Despite being in considerable physical pain - ward 4 candidate hangs in while the ward 4 incumbent arrives half an hour late.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 26th, 2018



It wasn’t as pleasant a debate as you might have thought.

Shawna 1

Shawna Stolte answering questions during the ward 4 “debate”.

Shawna Stolte was in considerable physical pain during the more than an hour and a half debate.
She had been hospitalized earlier in the month with a kidney stone problem. She thought it was completely passed. It wasn’t.

The night of the debate she was heavily medicated and had brought a small plastic bucket she thought she might have to use if her stomach got the best of her.

Even though medicated, the ward 4 candidate hung in and went through the event.

The evening for Stolte started with her not know if she was going to debate the incumbent or just have a conversation with moderator Mark Carr.

Jack Dennison showed up at the 30 minute point and the conversation turned into questions being asked and answers given.

Mark Carr as moderator 3

Mark Carr moderating.]

Carr did make one difference with this debate. He allowed a candidate to question a candidate if they had been mentioned in a response.
Prior to this decision there was no room for direct debate between the two candidates. There was no opportunity for one candidate to put a question directly to the other candidate.

Dennison didn’t say he was going to take part in the debate – he said he might. The organizers were never able to say for certain that Dennison was going to take part.

There were something in the order of 125 people in the Nelson high school auditorium. Some observers felt the turn out was as low as it was because they assumed Dennison wasn’t going to show up.

His difficulty in getting to the debate was due to a Council meeting taking place the same evening.

Jack D 1

Councillor Jack Dennison – late for the start of the debate – and without an apology to his opponent.

Dennison had been given the option of having the debate take place on a different date. He had six days to inform the organizers. When the noon deadline came and went without a response the organizers stayed with the date on which the Council meeting was taking place.

Dennison said he “might” be able to make it.

The result was to leave the only other candidate running against Dennison in some doubt as to whether or not she was actually going to see the incumbent on the stage.

Given all this Shawna Stolte acquitted herself very well.

Few people know that when she decided to run for the ward 4 seat Stolte made an appointment to meet with Dennison in his city hall office.  He may have thought she was there to measure the place for new drapes.  She was there to introduce herself; that level of decency has been part of Stolte’s approach throughout this election.

The full debate is available as a video HERE

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2 comments to Despite being in considerable physical pain – ward 4 candidate hangs in while the ward 4 incumbent arrives half an hour late.

  • Bonnie

    Pepper, thank you for posting this article to let residents know that Shawna was not well the evening of the debate. Given the choice to cancel the evening, Shawna made the effort to attend, as she was aware that many residents would not receive the message of the cancellation and would arrive to find an empty auditorium. In my opinion, this is a candidate, who if successful in her bid for a council seat, would put the residents first.

  • Frank

    It wasn’t much of a “debate”.Let’s get a new moderator.