OUT ON A LIMB: Election campaign gets down to the home stretch

We’re 16 days away from the municipal election day and what have we learned?

We’re 16 days away from the municipal election day and what have we learned?

Well, one thing might be that 17 candidates for Campbell River city council may be too many. It’s good that there’s that many people willing to put their money where their mouth is but, really, how do you get to know each and every candidate in time to cast your vote? It will take a dedicated voter to attend every all-candidate meeting in order to form your own opinion without the media filter.

But really, in terms of the candidates getting their message out, it’s going to be really difficult because there’s so many.

The media have their coverage of the debates but there is only so much newspaper space and air time so it has to be condensed, or edited, or left out.

At least we have our website where we can compile all our election coverage in a way that allows readers to revisit profiles and coverage. Go to www.campbellrivermirror.com and click on the election tab at the top of the page. We’ll stockpile all our election coverage there. It should make it easy for you to review what’s out there about the various candidates. We will be adding to it as we go along, so keep an eye on it.

Also there’s gocampbellriver.com which is hosting an online forum and, of course, there’s the chamber of commerce’s site which has the answers to questions posed to the candidates for the all-candidates forum last week.

The Chamber of Commerce’s all-candidates meeting was well done but they had to limit the council candidates to two minute answers to three of the nine questions.

The mayoral race is more manageable and they’re already being focused on in some circumstances like the seniors meeting Wednesday and the arts forum on Monday night.

Meanwhile, the hospital is the big hot button issue so far but it’s also the biggest non-issue as well, depending on who you believe. Mayoral candidates Walter Jakeway and Michel Rabu think – like the Chamber of Commerce – that there’s something funny going on.

For some reason, silence from VIHA is being interpreted as  an intent to drop the two new hospital plan and return to the one hospital facility originally favoured by VIHA. It’s not being helped that forces in the Comox Valley are advocating a return to the one-facility model – to be placed in the Valley, of course.

But mayoral candidates Roy Grant and Ziggy Stewart – both incumbent councillors sitting on the hospital district board – insist there’s no plan to change the course. Mayor Charlie Cornfield has written a letter to the editor as chair of the board saying the same thing (See page A10).

But the rumour mill is working and some people are, like Jakeway, suspicious.

It could be a big kerfuffle over nothing. Or not.