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Clark dodges CKNW debate

Premier Christy Clark is too busy for all-candidates' debates and radio talk shows -- even those on the same station that used to employ her.

Clark's campaign manager in the upcoming Vancouver-Point Grey byelection turned down an offer to have the premier parlay on CKNW'S Bill Good Show with her opponent, New Democratic Party candidate David Eby, said the show's producer Jessica Hyatt. 

"We hoped to set up a debate to take place tomorrow, but they didn't return my email, so I left a voicemail, and they didn't return that," said Hyatt. "They finally got back to us on last Friday and said there was a conflict."

CKNW is the local broadcast company that aired a talk show hosted by the premier, self-titled The Christy Clark Show.

Calls today to Premier's Clark's campaign headquarters were unreturned. The premier's campaign manager recently said there are better ways for candidates to spend their time than participating in all-candidates' meetings.

NDP candidate Eby said the premier refused or has failed to respond to requests for a series of debates, including tonight's organized by Fair Voting B.C. at St. Helen's Anglican Church, tomorrow at Bayview Community School, and on the Bill Good Show.

Eby added that he "feels good" about going to the debates and answering difficult questions because it is essential in order to understand the people an MLA will govern.

"How can you represent your constituency if you don't even know what their views are?" said Eby.

According to Dennis Pilon, a professor of Canadian politics at the University of Victoria, the premier's refusal to engage with her constituency "looks bad" and reveals that she is solely focused on winning votes.

"When a candidate doesn't participate, it starts to look a bit elitist," Pilon said.

Pilon said he doubts the effectiveness of all-candidates' debates when it comes to garnering votes, but that they are important to show all candidates are equal.

Jamie Williams is completing a practicum at The Tyee.

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