Meet the District of Elkford candidates

The Elkford Chamber of Commerce will host an All Candidates Forum on October 4

The District of Elkford’s Municipal Election is on Saturday, October 20, 2018.

Voters in Elkford will vote for one Mayor, six Councillors and one School Board Trustee.

The Elkford Chamber of Commerce will host an All Candidates Forum in Teck Hall at the Elkford Community Centre on Thursday, October 4 at 6 p.m.

For more information, including candidates’ contact details, visit

Candidates for the office of Mayor

Dean McKerracher (unopposed)

Dean McKerracher has been Mayor of Elkford for the past 13 years and will serve another term after being elected by acclamation.

“My love for the community and its citizens is stronger now than ever before and if you know me at all, you will know there isn’t anyone that boasts about Elkford more than I do,” he said.

LOOK BACK: Dean McKerracher announces election bid

Candidates for the offices of Councillor

Colin Cross

What is your occupation?

I have been self employed since 2000. I have a networking engineer degree that I achieved in 1998. Currently, I support some local small businesses in B.C. and Alberta. For the past two years, I have also been the acting strata manager for the Chauncey Condos here in Elkford.

How long have you lived in Elkford?

My wife Ronda and I purchased an apartment at the Chauncey Condominium in 2002, and became weekend residents of Elkford where we quickly became engaged with the culture and environment. In 2008, influenced by our love for Elkford, Ronda and I made a major decision to build a house here, and become full time residents of Elkford. I started Cross Circuit Electronics, servicing residential and business computer systems and networks. We were overwhelmed by the acceptance of Elkford residents, and over the next four years became involved in many community affairs.

In 2012, Ronda was killed in an internationally known scuba diving incident and the people of Elkford showed their wonderful kindness through the empathetic support I was given. The next few years were an emotional roller coaster, and I survived with the help of family, friends and Elkford people. Things really changed dramatically when I met and married Claudia in 2016. I am so blessed, and once again the people of Elkford came through and made Claudia feel welcome. I am forever grateful for this.

I am here today to offer my service to the great people of Elkford. Claudia has encouraged me in this adventure, and is at my side to support me. She has relocated here from Colombia, and like me, also sees the beauty in this town. I have also been encouraged by Penny and Joe Zarowny, a long time dedicated servant of Elkford as a Councillor. I feel honoured that Joe has nominated me to run for the Elkford council.

Why are you running for council?

My intention is to serve the people of Elkford. That means I want to be your voice on council, and voice your wishes about the direction of all things concerning Elkford. In this regard, I will need your feedback, input and ultimately your support. This is not a one person job, or even a one council job. It should include all of the people of Elkford and “together we can do it”.

One concern I have, is that far too many people who work at the mine are only part time residents. They are in Elkford for four days and then go home to their families in other towns and cities. Who can blame them?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could find a way to encourage these folks to relocate with their families to Elkford. Perhaps we could provide incentives and services that would make this more attractive.

What are your goals as Councillor if elected?

I doubt if there would be much disagreement that we could benefit from more services and business here in Elkford. Perhaps there are ways we can promote our beautiful area to encourage business and services to develop in our area. I am certain with your input and help we can make Elkford a prosperous dynamic community.

Every community has to spend money. The question is where and on what? It is paramount that we are fiscally responsible – after all it is your money! Help me. Let me know what you think, “together we can do it”.

Len Gostick

What is your occupation?

I am a business owner and entrepreneur.

How long have you lived in Elkford?

Elkford has been my home for 35 years.

Why are you running for council?

I am running for public office because I feel I have an obligation to serve in the community. Elkford has been my home for many years. I have raised my children in this community and I want to ensure a great community for my grandchildren. Running for Councillor gives me the opportunity to promote positive change and optimize the unique characteristics that make Elkford an exceptional community to live in. I hope to bring new and fresh ideas to council, as well as be a conduit for the community to express their wants, needs and concerns.

What are your goals as Councillor if elected?

My goals as councillor should I be elected are to promote a community that has adequate health care access, improved infrastructure and encourages business growth.

I would also like to bring new improvements to Elkford’s recreational programs and optimize the wide variety of services that are currently available.

Darren Halladay

What is your occupation?

I am a mechanic. My wife and I own our own mechanics shop. I’m not a suit and tie guy, I go to work and get dirty everyday.

How long have you lived in Elkford?

I have lived in Elkford for 38 years.

Why are you running for council?

One reason I am running is because I am sick of watching our taxpayers’ money wasted and taxpayers being treated as an endless supply of money. I will represent the majority of people, not the vocal minority.

What are your goals as Councillor if elected?

My goals are the same reason I’m running. To be the voice of reason in council, to bring common sense back to tax spending. To represent the majority and not be a sheep and toeing the line just because it is the easiest thing to do.

Tracy James

What is your occupation?

I am a retired Crane Operator from Fording River Operations.

How long have you lived in Elkford?

I have lived in Elkford for 39 years and raised my family here. My children and my grandchildren live here in Elkford as well. Iwill continue to call Elkford my home into my retirement.

Why are you running for council?

To have the public be more informed on what is going on. I have always been interested in local government. I care about thecommunity and the future of Elkford.

What are you goals as Councillor if elected?

If elected my goals are to work hard for the taxpayers of this community on all issues presented to council with openness andaccountability. To work with clubs and service groups to ensure and promote vitalization for all ages to thrive in Elkford.

Andrew Klapp

What is your occupation?

I am a dispatcher foreman at Teck Coal’s Fording River Operation.

How long have you lived in Elkford?

I was born and raised in Elkford and moved away to go to school but met my wife and moved back and have been here ever since.

Why are you running for council?

I’m passionate about continuing to make the future of Elkford better for all our residents. We need to ensure that as a community our voices are being heard and represented on the District of Elkford council.

I want to guarantee that we have activities, opportunities and growth potential for everyone to thrive. We need to enhance our community spirit and engagement while welcoming and supporting new businesses of all sizes.

What are your goals as Councillor if elected?

I want to create an environment where the residents of Elkford have small business opportunities while the District of Elkford supports and encourages commercial development. I want to ensure the council communicates effectively with the community through multiple avenues and channels.

We need to be sure we are working towards what’s best for Elkford and I will work tirelessly listening, learning and questioning with my council seat all for our betterment.

Duncan McDonald

What is your occupation?

I had a fulfilling career with the District’s Public Works Department for 39 years. During that time, I started with the District as a labourer, worked through various positions and spent the final 10 years of my career as the Superintendent of Public Works.

How long have you lived in Elkford?

I have lived in Elkford for the past 40 years, raised my family here and will continue to call Elkford home into retirement.

Why are you running for council?

Due to the fact that I was an employee of the District, I was ineligible to run for council (as per the Local Government Act), however, now that I am retired, I would love to bring my past experience to the council chambers.

For the past year, I have volunteered as a member of the newly formed Elkford Housing Society because I am passionate about trying to help get some form of senior housing constructed in Elkford. This type of housing is needed to help keep people that want to stay in Elkford here and assist families as their loved ones age, and need a safe and healthy place for them to live.

The last federal census showed there is a large population of people over the age of 55 that are continuing to stay in Elkford and call it their home; therefore, as a community, we should have additional housing options for people to choose from.

I also want to work to with, and for, young families and newcomers to Elkford to ensure that they are supported and feel that they have the resources necessary to prosper in our community. I would like to help ensure that the next generation of citizens find Elkford a suitable place to raise their children, pursue their careers and stay into their golden years.

What are your goals as Councillor if elected?

As someone who has lived in Elkford for the past 40 years, my platform is based on growing and diversifying our local economy, improving our community, supporting young families and looking for solutions to provide seniors with housing options.

I would greatly appreciate the support of the community in my decision to run for council. My hope is to help make this community a place that we can all continue to be proud to live in and enjoy.

We live in a place with so much natural beauty and we are still a secret to the rest of the world. I believe that one of our best assets for diversification of our local economy is to attract visitors and let the “Beginning of the Road” be (respectfully) enjoyed by others.

Deven Stadnyk

What is your occupation?

I currently work for Teck Fording River operations as a Tireman.

How long have you lived in Elkford?

I was born and raised in Elkford. After high school I pursued a career as a motorcycle technician in Medicine Hat, Alberta. I’ve been back in town for nine years raising my family and loving life.

Why are you running for council?

I’m currently running for public office to represent the blue collar workers that make up the majority of our town. We should not have a council of six people all from the same demographic.

I believe with a more diverse council it will benefit everyone. And to quote my grandma who has been an Elkford resident for 40-plus years, “diversity is strength”.

What are your goals as Councillor if elected?

My goals if elected are pretty simple. I would love to see a better support system for all our amazing volunteers. I will stay true to the town of Elkford and all the things that make it the place I love to call my home.

Denise Bertrand (incumbent)

What is your occupation?

I am self employed with the oil patch.

How long have you served as Councillor?

I have been a Councillor for four years with the District of Elkford.

Why have you decided to run again?

I have decided to continue in politics because I love my community and where I live. I strive for the betterment of Elkford.

What do you see as your biggest achievement during your time on council and what are your goals if re-elected?

I hope to continue in the advancement of senior housing, which has been my biggest achievement while on council. I havebeen fortunate to have succeeded in initiating the concept of the Elkford Housing Society, where I am part of an amazing teamwho wish to see our seniors remain in the community they themselves built. I hope to continue in this direction should I bere-elected.

Steve Fairbairn (incumbent)

What is your occupation?

I am retired.

Do you intend to stand for re-election?

Yes I intend to stand for re-election.

I have been proud to represent the citizens of Elkford over the last six years at the local council table, as well as regionally, provincially, nationally, and even on the international stage.

I believe that we have an excellent team in place in Elkford – the elected council and Mayor, senior staff, office staff, public works, the recreation department people, and everyone else employed by the District of Elkford and I have thoroughly enjoyed working as part of this team and I want to continue working with them as we move the District into a positive and sustainable future for Elkford.

I take great pride in being part of the team that is striving to improve the community and what it offers for its citizens.

How long have you served as councillor?

Six years.

What do you see as your biggest achievement?

Being part of a team that has always worked in a collegial and respectful manner on behalf of the people of Elkford has to be the thing that I am most proud of since first being elected. As far as projects and decisions that have helped to move Elkford into the future, I think that my biggest achievement is being part of the team that has developed and implemented a long term infrastructure and capital works management and replacement plan for the District of Elkford.

What are your goals should you be re-elected?

To continue planning for the future of Elkford as a vibrant community that is a great place to live, work, and to raise a family. We have got wonderful facilities and services for a community of our size, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to build on those community assets well into the future.

Mandy McGregor (incumbent)

What is your occupation?

I operate a home business, Baby’s Booty, Custom Sewing and Baby Boutique.

Do you intend to stand for re-election?

I do plan to stand for re-election. I firmly believe that, “You have no right to grumble about the problem if you are not willing to be a part of the solution”.

I have a few more grumbles I would like to find solutions for.

How long have you served as councillor?

Ten years.

What do you see as your biggest achievement?

Our greatest accomplishment in Elkford is, by far, the amazing teamwork (employees/staff/council within Elkford, and with the other communities within the Elk Valley).

As a District, we have accomplished an incredible amount in the 10 years I have been on council. The implementation of the Elk Valley Business License was my baby; I pushed for over eight years to have it come to be a reality.

Though it may be considered “a feather in my cap”, it could not have been accomplished without the hard work and support of all those that worked with me (within our District as well as within the District of Sparwood and the City of Fernie) to make this a reality.

What are your goals should you be re-elected?

I would like to address our municipal grant procedure. I believe more could be done with respect to the ongoing urban wildlife issues Elkford is faced with (more so at a provincial level than at a municipal level).

I would love to open the debate on ATV use in Elkford. I want to tackle knapweed in Elkford. There’s more – there’s always more! – but these are the big ones for me.

Other Elkford Councillors standing for re-election:

Craig Robinson

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