Election 2017: mayoral, council candidates
The Today has compiled a list of all the council and mayoral candidates for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo election. Voters go to the polls on Oct. 16.
The Today has compiled a list of all the council and mayoral candidates for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo election.
Profiles of council candidate the Today has previously interviewed are linked in the summaries below. Voters go to the polls on Oct. 16.
The official list of trustees for the Fort McMurray Catholic School District and Fort McMurray Public School District can be found here.
Coverage and audio of the election’s first mayoral debate, which was held at Mix 103.7 FM’s studio and hosted by the station and the Today, is available here.
Our story on the second mayoral debate, held at Keyano Theatre and hosted by MyMcMurray and Shaw TV, is here.
A debate featuring mayoral and council candidates, organized by The Rural Coalition and held at the Unifor Local 707A office, is here with Facebook Live video footage embedded in the story.
The final debate between mayoral candidates, which was hosted by the Today and Mix 103.7 FM in partnership with the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce, is here with Facebook Live footage embedded in the story.
Allan Grandison: A Fort McMurray realtor with experience working in local rural communities, Grandison says his mayoral approach would focus on close relationships with the rest of council and administration, a collaborative approach to downtown development, reducing the commuter workforce and better communication with residents.
Allan Vinni: A local lawyer first elected as the Ward 3 councillor in 2010, Vinni is promoting his understanding of municipal governance and a focus on land development issues in the region, including the province’s approach to releasing land and past positions council has taken on downtown development.
Anthony Needham: A local helicopter pilot and steamfitter who has never run for public office before, Needham is pitching himself as one of the “99.9%” of the region who will work to create more affordable daycare and seniors’ care by offering job incentives.
Don Scott: The owner of Don Scott Law Firm, Scott is a former PC MLA and Wood Buffalo councillor. He has released a 50-point platform, focussing on the rebuild, Bill 21, downtown development, the economy and council’s relationship with industry and other levels of government.
Ward 1 candidates:
Mike Allen: Having previously served as a PC MLA in 2012 and Wood Buffalo councillor in 2007, the music store owner is running for another term on a platform of downtown redevelopment, dealing with the rebuild and preparing the RMWB for tax changes under Bill 21.
Krista Balsom: If elected, the 31-year-old communications advisor and publisher of Your McMurray Magazine plans to focus on downtown revitalization, economic development and better relations with other levels of government and industry.
Lance Bussieres: A local realtor first elected to council in 2013, Bussieres is pitching his re-election run as a way to provide continuity on council when dealing with complex issues like the Bill 21 tax changes, downtown redevelopment and fly-in fly-out.
Adem Campbell: The 35-year-old teacher and baseball coach says he can speak for people who lost homes and job security to the wildfire, and wants to be an advocate for the needs of young families.
Mohammad Shafiq Dogar: A truck company owner, Dogar says he wants to improve municipal services and lobby the provincial government for improvements to Highway 881 and the construction of the East Clearwater Highway.
Hukun Hurur: A general contractor in oilsands services, Hurur says his priorities are fighting poverty and providing better opportunities in the community. He also says he wants to reduce the commuting workforce in the oilsands.
Arianna Johnson: Currently serving as director of the Wood Buffalo Food Bank, Johnson’s priorities include refocussing on municipal core services, better community engagement and consultation on local issues and reducing poverty through initiatives like a landfill diversion program.
Keith McGrath: Running for a second term, McGrath’s priorities include ensuring the province pays for provincial responsibilities like Highway 69 and the Fort Chipewyan Winter Road, reducing the commuter workforce and implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. McGrath, 50, currently works at Aecon Mining as the director of business development for Western Canada. He is also running to be a Fort McMurray Catholic School District trustee.
J. Paul McLeod: A frequent citizen delegate at council meetings and owner of a local construction company, McLeod’s priorities include improving transparency and communication with residents on important issues like spending and the impact of Bill 21.
Phil Meagher: A member of council since 1995 and current deputy superintendant for the Fort McMurray Public School District, Meagher is running for an eighth term on the strength of his experience and his commitment to preparing the RMWB for tax changes under Bill 21 and overseeing the rebuild.
Verna Murphy: A local writer and longtime resident, Murphy is making a second attempt for a Ward 1 seat on a platform focussed on improving communication with residents, supporting local business and improving municipal services.
Disclosure: Murphy is a former weekly columnist with the Today, but has not written any Today columns since announcing her candidacy in February.
Jeff Peddle: Business owner and property manager Jeff Peddle is running for council for the first time, promising more accountability for municipal spending, better long-term planning and a focus on attracting people to Fort McMurray.
Ali Syed: The director of IT and digital communications for the Fort McMurray Public School District, Syed is running on a platform of transparency and increased community consultation for major municipal decisions and projects.
Ward 2 candidates:
David Blair: A former Ward 2 councillor, Blair was defeated in the 2013 election. The Today has not yet interviewed Blair about his platform.
Julia Cardinal: An active volunteer in Fort Chipewyan, Cardinal was elected as a Ward 2 councillor in 2013. The Today has not yet interviewed Cardinal about her platform.
Scott Clayton Flett: A retired water monitoring technologist and former councillor with the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Flett competed unsuccessfully against current councillor Claris Voyageur in the February 2016 byelection. The Today has not yet interviewed Flett about his platform.
John Bruce Inglis: The Today has not yet interviewed Inglis about his platform.
Dan Mercredi: The Today has not yet interviewed Mercredi about his platform.
Claris Voyageur: Elected in the February 2016 byelection following the death of her partner, former councillor John Chadi, Voyageur runs the Ayabaskaw Seniors Home in Fort Chipewyan. The Today has not yet interviewed Voyageur about her platform.
Ward 3 candidates:
Sheila Lalonde: A long-time Saprae Creek resident, Lalonde says that if elected she will focus on wildfire recovery and ensure Draper and Saprae Creek get the new roads and piped water and sewer system promised in the municipality’s Rural Water and Sewer Projects.
Brad Lucier: A business owner and long-time Saprae Creek resident, Lucier’s platform focusses on repairing and upgrading rural infrastructure as well as encouraging private development in the municipality.
Ward 4 candidates:
Jane Stroud: The Ward 4 councillor is running for a third term as representative for Anzac, Conklin, Janvier and Gregoire Lake Estates, on a platform of continued advocacy for better quality of life for rural residents.
Kevin Tremblay: A resident of Anzac after growing up in Conklin, business owner Kevin Tremblay says housing in the rural areas is a top priority for him. Tremblay also wants to ensure major rural infrastructure budgets are completed on-time and on-budget.