The forum (for the riding of Dauphin - Swan River - Neepawa) was sponsored by the Mission and Services Committee of the Neepawa United Church. It drew about 80 people to the church on Wednesday. But only four of the five candidates (see below) took part in the debate; Ray Piché (Liberal), Kate Storey (Green Party), Inky Mark (Ind.) and Laverne Lewycky (NDP).
The 5th candidate, the sitting Conservative MP for the area, Robert Sopuck (represented by the empty chair on the right), did not attend. His office manager in Neepawa, Christine Waddell, said he was in Inglis, a small community in the western part of the riding for the evening. She did not elaborate. But she did explain that a campaign worker was mistaken when he told forum organizers earlier that Mr. Sopuck would, in fact be there.