knocked on or wouldn't have been able to be informed in any other way. We partnered with CGTV so that makes it accessible on the internet and also on tv."

Turner was very pleased with the candidates' answers to the 20 questions that were directed their way, with regards to Spruce Woods but even more specifically to the Souris-Glenwood municipality.

"But there were definitely questions tonight that were specific to Souris-Glenwood and the concerns that we have," she explains. "We covered basically all the important topics that we feel are important to our community."

Questions ranged from healthcare to roads and infrastructure, rural education and post-secondary education opportunities, taxes, drug addiction and homelessness, community building, and more.

PC Candidate Grant Jackson was born and raised in Souris and so was very familiar with those in the audience, including Mayor Duane Davison, council members and Chamber members.

Michelle Budiwski, was born and raised in Cranberry-Portage but has lived in Rivers for well over a dozen years and has launched businesses of her own in her community.

Both candidates answered all 20 questions skillfully, and it was difficult to tell who the stronger candidate was.

Loretta Turner says she feels both candidates know the area very well and could understand and relate to their questions. She felt both candidates were Intune with what the needs are in the Souris-Glenwood area.

"Michelle and Grant are definitely in tune and understand, as both of them are from this riding, and both have spent many years in the riding," shares Turner.  "They weren't shocked by the questions because they know that those are the things that are problems, or opportunities, and things that we need addressed."

Please listen to Loretta Turner's final thoughts on Wednesday evening's candidates' forum below!

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