Kamloops municipal election 2018 recap

Ken Christian wins majority vote, four new members on council

Mayor Ken Christian speaks at the Sept. 22 Council of Canadians All-Candidates Forum. (Wade Tomko/The Omega)

Another year, another election. Kamloopians went to the polls and once again elected another mayor, council and school board. In a world full of troubled democracies, we should always celebrate the smooth, peaceful transition of power.

Of the mayoral candidates, Ken Christian won with a convincing majority (86.7 per cent of the vote) against William Turnbull who only garnered 13.3 per cent of the popular vote.

The council has seen a major shake up with council incumbents Tina Lange and Pat Wallace, both not running for re-election, the majority of council has changed. Notable new additions to council include journalist Dale Bass, Sadie Hunter and Bill Sarai. Incumbents who lost were Donovan Cavers, Ray Dhaliwal.

The winners were:

Arjun Harjit Singh; 12,203 votes, 59.1 per cent.

Kathy Sinclair; 10,806 votes, 52.3 per cent.

Mike O’Reilly; 9375 votes, 45.4  per cent.

Dieter Wolfgang Duty; 9181 votes, 44.5 per cent.

Dale Bass; 9059 votes, 43.9 per cent.

Denis Jerome Walsh; 7960 votes, 38.3 per cent.

Sadie Hunter; 7441, 36 per cent.

Bill Sarai; 7218, 35 per cent.

Former Kamloops this Week journalist Dale Bass was one of the many citizens that put that themselves out there for civic duty and of the experience said it was great.

“It seemed a lot like what I did as a reporter, getting out and talking with and listening to people. Just don’t have to write the story,” Bass said.

Bass added that city council should focus on making connections and supporting the community.

“The city needs to improve on its partnership with neighbourhood associations. If it is going to use them to stay in touch with people, it has to help them remain sustainable,” she said. “I didn’t know how little the support is. The city’s assigned employee does a great job, but he could use either more people helping him or more time to dedicate to providing that kind of ongoing support.”

Councillor and former mayoral candidate Dieter Dudy won by a convincing margin and said going forward into the next term that he will make students a key priority of his term on council.

“My top priority for students in Kamloops is to increase livability,” Dudy said. “Students face the daily pressure of classes and strive to excel. They need to know that they can leave those pressures from time to time and enjoy the many recreational and cultural amenities we have to offer. I would strive to build upon that.”

Of the experience of running, Dudy said that it was little different this time.

“When you first run as a candidate you don’t have luxury of knowing exactly how a city is run. You lack the perspective of understanding the process,” he said. “You tend to come out with both guns blazing. As an incumbent you focus then on how you maneuvered through the process while also looking for exciting new visions to bring to your community. Effectively an incumbent’s campaign leads up to a job assessment.”