Port Alberni mayoral candidate Mike Ruttan, who is running for re-election, chats with a constituent at the Italian Hall on Sept. 25. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

ELECTION 2018: Port Alberni gets first public look at election candidates

VIDEO: We asked candidates their top three issues for Port Alberni

Better housing, crime reduction, capitalizing on tourism and improving business relations were all hot button topics at the first Port Alberni municipal election candidates’ meet and greet, held Sept. 25 at the Italian Hall Events Centre.

Two dozen city council, mayoral and school trustee candidates set up tables and prepared their spiels for the general public, sharing their platforms and answering questions.

The two-hour event drew about 100 people with similar goals—to learn more about the 22 city council, six mayoral and 11 school trustee candidates. Not all candidates were able to make the event.

Sandy McRuer, who started the Alberni Valley Politics page a few years ago to offer a place for residents to discuss local politics, said the meet and greet gave him a better chance to meet candidates and ask them questions than a traditional all-candidates’ meeting format.

“I prefer this to the candidates’ debate where it really isn’t a debate; you get two minutes to say your piece, then people have to go away and vote for you,” McRuer said.

At the meet and greet, with two dozen candidates in the room, he said he got to approach all the candidates for whom he had questions, meet others as well as chat with their supporters.

McRuer also complimented Port Alberni-based videographer Dallas Dalziel on the video series he has done on issues facing the community.

READ MORE: Learn about Port Alberni’s mayoral candidates with new film series

There are several other events planned for all-candidates’ meetings and meet and greets in the next two weeks. The municipal election will take place Saturday, Oct. 20, with advance voting on Oct. 10 and Oct. 16; locally, people will vote for Port Alberni city council, the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District and six of seven School District 70 trustees (west coast communities will vote on one seat).

For voting information, go to www.portalberni.ca, www.acrd.bc.ca and check out our Election section at www.albernivalleynews.com/municipal-election.

The Alberni Valley News will be running candidates’ profiles in our online Election section on a first come, first served basis. All candidates have been invited by e-mail to submit their profiles.



Port Alberni City Council candidate Seva Dhaliwal, right, answers questions at the meet and greet. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Dan Washington, running for re-election on Port Alberni city council, and his wife Chris Washington, running as a new school trustee candidate, talk to Sarah Thomas during the Sept. 25 meet and greet. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

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