Dear Editor:

As a former Conservative Party member I must share my frustration and embarrassment over the poor attendance Conservative candidate David Wilks has had at the all-candidates forums in this riding during the run-up to this election.

To me this does not show a respect for democracy, demonstrate a desire to represent, or in any way instill confidence in his leadership.

If a candidate cannot take the time and effort to attend forums and answer questions, face the voters, and talk to those who are undecided, it really makes one question how available they will be to listen to and represent the average citizen if they are elected.

Having worked with both David Wilks and Mark Shmigelsky at the local government level, I have no hesitation in saying that I believe that Mark is the best candidate in this riding. Mark has demonstrated a strong commitment to the people of this area, and he will be an effective Member of Parliament who works hard to represent everyone.

I am not a fan of the NDP or Jack Layton, but I know that the quality of the candidate is more important than the party, so on May 2nd, I will be voting for Mark Shmigelsky, and I encourage you to do the same.

Gerry Taft

Mayor of Invermere