The municipal election in the Alberni Valley is heating up, with 23 total candidates vying for mayoral and council seats within the city, as well as battles for seats in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District and School District 70.
How do voters find out who the people are who are running, and what their platforms are? There are a number of all-candidates’ meetings as well as meet and greet events planned over the next few weeks.
The Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce has three all-candidates’ meetings planned for early October: they are splitting up council and mayoral candidates over two nights in order to give candidates a fair opportunity to speak. All chamber events will take place at RimRock Casino in the conference rooms from 7–9 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.).
The first 30 minutes of the night will be set up as a meet and greet, then a formal agenda will start at 7:30 p.m. with introductions by chamber CEO Bill Collette.
On Tuesday, Oct. 4, school trustee candidates as well as those from Areas B (Beaufort), D (Sproat Lake), E (Beaver Creek) and F (Cherry Creek) will speak.
On Wednesday, Oct. 5, 12 council candidates (in alphabetical order) including Michelle Bisaro, Joshua Dahling, Dustin Dame, Terry Deakin, Jim Del Rio, Seva Dhaliwal, John Douglas, Debbie Haggard, Graham Hughes, Richard Huneault, Wendy Kerr and Sukhdev Krishan will be introduced and have five minutes each to present their platforms.
On Thursday, Oct. 6, the remaining nine council candidates (Charles Mealey, Sandy McRuer, Todd Patola, Charlene Patterson, Ron Paulson, Peter Rueschmann, Cindy Solda, Dan Washington and Carole-Anne Zanette) will speak, as well as both mayoral candidates, incumbent Sharie Minions and newcomer Tom Verbrugge. Mayoral candidates will have 10 minutes to present their platforms.
Collette said there probably won’t be time for any public questions, given the number of candidates, “but if we do they will be questions written out, picked up by us at random and selected by us also at random,” he added.
Aside from the chamber’s all-candidates’ meetings, there are a number of other events also planned.
Students and politics
The Social Justice 12 class at Alberni District Secondary School will hold an all-candidates meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 1:50–3 p.m. at the ADSS Theatre. Teacher Anne Ostwald’s class holds similar meetings for every election. This year’s event is open to the public.
Coffee chats at Char’s
Charlene Patterson, who is running for city council, hosts a weekly coffee chat with candidates on Mondays from 4–6 p.m. at Char’s Landing, 4815 Argyle Street. Patterson has hosted such events for past elections and decided to resurrect them again for the 2022 civic election, she said.
Italian Hall opens Sept. 29
Carol-Anne Zanette, who is running for city council, will open up the Italian Hall on Thursday, Sept. 29 for a meet and greet of mayoral and council candidates, from 6–8 p.m. The Italian Hall is located at 4065 Sixth Avenue.
Meet Cherry Creek, SD70 candidates
A meet and greet with Cherry Creek ACRD and school board trustee candidates will take place Wednesday, Sept. 28, 6–8 p.m. at Cherry Creek Community Hall, 3720 Moore Road (at Cherry Creek Road).
A number of candidates have their own social media pages or websites where they lay out their platforms.
The municipal election will take place Saturday, Oct. 15 across British Columbia.