Brandon, MB (CKLQ) - Approximately one hundred people showed up at the Town Hall held at St Matthews Cathedral Wednesday night.
The event coordinated by community advocate Kim Longstreet was an opportunity for local residents to hear candidates speak on some serious issues affecting Brandonites.
Longstreet said she wanted to create an open dialogue on topics such as addiction, bigotry, crime, mental health and poverty.
"These are things that happen in every community but I noticed we don't discuss them in our community," Longstreet said.
She added, her aim was to have candidates speak freely as citizens rather than people running for council.
"The whole premise behind the event was, just be yourself, just come and talk to people about what you think Brandon should be but don't do it as a councilor or the Mayor, just do it as somebody who lives here," Longstreet said.
One of the hot button issues candidates discussed is addiction which is connected to the growing meth crisis.
Many people, including Mayor Rick Chrest, agree the highly addictive drug is connected to an uptick in crime here in the city.
"Certainly we've had a spike in social issues in our community most notably crystal meth and some of the crime that has spiked as a result of that" Chrest said.
Mayor Chrest added the city is currently working with the province to take an important step toward dealing with the drug problem.
"We're looking forward to new programs and facilities being provided by the Province we'll see a rapid access to addictions medical clinic opening soon," Chrest said.
All 19 candidates attended to take their turn at the podium.
The municipal election is October 24, 2018.
Advance polls open at city hall starting Wednesday, October 10, 2018.