Campbell Riverites head to the polls on Feb. 27 to fill the empty seat on city council.

Campbell Riverites head to the polls on Feb. 27 to fill the empty seat on city council.

Municipal By-Election Candidates give their final pitch to the electorate

Last chance for candidates to get their message across before Saturday’s vote

In an ongoing series leading up to the Feb. 27 municipal by-election, the Mirror has been asking the candidates a series of questions about why they want to be on Campbell River City Council, what perspectives they will bring to the position and what they hope to accomplish should they win the open seat.

For question No. 7, we simply asked the candidates to give us their final pitch to the electorate. Polling day is this Saturday, so this would be their last chance to say what they want to say to the people of Campbell River during the campaign period.

Their responses are as follows, in alphabetical order, exactly as they were submitted. Devon Garat did not respond by press deadline.

Ken Blackburn

The City needs leadership that understands the broad breadth of community activity. As the only candidate endorsed by the Canadian Labour Congress, I stand shoulder to shoulder with the workers of our community. As the Congress noted, I align with their values of protecting jobs, pay equity, social justice and environmental protections.

Every day we face together so much. We face serious social challenges; we need to set economic priorities; we celebrate our culture and heritage; we engage with our amazing natural environment; we lift our children up, we care for our fading elders. Whether it’s bike lanes and active transportation, or downtown addictions and mental health, or the inclusion of diverse abilities, or a strong Fire Department and Police Force, or affordable housing, or new density development, or programs for youth, or entrepreneurial incentives, or tourism options – every day finds our individuality mixed with our collective needs for positive growth.

We need leadership that listens and knows when to take action. I understand complexity and I am action based. I promote teamwork and I believe in working collaboratively. I believe in diversity and inclusion. I am direct, trustworthy and a creative problem solver. I am a leader with proven experience. And I passionately care about my neighbours and my city. This is the Leadership we need. I am asking for your support to bring this progressive leadership to Campbell River.

Doug Chapman

Making decisions on behalf of the community requires time, patience, knowledge, judgment, and discretion. After working the local government field for the past 35 years (as a chief administrative officer, chief financial officer and corporate officer) has given me a solid understanding of the complexities that local governments, in BC, face each day. I have been involved in community visioning, strategic planning, and development policies, with various local governments.

A Councillor needs to understand that changes made to policies (such as the Official Community Plan) can have long-lasting effects on the community. Care must be taken when proposing and/or making changes to policies and a Councillor must use knowledge, judgment and discretion when dealing with issues.

Decisions that a Council makes varies widely in complexity such as: financial planning; changes to the Official Community Plan; Zoning Bylaws; Development Permits; Development Variance Permits; recreation; public works; water works; sewerage works; fire protection; policing; animal control; and regional issues such as solid waste management just to name a few. Whatever the decisions that Council makes; they must be made as to what is in the best interest of the community as a whole.

Kealy Donaldson

I have resided in Campbell River for 20 years, investing myself personally and professionally in the welfare, growth and care of Campbell River and its citizens and have always strived to create positive change and choices for Campbell Riverites. I am a business woman, mother of two teenagers and a property owner here in Campbell River. Working in Public and Indigenous Relations and Community Engagement, I’m connected with numerous community organizations and businesses and continue to volunteer extensively in our community.

I’m excited for the future of Campbell River and look forward to representing our community fairly. I bring accountability, transparency and integrity to my community involvement. I welcome open door policy for community and discussions regarding the governance of Campbell River and decisions being made for and by this community. Serving our community as a City Councillor, I will be focusing on Economic Recovery, Arts-Culture-Recreation Expansions and Social Issues such as Housing, Public Safety and Urban Density. Community, Collaboration and Consultation are critical components to building a better tomorrow for Campbell River!

I am asking for your support and your vote in this By-Election. I am standing to be your voice at the City Council table and at City Hall. VOTE Kealy KIKI Donaldson for Council in this by-election ~ Gilakas’la, Emote, Marsii ~ THANK YOU!

Steven Jewell

I have a down-to-earth prospective and value your tax dollars as much as I value my own. I came to Canada as an immigrant bringing my family with me. I know how hard you have to work to become a Canadian. There are many new Canadians in Campbell River. I can relate to their hopes and dreams of a better life. I also have a multi- cultural family and therefore, can appreciate the differences that make up our community. I want to see a prosperous and safe Campbell River. Win or lose I am going to keep volunteering in my community to promote youth programs with the hope for a better future, because that is who I am.

Wes Roed

City council is a part time job and a full-time commitment; or at least it should be.

The time is right for me to step into this important role. Our children are grown, I have more time to give and I have amassed more experience and a greater understanding of this community.

Having been asked and encouraged to run for council in the past, the timing was not right. My family came first and I had other commitments. If I had been successful in the past and won a seat, I truly feel that because of time restraints, my role as a councillor would have suffered and that would not be fair to you.

The full-time commitment means always being “on” and ready. I am sure that as a councillor, I will be approached constantly by the public with ideas, concerns and other matters. As a public servant, you don’t have the luxury of deciding when such scenarios will arise, and you must be ready. I am ready to learn, ready to advocate for you and most of all, ready to serve. By electing me to office, you can be confident that your voice will be heard above my own.

Laurel Sliskovic

I sincerely want to thank everyone who has connected and engaged with me throughout my campaign! It is fascinating and uplifting to be part of so many conversations about the community that I choose to call home and I know these discussions will continue when I am a City Councillor. I am excited for the times ahead when we can come together and celebrate all of the wonderful people and places in our community in person.

I recognize that being elected as a Campbell River City Councillor comes with great responsibility and I am up to the challenge of leading my community with honesty and integrity to the best of my ability. I am highly motivated to be a positive team member with Mayor and Council, and I will work respectfully alongside the management and staff teams at City Hall. I will continue to demonstrate leadership within the community through my actions as a teacher, researcher, and entrepreneur, as an avid and enthusiastic volunteer, and in all the ways that I play and embrace the abundance of healthy leisure opportunities both within and outside our municipal boundaries. I am stoked for the opportunity to help lead this amazing community! Please vote for Laurel!

Sean Smyth

We are at a critical time in our community. Over the campaign, there has been much talk of the loss of 1500 Aquaculture jobs and $132.65 million in annual revenue leaving our community. We are looking at a smaller tourism season similar to 2020. It is the Forestry Industry that has stepped up as the unsung hero of Campbell River spending $253 million in Campbell River annually. We cannot afford to ignore the pillars of our community.

Some of the concerns I would like to address are: the lowest vacancy on Vancouver Island at 0.7% which is primarily due to a lack of inventory and backlogged permits, the annual increase in taxes which is taking its toll on taxpayers, and lastly, the revision of our Official Community Plan.

The people of Campbell River need to ask themselves what kind of council they want leading them into the future. As councillor, I will work to create a strong governance: focused and nimble in their objectives. I have a deep understanding and connection to the community. I am your strong, vocal leader who is willing to work collaboratively to serve the public interest on behalf of the public. Vote Sean Smyth for city council.

You can see more from the candidates online at, including their answers to many other questions asked of them over the past six weeks.

Campbell RiverMunicipal election

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