Tanya Shannon and Ted McGill are both running for Area B (Beaufort) in the ACRD byelection. Shannon had been elected in October 2018 but was required to give up her seat with the court-ordered byelection. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Alberni-Clayoquot byelection candidates lay out platforms


Special to the News

Candidates outnumbered electors at a meet-and-greet held Monday for twin byelections in Beaufort and Cherry Creek.

And that was after one of the candidates, Tanya Shannon, had to cancel due to illness.

With only a couple of earnest voters plying them with questions, the three other candidates had plenty of time to share thoughts on priorities and issues in the two rural areas.

Shannon and Dianne Bodnar, who were elected to represent Areas B and F respectively last fall, are back in the race, determined to reclaim seats at the ACRD board table. Ted McGill is once again challenging Shannon while Aaron Brevick has stepped up as a contender in Cherry Creek.

Bodnar, a retired registered nurse, defeated Darren DeLuca by seven votes in the October 2018 election.

“I’ve been very honest, seeing as it is my first time in politics,” said Bodnar, a retired registered nurse. “I want to listen and hear what Cherry Creek people have to say.”

She listed a few prominent issues, chiefly air quality, trails, water utility bills and the question of whether a firehall is needed. Door-knocking at 300 homes gave her a grounding in local issues.

“One of the things they were concerned about was water,” she said. “We’re paying so much.”

Brevick, a welder/fabricator enrolled in market garden training, ran unsuccessfully for city council last fall. His rural roots, however, go deep. He cited, as key issues of concern, logging on the Beaufort Range and backcountry access increasingly restricted by gated roads.

“I’m a ‘Creeker’ right from the start,” he said, citing the importance of the outdoor lifestyle to residents.

While an aquatic centre for the valley is coming down the pipe, “I don’t want Cherry Creek to turn into another deep pocket for the city,” he said. The city would pick up 80 percent of tab, he noted. “I’m sure we can kick in another 15 percent but we have to work together.”

McGill, a former military policeman now working for the B.C. Coroner Service, said he’s had good input from residents in this go-round. He hasn’t changed his platform after losing last time.

“I’m just here to represent the community in the best way I can,” he said, explaining his outlook. “I think with the regional district, you become the voice of the community, sharing their voices with the regional district and the provincial government.”

Fire service, watershed concerns and locked gates were also high on his list of local issues.

Reached later, Shannon said logging practices, backcountry access, fire protection and water quality as uppermost in peoples’ minds. After learning the election results were invalid, she continued attending ACRD board meetings, seated with the public, to keep on top of matters.

“One of my things was getting watershed management added as a strategic priority for the regional district,” said the mother of two toddlers. She managed that shortly before having to give up her seat in January and hopes to keep the process on track by getting re-elected.

The byelections were court ordered after results of the November 2018 ACRD elections were declared invalid due to ballot irregularities. A review found that 13 Beaufort (Area B) voters cast ballots in Cherry Creek (Area F).

Voters may have been confused since Beaufort gets its water from Cherry Creek. Another possible explanation: There has not been an election in Beaufort for 30 years or more owing to the fact that Mike Kokura was returned by acclamation for that period, decades in which lots of new residents settled in the upper valley. Adding to the confusion, boundaries for fire protection and water are different, Shannon noted, and maps posted on the ACRD site are not easy to interpret.

Brevick suspects voter participation could significantly lower on April 6. Byelections in general don’t see big numbers.

“We’ll be lucky to get 250 this time,” he said.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Aaron Brevick, right, with partner Brooklynn Stonehouse, answers questions about why he is running for Area F (Cherry Creek) in the ACRD byelection on April 6, 2019. MIKE YOUDS PHOTO

Just Posted

Wounded Warriors runners arrive in Port Alberni

Fundraising dinner will take place at Royal Canadian Legion

Arrowvale Farm near Port Alberni hosts maple syrup fest

Taste west coast maple syrup on Leap Year Saturday and watch demonstrations too

ACRD urges B.C. gov’t to upgrade Bamfield Road in wake of winter storm

ACRD board to write letter to Premier John Horgan, expressing urgency

More businesses in Port Alberni need a voice at city council, says one Uptown owner

Business owner says all businesses in the Alberni Valley need a louder voice

Port Alberni finishes strong in men’s bonspiel

Home teams make it to the finals at Alberni Valley Curling Club’s Men’s Open Bonspiel

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Comox 442 Squadron carries out two sea rescue missions north of Vancouver Island

Submitted by Lt. Alexandra Hejduk Special to Black Press 442 Transport and… Continue reading

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks with feds, province

Discussions with provincial and federal governments expected to start later today

‘The project is proceeding’: Horgan resolute in support of northern B.C. pipeline

B.C. premier speaks as talks scheduled with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

BREAKING: Kelowna RCMP to further investigate 12 sexual assault cases, create sexual assault unit

Recommendations come five months after it was revealed 40% of sexual assaults were deemed ‘unfounded’

Most Read