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Decafnation recommends these candidates as District 71 trustees

Oct 8, 2022 | Commentary, Elections 2022, Latest Feature


Unless you’re a parent of school-age children and active in your school’s Parent Advisory Committees, you probably don’t know who to vote for among this year’s candidates for the Board of Education. Decafnation rounded up an editorial board of Comox Valley people who have been engaged in the policies and issues confronting our school district. Using the candidates’ responses to our questionnaire and their performances at an all-candidates meeting, we found a consensus to recommend the following candidates.


Area A – Kat Hawksby

Kat Hawksby was a newcomer to the board in 2018 and has been a quiet participant for four years. Given a second opportunity with new Board of Education colleagues, we expect Hawksby to find her voice and engage in conversations at the board table. She is well-liked, so we look forward to Kat showing her strengths in a second term.

Area B – Michelle Waite

Incumbent Michelle Waite’s accomplishments and strengths are well known to parents in the Comox Valley. She comes to meetings well-prepared, well researched and always open to further conversation. She approaches each issue through the lens of transparency, with the goal of creating the greatest level of collaboration between the school district and community stakeholders.

Area C – Kendall Packham

Kendall Packham is a mom with three young children and has already shown her ability to connect with the school, staff and parents. This engagement has given her an accurate understanding of district issues and we have no doubt she will attend as many PAC meetings in person as possible. What she may lack in experience around the board table is outweighed by her knowledge and her ability to advocate on behalf of parental and other voters’ interests.

Courtenay – Shannon Aldinger

Shannon Aldinger is a tenacious, intelligent and respectful collaborator. She will bring a balanced approach to current issues and concerns within the District. She has an impressive 10-year resume of advocating for more and better sexual health education and sexual misconduct reform within the district. She has been a champion for the topic of “consent” to be included in the Physical Health Education curriculum at a provincial and local level. Educated as a family lawyer and mediator, Shannon is well-equipped for the most difficult issues.

Courtenay – Jasmine Willard

Jasmine Willard is somewhat unknown to this district but showed herself to be a competent, intelligent and strong candidate. We were impressed with her performance at the recent Candidate’s Forum and the post-event buzz was that voters really liked her. Steady, direct to the point and relatable, Jasmine is the candidate we didn’t see coming.

Comox – Susan Leslie

Susan Leslie is a well-known and well-loved 15-year educator in the Comox Valley school district who championed the Indigenous K/1 Primary program and later went on to be a District Principal and Director of Instruction in the Sea to Sky school district. She is a thoughtful thinker and a collaborative colleague, who will bring her life experience as a First Nations woman. She has not waivered on her support of SOGI 123.

Cumberland – Sarah Jane Howe

Incumbent Sarah Jane Howe runs unopposed this year because she’s so popular with parents and other voters. She has been an honest and approachable trustee that does not shy away from tough questions. She’s an independent thinker who always makes decisions based on what is best for every student in the district.









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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