EDITORIAL: Public must stay engaged

With the excitement of the elections over the public needs to remember that the hard work is still ahead.

Saturday’s election results have brought Port Alberni a new mayor and a new mix of councillors, melding experienced incumbents with young councillors and fresh ideas.

Whether you are happy with who won or not, this is the council that we now have, and it is up to us to support them as they step into their new roles as municipal politicians, then keep them accountable over the next four years.

This election campaign saw the most public engagement since 2002, with 46.3 per cent of eligible voters casting their ballots.

That’s a considerable sight more than the 29 per cent who voted in 2008, and 35 per cent who voted in 2011.

The level of input on social media was at an all-time high, and aside from some high emotions—again on social media—we would agree with councillor-elect Denis Sauvé, who said there was very little mud-slinging throughout the campaign.

While there were only six council seats and one mayor’s chair to be filled, this city saw some impressive candidates who unfortunately didn’t make the cut—this time. Some brought solid, thoughtful platforms forward, and we encourage these people to remain committed to the community.

They may not have been elected, but their voices were heard.

We also hope the public remains engaged with city council, and speaks up for this community in a positive, forward-moving manner.

­— Alberni Valley News

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