Village of Granisle voters are off to the polls Nov. 6 to choose someone to fill the vacancy on the Granisle council created when veteran councillor Tom Liversidge passed away earlier this year.
Kathy Bedard, Al Fournier and Merrietta Skold are vying to serve the remainder of Liversidge’s term which is until December 2022.
Full mayoral and councillor elections, there are four council positions, will be held November 2022 for four-year terms starting December 2022.
Kathy Bedard has lived in Granisle full time since 2015 but was a frequent visitor before that thanks to having family in the village.
“I’m retired but I do consulting,” said Bedard, 72.
That consulting resulted in crafting a land use plan for the Village of Granisle and writing a report on seniors housing which formed the basis of recent efforts to provide that kind of housing in Granisle.
Bedard comes to this byelection with considerable local experience from her previous home in Prince Rupert — being a City of Prince Rupert councillor and a school trustee for more than 20 years.
“How do we got about attracting people and how do we attract business to the Village,” said Bedard of her campaign focus.
A second candidate, Al Fournier, has called Granisle home for just over three years.
Retired now at 75, Fournier was a pipefitter and steamfitter in Chilliwack before making the move north.
“It was a busy place and I wanted quieter living and more affordable,” said Fournier, adding that the cost of housing was starting to escalate at the time of his departure from the Fraser Valley.
Fournier said one reason for running in this by-election is respect for Tom Liversidge.
He is also being drawn to local government from an interest in risk management of village assets tied to safety within the services the village provides.
That also includes the matter of liability.
“We can’t afford to have a liability situation because we’re so small,” Fournier said.
The third person running in this byelection is 61 and Merrietta Skold calls herself young at heart, a perspective she keeps by volunteering with people of all ages and groups of all kinds.
A resident of Granisle for the past 13 years, she moved here from North Vancouver when her pipefitter husband retired.
“He wanted to be closer to his hunting and fishing grounds,” Skold said.
Listing her involvement, Skold said the list includes singing, theatre and physical recreation.
Those interests form her interest in pursuing a seat on Village council to better develop the arts in the area.
“I could work to form an arts and recreation council outside of council but how about being on council and then getting an arts council going,” she said.
The village’s voters list now numbers 282 people and those not on this list can register at the time of voting.
In order to vote a person must be at least 18 years of age, be a Canadian citizen, be a resident of B.C. for at least six months prior to the Nov. 6 voting day, be a resident of Granisle or be the registered owner of real property in the Granisle for at least 30 days prior to voting day.
As well, a person cannot be disqualified by law from voting.
There will be an advance poll Oct. 27 leading up to the Nov. 6 general voting day. Each poll takes place at the Village offices.
People coming to vote must show two pieces of identification with at least one requiring a signature but photo identification is not necessary.
Liversidge was first elected to the Granisle village council in 2008 and was successfully re-elected in 2011, 2014 and 2018. He also served on the board of the Babine Lake Community Forest Society.
Council has approved of a plaque remembering Liversidge to be placed in the council chambers. The community forest board has also approved of a bench in his honour to be installed at the Memorial Park.