08/18/2014 09:46 EDT | Updated 10/18/2014 05:59 EDT

Alberta PC leadership candidates to face off in public forum

The candidates vying for the Progressive Conservative leadership will face questions from the public Monday night in a forum that, for the first time since campaigning started, isn't organized by the party. 

Thomas Lukaszuk, RicMcIver and Jim Prentice have only faced each other in forums organized and controlled by the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta. 

Last week, Lukaszuk and McIver asked the PC Party to work with media outlets in the province to coordinate a live televised public debate. However, the idea was rejected by the party. 

Tonight’s forum was arranged by the Alberta chapter of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. It will be held at the Ukrainian Youth Unity Complex on 153th Avenue. 

Organizer Slavka Shulakewych says while there are specific questions Edmonton’s Ukrainian community would like to ask, anyone can pose questions.

“It is also open to the public,” Shulakewych said. “We welcome everyone. There will be a question period so people will be able to ask their questions of their own concern as well.”

Political scientist David Taras says this forum could be “a big moment” in the leadership race.

“This is their last chance basically to put a dent into Prentice’s lead and in fact his image so yes, I expect there will be fireworks,” Taras said.

The debate starts tonight at 7 p.m. MT. CBC will be livestreaming the event online.