2020 Municipal and Provincial Elections

This year the Smithers Pride Society asked the following questions for candidates running for Councilor in the Smithers Municipal by-election and the Provincial election. Their answers will be shared here as we receive them, be sure to check out our Facebook page as well.

Q1. If you were elected, how would you support the 2SLGBTQ+ residents of Smithers?

Q2. What do you currently do to show your support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community?

Q3. Will you publicly confirm that you stand against homophobia, transphobia, and hatred?

Please jump a head to the section you would like.

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Municipal By-Election 2020

Mayoral Candidates

2020 Municipal and Provincial Elections

This year the Smithers Pride Society asked the following questions for candidates running for Councilor in the Smithers Municipal by-election and the Provincial election. Their answers will be shared here as we receive them, be sure to check out our Facebook page as well.

Q1. If you were elected, how would you support the 2SLGBTQ+ residents of Smithers?

Q2. What do you currently do to show your support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community?

Q3. Will you publicly confirm that you stand against homophobia, transphobia, and hatred?

Please jump a head to the section you would like.

Elections BC

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Municipal By-Election 2020

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Walnut Park Elementary School, 4092 Mountainview Avenue

By-Election Countdown

Mayoral Candidates

Glady Atrill

Mayoral Hopeful

First by listening to what support is being sought and taking my cues from what 2SLGBTQ+ residents want and need from local government and other residents. Then, by being open minded and standing on the principles of inclusion and diversity, which I believe in.

I have publicly stated my support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community. I have acknowledged my part in the current absence of the rainbow crosswalk downtown and pledged to support having it restored. I believe in supporting people for who they are and I want all citizens to feel safe and welcome here. We have work to do as a community to build bridges of trust and communication. I look forward to doing my part of that work.

Absolutely. I stand against homophobia, transphobia and hatred. People are people. We love, we bleed, we seek betterment and ways to contribute. Love over hate always.

Joe Bramsleven

Mayoral Hopeful

No Reponse

No Reponse

No Reponse

Glady Atrill

Mayoral Hopeful

First by listening to what support is being sought and taking my cues from what 2SLGBTQ+ residents want and need from local government and other residents. Then, by being open minded and standing on the principles of inclusion and diversity, which I believe in.

I have publicly stated my support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community. I have acknowledged my part in the current absence of the rainbow crosswalk downtown and pledged to support having it restored. I believe in supporting people for who they are and I want all citizens to feel safe and welcome here. We have work to do as a community to build bridges of trust and communication. I look forward to doing my part of that work.

Absolutely. I stand against homophobia, transphobia and hatred. People are people. We love, we bleed, we seek betterment and ways to contribute. Love over hate always.

Joe Bramsleven

Mayoral Hopeful

No Reponse

No Reponse

No Reponse

Council Candidates

Council Candidates

Mika Meyer

Council Hopeful

As a councillor I would support the 2SLGBTQ+ residents of Smithers by advocating for and listening to the needs of the community to learn how as an individual and town we can better support inclusion. An immediate action would be to support the return of the rainbow sidewalk and continue collaborative conversations with the Smithers Pride Society about how inclusion of 2SLGBTQ+ residents can be better represented in our town policies, signs and push for support and inclusivity, not simply tolerance.

My business Bugwood Coffee is a Smithers Pride Ally, we have always prioritized and modelled a welcome, open, safe environment that supports all members of our community. As an individual, I will commit to educating myself more about how I can be a better ally to the 2SLGBTQ+ community. This is something that is really important to me because recently I had made the mistake of unconsciously using an incorrect pronoun to address someone in the 2SLGBTQ+ community, it was an error that i was not even aware that i had made which resulted in the individual feeling that I was not supportive and accepting of them. I was devastated. No one should feel excluded and not accepted for who they are. I am openly accepting of the 2SLGBTQ+community but this made me realize I still have lots to learn and work at deconstructing my own stereotypes. I am prepared to arm myself with increased tools and knowledge of the 2SLGBTQ+community so I can be a better ally and advocate.

Absolutely! I believe everyone should be treated equally and with dignity and respect. No one should be subjected to discrimination or violence based on sexual orientation, or gender identity. I will be an ally and friend to the 2SLGBTQ+community and speak out against intolerance and discrimination wherever it may occur.

Sam Raven

Council Hopeful

I would support the 2SLGBTQ+ Community by reaching out and listening to the needs and idea from members of the community and allies, including areas like housing and affordability. I also fully support the painting of the rainbow crosswalk.

I currently show support for the community by being a ally every day, whether through Facebook posts or in person. I speak up to those who spread hate and misinformation, I also support all 2SLGTBQ+ persons. When meeting people I ask for pro nouns and use the ones that are preferred, I support the Pride societies work (movie showing, stickers etc) and have supported the Pride events in Smithers & Terrace (riverboat days parade float).

I publicly stand against hatred, homophobia & transphobia. I wrote posts about the horrendous flag that was hung on main Street, though the phobias exist I work everyday to make the world a little better by educating those around me.

Colin Bateman

Council Hopeful

If elected, I would support LGTBQ2S+ residents of Smithers by continuing to support freedom of expression, which includes the Rainbow sidewalk.  One main element of my platform for election is the need for more transparency in decision making.  The fact that the Rainbow sidewalk was passed over for monetary reasons (and a very small cost) does not pass the ’smell test’.  What is very clear to many folks is that there are many of our community members who are not only upset with the result, but they are very upset with the process by which Town Council arrived at their decision and how it was communicated to the community.

My belief and position is one of inclusion and equality for all.  Currently, I manage 2 medium sized businesses and have chosen to display a rainbow flag outside of each of these businesses.  We also have established hiring policies that prioritize equality and staff members of the visible minority and LGBTQ2S+ communities.

Absolutely!  My family and I stand against homophobia, transphobia and hate.  I was raised in a context of inclusion and have friends and family who are marginalized and have suffered as a result of discrimination and prejudice.  I ensure that in all of my business and volunteer work, inclusion is a priority and discrimination has no place in my world.

 

Lastly, I think it’s important that Town Council do a better job at managing community expectations in general, especially when it comes to important issues like the Rainbow sidewalk (which represents inclusion) and the questions you have put forth.  I would suggest that if the decision-making process was better informed and more inclusive of other perspectives, we would still have the Rainbow sidewalk, and it would not be something that people or other candidates want to ‘bring back’.

 

Randy Bell

Council Hopeful

No Reponse

No Reponse

No Reponse

Mika Meyer

Council Hopeful

As a councillor I would support the 2SLGBTQ+ residents of Smithers by advocating for and listening to the needs of the community to learn how as an individual and town we can better support inclusion. An immediate action would be to support the return of the rainbow sidewalk and continue collaborative conversations with the Smithers Pride Society about how inclusion of 2SLGBTQ+ residents can be better represented in our town policies, signs and push for support and inclusivity, not simply tolerance.

My business Bugwood Coffee is a Smithers Pride Ally, we have always prioritized and modelled a welcome, open, safe environment that supports all members of our community. As an individual, I will commit to educating myself more about how I can be a better ally to the 2SLGBTQ+ community. This is something that is really important to me because recently I had made the mistake of unconsciously using an incorrect pronoun to address someone in the 2SLGBTQ+ community, it was an error that i was not even aware that i had made which resulted in the individual feeling that I was not supportive and accepting of them. I was devastated. No one should feel excluded and not accepted for who they are. I am openly accepting of the 2SLGBTQ+community but this made me realize I still have lots to learn and work at deconstructing my own stereotypes. I am prepared to arm myself with increased tools and knowledge of the 2SLGBTQ+community so I can be a better ally and advocate.

Absolutely! I believe everyone should be treated equally and with dignity and respect. No one should be subjected to discrimination or violence based on sexual orientation, or gender identity. I will be an ally and friend to the 2SLGBTQ+community and speak out against intolerance and discrimination wherever it may occur.

Sam Raven

Council Hopeful

I would support the 2SLGBTQ+ Community by reaching out and listening to the needs and idea from members of the community and allies, including areas like housing and affordability. I also fully support the painting of the rainbow crosswalk.

I currently show support for the community by being a ally every day, whether through Facebook posts or in person. I speak up to those who spread hate and misinformation, I also support all 2SLGTBQ+ persons. When meeting people I ask for pro nouns and use the ones that are preferred, I support the Pride societies work (movie showing, stickers etc) and have supported the Pride events in Smithers & Terrace (riverboat days parade float).

I publicly stand against hatred, homophobia & transphobia. I wrote posts about the horrendous flag that was hung on main Street, though the phobias exist I work everyday to make the world a little better by educating those around me.

Colin Bateman

Council Hopeful

If elected, I would support LGTBQ2S+ residents of Smithers by continuing to support freedom of expression, which includes the Rainbow sidewalk.  One main element of my platform for election is the need for more transparency in decision making.  The fact that the Rainbow sidewalk was passed over for monetary reasons (and a very small cost) does not pass the ’smell test’.  What is very clear to many folks is that there are many of our community members who are not only upset with the result, but they are very upset with the process by which Town Council arrived at their decision and how it was communicated to the community.

My belief and position is one of inclusion and equality for all.  Currently, I manage 2 medium sized businesses and have chosen to display a rainbow flag outside of each of these businesses.  We also have established hiring policies that prioritize equality and staff members of the visible minority and LGBTQ2S+ communities.

Absolutely!  My family and I stand against homophobia, transphobia and hate.  I was raised in a context of inclusion and have friends and family who are marginalized and have suffered as a result of discrimination and prejudice.  I ensure that in all of my business and volunteer work, inclusion is a priority and discrimination has no place in my world.

Lastly, I think it’s important that Town Council do a better job at managing community expectations in general, especially when it comes to important issues like the Rainbow sidewalk (which represents inclusion) and the questions you have put forth.  I would suggest that if the decision-making process was better informed and more inclusive of other perspectives, we would still have the Rainbow sidewalk, and it would not be something that people or other candidates want to ‘bring back’.

Randy Bell

Council Hopeful

No Reponse

No Reponse

No Reponse

Mika Meyer

Council Hopeful

Mika Meyer

Q1. If you were elected, how would you support the 2SLGBTQ+ residents of Smithers?
As a councillor I would support the 2SLGBTQ+ residents of Smithers by advocating for and listening to the needs of the community to learn how as an individual and town we can better support inclusion. An immediate action would be to support the return of the rainbow sidewalk and continue collaborative conversations with the Smithers Pride Society about how inclusion of 2SLGBTQ+ residents can be better represented in our town policies, signs and push for support and inclusivity, not simply tolerance.
Q2. What do you currently do to show your support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community?
My business Bugwood Coffee is a Smithers Pride Ally, we have always prioritized and modelled a welcome, open, safe environment that supports all members of our community. As an individual, I will commit to educating myself more about how I can be a better ally to the 2SLGBTQ+ community. This is something that is really important to me because recently I had made the mistake of unconsciously using an incorrect pronoun to address someone in the 2SLGBTQ+ community, it was an error that i was not even aware that i had made which resulted in the individual feeling that I was not supportive and accepting of them. I was devastated. No one should feel excluded and not accepted for who they are. I am openly accepting of the 2SLGBTQ+community but this made me realize I still have lots to learn and work at deconstructing my own stereotypes. I am prepared to arm myself with increased tools and knowledge of the 2SLGBTQ+community so I can be a better ally and advocate.
Q3. Will you publicly confirm that you stand against homophobia, transphobia, and hatred?
Absolutely! I believe everyone should be treated equally and with dignity and respect. No one should be subjected to discrimination or violence based on sexual orientation, or gender identity. I will be an ally and friend to the 2SLGBTQ+community and speak out against intolerance and discrimination wherever it may occur.

Colin Bateman

Council Hopeful

Colin Bateman

Q1.If you were elected, how would you support the 2SLGBTQ+ residents of Smithers?
If elected, I would support LGTBQ2S+ residents of Smithers by continuing to support freedom of expression, which includes the Rainbow sidewalk. One main element of my platform for election is the need for more transparency in decision making. The fact that the Rainbow sidewalk was passed over for monetary reasons (and a very small cost) does not pass the ’smell test’. What is very clear to many folks is that there are many of our community members who are not only upset with the result, but they are very upset with the process by which Town Council arrived at their decision and how it was communicated to the community.
Q1.What do you currently do to show your support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community?
My belief and position is one of inclusion and equality for all. Currently, I manage 2 medium sized businesses and have chosen to display a rainbow flag outside of each of these businesses. We also have established hiring policies that prioritize equality and staff members of the visible minority and LGBTQ2S+ communities.
Q1.Will you publicly confirm that you stand against homophobia, transphobia, and hatred?
Absolutely! My family and I stand against homophobia, transphobia and hate. I was raised in a context of inclusion and have friends and family who are marginalized and have suffered as a result of discrimination and prejudice. I ensure that in all of my business and volunteer work, inclusion is a priority and discrimination has no place in my world.

Sam Raven

Council Hopeful

Sam Raven

Q1. If you were elected, how would you support the 2SLGBTQ+ residents of Smithers?
I would support the 2SLGBTQ+ Community by reaching out and listening to the needs and idea from members of the community and allies, including areas like housing and affordability. I also fully support the painting of the rainbow crosswalk.

Q2. What do you currently do to show your support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community?
I currently show support for the community by being a ally every day, whether through Facebook posts or in person. I speak up to those who spread hate and misinformation, I also support all 2SLGTBQ+ persons. When meeting people I ask for pro nouns and use the ones that are preferred, I support the Pride societies work (movie showing, stickers etc) and have supported the Pride events in Smithers & Terrace (riverboat days parade float).

Q3. Will you publicly confirm that you stand against homophobia, transphobia, and hatred?
I publicly stand against hatred, homophobia & transphobia. I wrote posts about the horrendous flag that was hung on main Street, though the phobias exist I work everyday to make the world a little better by educating those around me.

Randy Bell

Council Hopeful

Randy Bell

Q1. If you were elected, how would you support the 2SLGBTQ+ residents of Smithers?
answer
Q2. What do you currently do to show your support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community?
answer
Q3. Will you publicly confirm that you stand against homophobia, transphobia, and hatred?
answer

Provincial Election 2020

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Provincial Election Countdown

Provincial Candidates

Provincial Election 2020

Provincial Candidates

Nathan Cullen

MLA Hopeful | BC NDP

First thing’s first - I would meet with lead organizations like yourselves and find out what’s working, what’s not, and what the community is wishing for in the future. Some progress has certainly been made but with an issue so fundamental as human rights much more needs to be done.

In short, probably not enough. I have been a long supporter for 2SLGBTQ+ rights at the federal level supporting legislation and initiatives that have helped support the work of activists and allies. At the local level I haven’t been called on to do much more which is something I would like to change.

Absolutely. Without hesitation or reservation. Building safe, nurturing and welcoming communities is the work of us all, but maybe especially for those who seek leadership positions.

I can’t say there’s only one initiative that i would point to and I would look to the leadership of organizations like yours to assist in setting that agenda. I am, however, proud of the BCNDP government’s accomplishments and commitments from reinstating the Human Rights Commission and expanding access to PrEP, to expanding gender-affirming upper and lower surgeries (and the accompanying supportive care) and calling for a federal ban on conversion therapy.

Gordon Sebastian

MLA Hopeful | BC Liberals

I commit to learning more about your organization and seeking more understanding of the circumstances of 2SLGBTQ

We, as Gitxsan ensure that our 2SLGBTQ members have high names and respect in our feast halls and other community events. We are matrilineal and our members are never denied their rightful place in our society

Yes, I have done that: there will be no more jokes or put-downs of my family members privately, or publicly. Many people nod their heads in agreement

I am guided by the Liberal Platform that seeks to improve lives of queer folk by access to employment in public service and government-appointed boards, and ensure that BC is a place of opportunity and fairness. That Queer folk live a life free of discrimination and with respect and be treated as equals in the health care system

Darcy Repan

MLA Hopeful | Rural BC Party

 I will push back publicly against oppressors and bigots who attack, dehumanize, or question the rights or morality of the 2SLGBTQ+ residents of the Stikine. Every person has the right to be who they are. Every person has the right to be proud of who they are. Every person has the right to feel safe and accepted in their own community. No one else has the right to deprive another human being of those opportunities. I will preach acceptance and inclusion. (And yes, I’ll attend the Pride Parade in solidarity with our 2SLGBTQ+ residents.)

 Specifically, I have loudly and publicly called out the Mayor and Council of Smithers for their misguided decision to defund the Rainbow Crosswalk. I have pushed for this decision to be revisited, and referenced their own budget to show how money is not a reasonable excuse for this action. More generally, I simply accept, appreciate and celebrate the value of 2SLGBTQ+ community members. Their gifts and contributions as human beings are what are most important, and not their sexual orientation and gender identification.

 I absolutely will. Even more, I will acknowledge that this tolerance and acceptance is a result of growth within my own life. I have been fortunate to have had transformational experiences which have allowed me to broaden my views of the world in general, and its diverse inhabitants in particular. I can admit that I was not as accepting as a high school student.(In fact, I was pretty awful at times.) I also know that growth and personal transformation is possible for everyone, because I’ve experienced it. Hate sucks, love wins!

I can’t speak to a specific provincial initiative, but I feel that in our current political climate it’s essential for representatives at all levels to stand up and speak against hatred and intolerance, and preach inclusion and acceptance. I will take every opportunity to reflect that in my work.

Rod Taylor

MLA Hopeful | CHP BC

No Reponse

No Reponse

No Reponse

No Reponse

Nathan Cullen

MLA Hopeful | BC NDP

First thing’s first - I would meet with lead organizations like yourselves and find out what’s working, what’s not, and what the community is wishing for in the future. Some progress has certainly been made but with an issue so fundamental as human rights much more needs to be done.

In short, probably not enough. I have been a long supporter for 2SLGBTQ+ rights at the federal level supporting legislation and initiatives that have helped support the work of activists and allies. At the local level I haven’t been called on to do much more which is something I would like to change.

Absolutely. Without hesitation or reservation. Building safe, nurturing and welcoming communities is the work of us all, but maybe especially for those who seek leadership positions.

I can’t say there’s only one initiative that i would point to and I would look to the leadership of organizations like yours to assist in setting that agenda. I am, however, proud of the BCNDP government’s accomplishments and commitments from reinstating the Human Rights Commission and expanding access to PrEP, to expanding gender-affirming upper and lower surgeries (and the accompanying supportive care) and calling for a federal ban on conversion therapy.

Gordon Sebastian

MLA Hopeful | BC Liberals

I commit to learning more about your organization and seeking more understanding of the circumstances of 2SLGBTQ+

We, as Gitxsan ensure that our 2SLGBTQ+ members have high names and respect in our feast halls and other community events. We are matrilineal and our members are never denied their rightful place in our society

Yes, I have done that: there will be no more jokes or put-downs of my family members privately, or publicly. Many people nod their heads in agreement

 I am guided by the Liberal Platform that seeks to improve lives of queer folk by access to employment in public service and government-appointed boards, and ensure that BC is a place of opportunity and fairness. That Queer folk live a life free of discrimination and with respect and be treated as equals in the health care system

Darcy Repen

MLA Hopeful | Rural BC Party

I will push back publicly against oppressors and bigots who attack, dehumanize, or question the rights or morality of the 2SLGBTQ+ residents of the Stikine. Every person has the right to be who they are. Every person has the right to be proud of who they are. Every person has the right to feel safe and accepted in their own community. No one else has the right to deprive another human being of those opportunities. I will preach acceptance and inclusion. (And yes, I’ll attend the Pride Parade in solidarity with our 2SLGBTQ+ residents.)

Specifically, I have loudly and publicly called out the Mayor and Council of Smithers for their misguided decision to defund the Rainbow Crosswalk. I have pushed for this decision to be revisited, and referenced their own budget to show how money is not a reasonable excuse for this action. More generally, I simply accept, appreciate and celebrate the value of 2SLGBTQ+ community members. Their gifts and contributions as human beings are what are most important, and not their sexual orientation and gender identification.

I absolutely will. Even more, I will acknowledge that this tolerance and acceptance is a result of growth within my own life. I have been fortunate to have had transformational experiences which have allowed me to broaden my views of the world in general, and its diverse inhabitants in particular. I can admit that I was not as accepting as a high school student.(In fact, I was pretty awful at times.) I also know that growth and personal transformation is possible for everyone, because I’ve experienced it. Hate sucks, love wins!

I can’t speak to a specific provincial initiative, but I feel that in our current political climate it’s essential for representatives at all levels to stand up and speak against hatred and intolerance, and preach inclusion and acceptance. I will take every opportunity to reflect that in my work.

Rod Taylor

MLA Hopeful | CHP BC

No Response

No Response

No Response

No Response

Nathan Cullen

MLA Hopeful
BC NDP

Nathan Cullen | BC NPD

Q1. If you were elected, how would you support the 2SLGBTQ+ residents of Smithers?
answer
Q2. What do you currently do to show your support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community?
answer
Q3. Will you publicly confirm that you stand against homophobia, transphobia, and hatred?
answer
Q4. Is there any provincial initiative that you would like to see happen to improve the lives of queer folks?

Darcy Repan

MLA Hopeful
Rural BC Party

Darcy Repan | Rural BC Party

Q1. If you were elected, how would you support the 2SLGBTQ+ residents of Smithers?
I will push back publicly against oppressors and bigots who attack, dehumanize, or question the rights or morality of the 2SLGBTQ+ residents of the Stikine. Every person has the right to be who they are. Every person has the right to be proud of who they are. Every person has the right to feel safe and accepted in their own community. No one else has the right to deprive another human being of those opportunities. I will preach acceptance and inclusion. (And yes, I’ll attend the Pride Parade in solidarity with our 2SLGBTQ+ residents.)
Q2.What do you currently do to show your support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community?
Specifically, I have loudly and publicly called out the Mayor and Council of Smithers for their misguided decision to defund the Rainbow Crosswalk. I have pushed for this decision to be revisited, and referenced their own budget to show how money is not a reasonable excuse for this action. More generally, I simply accept, appreciate and celebrate the value of 2SLGBTQ+ community members. Their gifts and contributions as human beings are what are most important, and not their sexual orientation and gender identification.
Q3. Will you publicly confirm that you stand against homophobia, transphobia, and hatred?
I absolutely will. Even more, I will acknowledge that this tolerance and acceptance is a result of growth within my own life. I have been fortunate to have had transformational experiences which have allowed me to broaden my views of the world in general, and its diverse inhabitants in particular. I can admit that I was not as accepting as a high school student.(In fact, I was pretty awful at times.) I also know that growth and personal transformation is possible for everyone, because I’ve experienced it. Hate sucks, love wins!

Q4. Is there any provincial initiative that you would like to see happen to improve the lives of queer folks?
I can’t speak to a specific provincial initiative, but I feel that in our current political climate it’s essential for representatives at all levels to stand up and speak against hatred and intolerance, and preach inclusion and acceptance. I will take every opportunity to reflect that in my work.

Gordon Sebastian

MLA Hopeful
BC Liberals

Gordon Sebastian | BC Liberals

Q1. If you were elected, how would you support the 2SLGBTQ+ residents of Smithers?
answer
Q2. What do you currently do to show your support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community?
answer
Q3. Will you publicly confirm that you stand against homophobia, transphobia, and hatred?
answer
Q4. Is there any provincial initiative that you would like to see happen to improve the lives of queer folks?
answer

Rod Taylor

MLA Hopeful
CHP BC

Rod Taylor | CHP BC

Q1. If you were elected, how would you support the 2SLGBTQ+ residents of Smithers?
answer
Q2. What do you currently do to show your support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community?
answer
Q3. Will you publicly confirm that you stand against homophobia, transphobia, and hatred?
answer

Q4. Is there any provincial initiative that you would like to see happen to improve the lives of queer folks?

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