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Council hopefuls have their say at Enderby all-candidates forum

All eight council candidates spoke at the forum at the local seniors centre Wednesday night
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Eight candidates for Enderby council faced off at an all-candidates forum Wednesday, Sept. 21, ahead of the municipal election Saturday, Oct. 15. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

All eight candidates for Enderby city council appeared in an all-candidates forum at the local seniors centre Sept. 21.

Tundra Baird, Steve Campbell, Roxanne Davyduke, Blaise Pelletier, David Ramey, Brian Schreiner, Shawn Shishido and Sarah Yerhoff are competing for six councillor positions in the upcoming municipal election on Saturday, Oct. 15.

Moderator Jackie Pearase started the night off by asking candidates why they are running for council.

Campbell said his experience in real estate as well as subdivision and development planning would be an asset to the city.

“There’s two particular subdivisions in town that I’ve seen over the last 14 years that I’ve lived here that I think are really bad, and bad decisions that I think will affect the future of Enderby for some time, and I would have loved to have been on council to maybe have some input into that,” Campbell said. “But the future is the future and hopefully I can help out.”

Schreiner, an incumbent, is seeking another term with unfinished business in mind.

He said he’s been lobbying to get ride sharing in Enderby for five years and will continue to do so.

Schreiner said if granted another term by voters, he would focus on bringing more events to the community.

“Armstrong has the IPE, Salmon arm has the Roots and Blues. We need something to put us on the map so that people come here,” he said.

The candidates were asked whether they support cutting taxes, and a majority of them said a tax cut is unrealistic given the services that need to be provided.

“I would love to be able to lower taxes, but unfortunately I don’t think I have that magic wand to make that happen,” said Yerhoff. “Hopefully it’s something we can look at and have some creative ways to see what we can do with infrastructure and services in Enderby, and if we can cut costs that would be great.”

READ MORE: All Regional District of North Okanagan candidates acclaimed

Asked what can be done about the effects of the opioid crisis in Enderby, Pelletier said it’s an issue close to him, as two of his friends have succumbed to the crisis in the last three years.

“We don’t have all the health care facilities that we need,” Pelletier said. “This is a very large crisis, and I think it’s going to get worse with the housing crisis and inflation.

“If it was up to me I would bring in resources who are experts in this field to have them on hand, even on staff, to deal with it in the local community,” Pelletier added.

Incumbent candidate Davyduke said the question gave her “goosebumps.”

She said the problem extends well beyond Enderby.

“I was at UBCM (Union of B.C. Municipalities) this past week and attended a workshop there,” she said. “It was overflowing with communities. This is a concern across the board.”

Davyduke said work to solve the local opioid crisis needs to start with the health care system and also take place in the school system and the transportation sector.

The candidates were posed the question of what Enderby’s biggest issues over the next four years will be. Incumbent candidate Baird said it was difficult to narrow the list down to just a couple issues.

She answered the question by posing one of her own.

“How do we advocate for more room in our schools? We’re on portables right now at the elementary school and when we invite people to come to our community as young families, we’re saying we don’t have any room for your children,” said Baird, who also advocated for a health centre that would include doctors, physiotherapists, nutritionists, and potentially an alternative medical lab in the community.

Shishido, also an incumbent, named doctor recruitment as one of the city’s biggest issues.

He said efforts to recruit doctors from other countries have amounted to “barking up the wrong tree.”

“How many doctors have we had actually come and set up here since we started the doctor recruitment program? Anybody? Zero,” he said.

“So my idea is that we need to make homegrown doctors … If we take people from our own community and train them up here, they have roots already here, they have family, they have friends. I say we need to go down that road.”

Ramey likewise named the doctor shortage as a top priority.

“I believe that Enderby needs to be marketed aggressively as a place where a doctor would want to live and raise a family,” he said.

Ramey added that affordable housing is critical for Enderby.

“I have like three kids who all have good jobs and can’t afford homes,” he said.

The general voting day is Saturday, Oct. 15 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. An advanced voting day will be held Oct. 5 at Enderby City Hall, also from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.



Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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