Conservative bows out of debate… again

‘People really wanted to engage with her as well as the other candidates’

Despite having weeks notice Michelle Rempel the federal Conservative candidate for Calgary Centre-North bowed out of an all-candidates debate — disappointing a standing-room only crowd of more than 200 people.

It’s become a bit of a running theme for the rookie candidate this election. She bailed on a candidates’ debate at the University of Calgary earlier this month because her campaign team — wait for it — didn’t like the moderator due to supposed Liberal ties.

However Rempel’s team couldn’t use that excuse this time as the moderator was CTV reporter Chris Epp. So her campaign manager went with the old standby excuse: “prior commitments.”

“I think people really wanted to engage with her as well as the other candidates” says debate organizer Ted Woynillowicz. “In a sense they probably felt disrespected by her absence.”

The riding was left wide open after two-term Conservative and former Environment Minister Jim Prentice left politics late last year.