The candidates for reeve of the Municipal District (MD) of Bonnyville squared off Thursday evening, at the Ardmore Hall. The forum, jointly hosted by the Bonnyville & District Chamber of Commerce and the Cold Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, allowed the residents of the MD to ask questions and get to know the reeve candidates, Barry Kalinski and Greg Sawchuk.
Moderated by Vic Sadlowski, each candidate had five minutes off the start to introduce himself and explain his vision and priorities for the MD, should he be successful. Barry Kalinski drew first.
Kalinski kept his opening address short and says he will ensure the three top priorities of residents are addressed, “what’s in front of your home and what [the MD is] doing about it. What’s happening in my area, my community, [neighbouring communities] and for the MD as a whole. I’m telling you, right now I will work hard on all three of these items.” Kalinski was very clear that he is looking at increased collaboration with neighbouring municipalities – not regional government, “I am against regional government.”
“I’m going to work with whomever [the residents] put in power; no matter what,” Kalinski says he will work together with the elected officials to create harmonious relationships on MD Council. Having held a seat on Council for 10 years, in Ward 3, Kalinski has experience of municipal government and relationships with other area politicians, MD Councillors and MD Administration & staff.
During the question period, Kalinski addressed some hot issues, such as crime, roads, regional collaboration and livability. See video for full forum.
Greg Sawchuk took the podium, opening with a statement that, if elected, he hopes to bring fairness to the MD. Although never holding an elected position in the MD, Sawchuk says his diverse experience makes him suited for the position of Reeve, “it touches on all the industries, that the MD is currently involved in.”
Also against regional government, Sawchuk, like his opponent, hopes to better relationships with neighbouring municipalities. “There are things that we can collaborate better, such as crime, water and healthcare.”
A huge topic for the evening, Sawchuk addresses crime early in the evening; stating it’ll be his first focus. “within one month of being elected, we will have a regional forum. We will include the city and the town. We will talk it out. I want to turn our region into a frying pan and make it so hot on these guys, they get the hell outta here.”
Addressing roads, Sawchuk says that the MD has the best roads in the region and believes that spending on roads can be reduce. First by better planning and execution of road construction and second by reducing the overall roads budget. Coming up with a policy for which roads are repaired, calculated by usage, condition and importance.
Sawchuk also plans on reducing taxes and encourages residents and businesses to contact him for details on his plan to lower the millrate (tax rate) as the property assessments increase. As he explains this will lower the overall taxes and give residents and businesses some relief.
Finally, Sawchuk assures residents that he will listen, “I’ve heard far too many times that the MD doesn’t listen.” Sawchuk says he will take the time to hear from the people and address concerns. “I want to bring back town halls.”
The Municipal District of Bonnyville has important information regarding the 2017 Municipal Elections and Election Day, October 16th, 2017. Visit them at md.bonnyville.ab.ca.
Voting information (provided by the Municipal District of Bonnyville website)
The Advance Poll will be held Thursday, October 5 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the M.D. of Bonnyville Administration Office (4905 – 50 Ave., Bonnyville). All eligible voters can vote during this time.
Residents must vote in a Voting Station corresponding to the Ward that they reside in. For example, if you live in Ward 5, you must vote in one of the Ward 5 Voting Stations.
Not sure which Ward you live in? Click here for the Ward map (updated 2013).
Tentatively, Voting Stations will be open at the following locations:
- Ward 1 – Beaverdam Hall, Fort Kent Seniors Hall, Bonnyville Seniors’ Drop-In Centre
- Ward 2 – Eastbourne Community Hall, Shaw House, Bonnyville Seniors’ Drop-In Centre
- Ward 3 – Flat Lake Hall, Goodridge Jubilee Hall, Glendon RCMP Hall
- Ward 4 – Lessard Community Hall, Willow Prairie Community Hall, Bonnyville Senior Drop-In Centre
- Ward 5 – Ardmore Senior Citizens Club, Alexander Hall, Riverhurst Hall
- Ward 6 – Cold Lake Energy Centre, Cherry Grove Hall
These locations will be confirmed after Nomination Day on September 18, 2017.
How to Vote
- Before voting, every voter must produce identification and complete a statement that he/she is eligible to vote in that election and that he/she has not voted anywhere else.
- Then, each voter will be given a paper ballot.
- You can select one candidate for Councillor in your Ward and one candidate for Reeve.
- You will indicate your choice by filling in a circle next to the name of the candidate of your choice.
- After you have completed selecting the candidates for whom you would like to vote, you will approach a machine, and feed your ballot into the machine.
- The machine will scan the ballot, count the votes and provide the results at the end of Election Day.