We ask the candidates about pandemic health orders, the RGS and taking climate change seriously
F olks, are you asking yourself this question? What’s the point of dragging yourself out of the house on a perfectly nice autumn day to stomp down to some barren gymnasium and scratch an X next to the name of somebody you don’t know but who wants to represent you in local government?
If so, then you might be part of the 65 percent of the local population who have registered to vote but see no point in doing it for local government elections. Like you, they say “screw it” and stay home.
Of course, these people later scream bloody murder and jump up and down and yell epithets at the elected officials who just decided to allow a 10-story high-rise next to their house and a stinky sewage plant down the street.
Or perhaps, you’re a member of the other 35 percent of the registered population that sees a very important reason to vote in municipal elections. These people want their neighbourhood, their town, their whole dang region to grow into the idyllic community of their dreams.
And how do they do that? By electing people who think as they do. People who share the same values. People whose vision of an “idyllic community” pretty much resembles their own. Well, that sounds easy enough to do. Except most voters don’t really know the people they’re voting for.
Casting a vote based on a familiar name or because you know somebody who knew somebody who knew a candidate 10 years ago is politically dangerous. Because there are chameleons out there who appear to be the kind of people who share your dreams but who will actually crush them at the first opportunity if you give them half a chance.
These are people who never reveal their real agendas or their real motivations for running for public office. They talk in vague terms or not at all because if they ever said out loud what they really plan to do with your vote, you’d grab the nearest stick and whack that mole back into the hole it crawled out of.
So how should an honest citizen decide who deserves their vote?
What you really need are a few defining questions. Ones that tell you pretty clearly whether this person or that one thinks like you and shares your dream. So with the help of a few local curmudgeons and crazies, Decafnation put three questions to this year’s candidates for public office.
The idea behind our first question was to find out who supported the common good during the pandemic and who is probably driving a monster truck around town covered with Canadian flags the size of Montana. We don’t know if Aaron Dowker, a candidate for Courtenay mayor drives a truck but one of his social media posts sure makes him sound like a Freedom Convoy Guy and possible anti-vaxxer.
That’s probably why he’s one of the few candidates who didn’t respond to our questions.
Our second question gets to the heart of both public process and community development. We suspect more than a few of the candidates running this year are still angry that the CVRD didn’t bend to the wishes of the Big Money Gang and allow 3L Developments to build 1,000 single-family homes that only their friends can afford on the banks of the Puntledge River. Affordable housing is something they don’t get. Instead, they want to gain control of the Courtenay council in order to annex some of that land in the Puntledge Triangle and pump up the real estate profits.
Our third question is meant to expose the climate deniers lurking behind those smiling faces on the fancy campaign signs. We suspect there are a few, including Tamara Meggitt running in Electoral Area A, who pretty much outed herself in a single social media post in March wondering, “Could environmentalism be the biggest scam of all time?”
Yeah, let’s elect some people who think like that and hasten the demise of the human species.
So think about your dream future for the Comox Valley and see which of the candidates on your ballot comes the closest to sharing that vision.
For starters on your who-to-vote-for list, scratch off all the losers who didn’t respond. Any candidate afraid to answer a few questions doesn’t deserve another minute of your time.
If a candidate won’t respond to issues of interest to electors before the election, how forthcoming will they be if they’re elected and no longer need to hear from the electors for four years? Think about that.
We’re publishing the candidates’ responses by jurisdiction. We begin today in a separate post with the Village of Cumberland.
WHERE AND WHEN TO VOTE
General Voting Day is Saturday, Oct. 15 for all local government positions.
Comox Valley Regional District
General Voting Day and advance voting take place at the CVRD building in Courtenay from 8 am to 8 pm.
Go to this link for General Voting Day locations in the three Electoral Areas.
Additional voting takes place on Oct. 6 from 9 am to 12 pm on Denman Island and on Oct. 6 from 2 pm to 5 pm on Hornby Island
Advance Voting begins on Wednesday October 5, 2022, 8 am to 8 pm at the Native Sons Hall, and again on Wednesday October 12, 2022, 8 am to 8 pm at the Florence Filberg Centre.
General Voting Day, Saturday, October 15, 2022, 8 am to 8 pm at the Queneesh Elementary School, and at the Florence Filberg Centre.
Advance voting begins Wednesday, October 5 from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. at the Comox Community Centre, and on Saturday, October 8 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Genoa Sail Building at Comox Marina, and again on Monday, October 10 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Genoa Sail Building at Comox Marina, and on Wednesday, October 12 from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. at the Comox Community Centre.
General Voting Day runs from 8 am to 8 pm on Oct. 15 at the Comox Community Centre.
All voting in the Village of Cumberland takes place from 8 am to 8 pm at the Cumberland Cultural Centre. Advance voting takes place on Oct. 5 and Oct. 12
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It was weird. But when the sun rose on Oct. 16, Comox Valley voters had made it clear they liked the direction charted by our local governments. In the municipalities, they elected all but two incumbents. In most races, the vote was a definite pat on the back for a job well done.
Mayor Bob Wells and all Courtenay incumbent councillors have been re-elected. Evan Jolicoeur has also been elected. Manno Theos has lost his seat.
Jonathan Kerr, Jenn Meilleur, Steve Blacklock, Chris Haslett, Ken Grant and Maureen Swift have been elected in Comox.
Vickey Brown has been elected mayor in Cumberland, defeating long-time mayor and councillor Leslie Baird.
Voting down -20.6% in Courtenay, -22.3% in Comox and -50.9% in Cumberland.
Full results with Electoral Areas A, B and C, school board and Islands Trust results in the morning.
Daniel Arbour in Area A and Edwin Grieve in Area C won by wide margins. Richard Hardy defeated Arzeena Hamir by 23 votes.
Shannon Aldinger topped the polls in races for SD71 school trustees.
Click the headline on this page for complete results and voter turnout.
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We dig deeper into what may have driven the darker, angry tone in this year’s municipal elections, and we shine a light on the shadowy political action groups and the Big Money players who have taken an interest in the Comox Valley
Many Courtenay, Comox and electoral area candidates with similar ideologies have usurped the democratic process this year by declining to attend organized public forums, a huge disservice to voters
A list of candidates endorsed by Decafnation
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Decafnation’s panel of education insiders unanimously recommends these candidates for the School District 71 Board of Education
Candidates for the School District 71 Board of Education answer three questions about sexual health education, the role of trustees in relation to climate change and how to address overcapacity
Decafnation announces its list of preferred candidates in this year’s local government elections and for the first time we identify candidates that we think show promise and provide our reasons for not endorsing the other candidates. Our endorsements fall on the first day of voting at advance polls