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Facebook used to educate Port Moody-Coquitlam byelection voters

Voters in the provincial riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam can now turn to Facebook to learn more about the upcoming byelection after IntegrityBC launched a fan page with information for the upcoming vote.  - TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
Voters in the provincial riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam can now turn to Facebook to learn more about the upcoming byelection after IntegrityBC launched a fan page with information for the upcoming vote.
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

Voters in the provincial riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam can now turn to Facebook to learn more about the upcoming byelection after IntegrityBC launched a fan page with information for the upcoming vote.

Dermod Travis, the executive director of IntegrityBC, said the site is a way of connecting the community and enhancing civic engagement ahead of the April 19 vote.

"We are trying to make certain that politicians understand there is a need for accountability," he said. "If they are going to make promises, we now have an organization that is going to hold them to it."

The site includes links to news articles, enabling members of the community to comment on the issues that come up during the campaign. It will also give voters the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates and participate in online polls.

Travis said online commenting will be moderated and people who are saying libellous or inappropriate things on the site will be blocked and their comments deleted.

"The rules we have are that it you can't say it in the legislature, don't press return," he said. "We will not allow personal attacks."

IntegrityBC has a main Facebook page with more than 3,000 fans, and Travis said for the most part, the discussion has been civil.

He hopes that by engaging voters and creating a dialogue between residents and candidates, voter turnout, which is historically lower in byelections, will increase.

Another IntegrityBC fan page has also been launched for the Chilliwack-Hope byelection.

• To see the local site go to facebook.com and search Port Moody-Coquitlam byelection.

 

ALL-CANDIDATES MEETING

Voters in Port Moody-Coquitlam will get a chance to see the people running in next month's byelection square off in debate at an upcoming all-candidates meeting.

The Burquitlam Community Association is inviting the candidates and members of the public to attend the event, which will take place in the gym at Sir Frederick Banting middle school (820 Banting St., Coquitlam). The meeting will run from 7 and 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 12.

For more information about the all-candidates meeting go to www.burquitlam.ca.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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