LETHBRIDGE: Local Conservative candidate Jim Hillyer's decision to not participate in any more forums leading up to the federal election, is not going over well for a number of Lethbridge residents.
Country 95 News spoke to several people around the city, and found that while most people were split on the question of whether or not Hillyer's move would change the vote outcome May 2nd, every single person stated that they were upset by the decision.
Hillyer's competition also took advantage of the opportunity, going over their concerns with the plan. NDP candidate Mark Sandilands suggested that it could be part of what he called a "bubble" campaign, where the Conservatives are trying to hide a struggling candidate. He added that since the announcement, the NDP has already seen an increase in local support.
Liberal candidate Michael Cormican says it's not very respectful to the people involved or the organizers of the forums. He went on to say that the forums are like a job interview, and if you don't show up, you may not get the job.
To this point Hillyer has yet to return any of the calls from Country 95 News on the matter.
As for the impact of Hillyer's decision, while we won't know for sure until the votes are counted, Local Political Scientist Faron Ellis feels the damage may be minimal. He explained that for the most part, Canadians focus first on the party they're voting for, then the party leader, and then the local candidate.
You can listen below to some of the thoughts shared by Lethbridge residents.