Conservative MP Dona Cadman abruptly backs out of Surrey all-candidates forum
Conservative incumbentDona Cadman was noticeably absent from a recent all-candidates forum in her Surrey North riding.
Cadman was the first candidate to accept an invitation to the April 20 event, organized by the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association.
But the Surrey North MP abruptly backed out the day before the forum, which was attended by the six other candidates running to defeat her on May 2.
Cadman’s failure to show up for the forum drew criticism from her political opponents, who accused her of not being accessible to the public in this election.
“If there’s a legitimate reason for her not to attend, that I understand, but this is a constant pattern,” NDP candidate Jasbir Sandhu told the Straight.
“I haven’t seen her during the campaign. She hasn’t been quoted in the papers at all.”
Cadman could not be reached for comment through her campaign office.
“We made sure that everybody was invited to the all-candidates meeting well in advance of the meeting,” said Elizabeth Model, executive director of the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association.
Forum organizers received little explanation from Cadman’s campaign for the candidate’s sudden withdrawal.
Model said the business improvement association was told Cadman “would probably not be able to attend because she had a [scheduling] conflict”.
Liberal candidate Shinder Purewal noted Cadman was the only Surrey North candidate to miss the April 20 forum.
“It means simply that she cannot defend the positions of the Conservative government,” Purewal told the Straight.
“She has shown that she doesn’t even care what people think and she’s not ready to face the people of Surrey North.”
Green candidate Bernadette Keenan said it’s unfair to voters when Cadman isn’t accessible.
“I guess it’s her loss. It’s a loss to the voters. It would be nice to see her,” Keenan told the Straight.