FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – After the nomination period for next month’s municipal elections in B.C. officially opened Tuesday morning at 9:00, a number of candidates have submitted their nomination papers in communities across Northeast B.C.
According to CivicInfoBC, which operates as an information hub for all local governments in the province, candidates have officially submitted papers in five out of eight municipalities in Northeast B.C. Candidates have so far been posted by Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, Pouce Coupe, Fort Nelson, and Tumbler Ridge while none have been posted yet in Taylor and Hudson’s Hope.
As of 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, there are four councillor and one mayoral candidate running in Fort St. John: incumbent mayor Lori Ackerman, incumbent councillors Gord Klassen, Larry Evans, and Bruce Christiansen, along with two-time unsuccessful nominee Becky Grimsrud.
In Dawson Creek, incumbent mayor Dale Bumstead is so far the only mayoral candidate that has submitted nomination papers.
As for the rest of Council, incumbents Charlie Parslow, Shaely Wilbur, and Cheryl Shuman have officially began running for re-election, while one newcomer – Jerimy Earl – has also submitted papers. One of Earl’s two nominators is former Dawson Creek mayor and current South Peace MLA Mike Bernier.
So far in Chetwynd only two candidates have submitted papers, and while both are current members of District Council one is looking for a higher position. Incumbent councillor Alec Brownlee, who has served as a councillor since 2011, has officially submitted nomination papers to be elected as the District’s next mayor.
Incumbent Merlin Nichols, who was elected mayor in 2011 and re-elected by acclamation in 2014, has not yet officially submitted his nomination. Incumbent Rochelle Galbraith is currently the sole official candidate for Council.
So far in Pouce Coupe, only two candidates have submitted nomination papers: both and incumbents and both are running for mayor. Incumbent mayor Lorraine Michetti is looking to be elected to her first full term as mayor after winning a 2016 byelection to replace William Plowright.
Plowright was elected in a 2014 byelection and reelected that fall but resigned just over a year into his four-year term amid controversy that included a councillor resigning and a defamation lawsuit being filed against the mayor, the Village, and then-CAO Carol Bishop by Michetti. The lone other officially-declared candidate is incumbent councillor Andre Lavoie, who has also entered the mayoral race.
In Tumbler Ridge, there are so far four officially-declared candidates, none of whom are current members of the District’s Council. Keith Bertrand and Garret Golhof are the two candidates so far to become mayor, while Monty Hendrickson and Chris Norbury have thrown their hats in the ring to become councillors.
While no information is posted on CivicInfoBC, the Northern Rockies Regional Municipalities’ website is showing that incumbent mayor Bill Streeper is the only candidate to have so far submitted papers.
The Peace River Regional District website is also showing that incumbent Electoral Area ‘C’ Director Brad Sperling and incumbent Electoral Area ‘E’ Dan Rose have both submitted nomination papers seeking re-election. Sperling and Rose were both elected to their first term in 2014. Sperling beat James Bergen by 32 votes to succeed incumbent Arthur Hadland, who did not seek another term that year, while Rose beat incumbent Area ‘E’ Director Jerrilynn Schembri by 57 votes.