City of Fernie City Hall. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

City of Fernie City Hall. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Fernie to decide between two mayoral candidates and 15 council candidates

There is only one mayor, and only six seats for council

Nominations are now closed, and Fernie has quite the election campaign ahead of it.

The race will be an interesting one, with at the very least, three new faces to appear on council after October 15.

As of close of nominations at 4pm on September 9, there are two candidates for mayor, and 15 for council, for a total of 17 names on the ballot – the highest number of candidates in Fernie in the last five election cycles. (15 in 2008, 12 in 2011, 8 in 2014, 15 in 2018).

The Free Press endeavors to speak to every candidate and introduce them to our readers, asking about the candidate’s connections to Fernie, why they’re running, what they want to bring to the table (and government), and why Fernie should vote for them.

A few common themes have popped up. Very broadly speaking, incumbents talk about the good work completed so far, and housing. Newcomers talk about engagement, and housing.

Here’s a rundown of the candidates that we have spoken to so far. We have connected with every candidate here, and those who do not yet have profiles, we have not yet done formal interviews with yet. All are lined up for the near future.

Incumbent mayor Ange Qualizza is seeking a second term as mayor, and a third term in elected office. She’s up against political newcomer Nic Milligan, who spent decades working with the largest local employer, Teck Resources.

Qualizza’s campaign push (and website) leans on her experience and connections to the provincial government through her role as a vice president on the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) executive, while Milligan promises to put ‘Fernie First’, relying on his industry experience in working with municipalities and his close connections to Fernie to get him over the line.

Nic Milligan: Nic Milligan to run for Mayor of Fernie (July 5)

Ange Qualizza: Qualizza to seek second term as Mayor of Fernie (June 28)

In the council race, of the six incumbents, three are stepping back and three are running again – all three of them seeking a second term after being elected in 2018.

There are also 12 other names on the councillor ballot – only one of whom has any political experience. A 13th new candidate dropped out before filing.

Here are the candidates profiles so far, in alphabetical order:

Tracey Audia Kelly: Tracey Audia Kelly throws her hat into the ring for Fernie city council (September 2)

Patrick Burke: Profile coming soon.

Blaine Fabi: Profile coming soon.

Spencer Gough: Spencer Gough to run for Fernie council (August 11)

Kyle Hamilton: Kyle Hamilton declares he’s running for Fernie council (July 21)

Bob Langfield: Profile coming soon.

Jonathan MacGregor: Profile coming soon.

Kevin McIsaac: Kevin McIsaac to run for Fernie council (July 19)

April Montague: Profile coming soon.

Jesse Mould: Jesse Mould to run for Fernie city council in October (August 30)

Troy Nixon: Troy Nixon to seek second term on Fernie council (August 2)

Harsh Ramadass: Harshan Ramadass to run for Fernie council (July 22)

Dean Runzer: Profile coming soon.

Ted Shoesmith: Ted Shoesmith announces run for council seat in Fernie (September 2)

Zuzana Simpson: Profile coming soon.

This list is exhaustive, but those on it may not stay on it, as candidates have until September 16 to withdraw.

The campaign period begins on September 17, and continues through to election day, on October 15.

Voters will have the chance to hear from candidates in person, together, at an all-candidates forum scheduled for October 4, with details to come.

READ MORE: Editor’s note: Calling all local candidates
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Election 2022