The Burns Lake and District Chamber of Commerce hosted the all-candidates forum online, on Jan. 12. (Lakes District News photo)

The Burns Lake and District Chamber of Commerce hosted the all-candidates forum online, on Jan. 12. (Lakes District News photo)

By-election candidates speak at the all-candidates forum

The election will be held with added measures for COVID-safety

The Burns Lake and District Chamber of Commerce hosted an all-candidates forum on Jan. 12 for Burns Lake’s upcoming by-election, which will be held on Jan. 23.

In October, with Councillor Darrel Hill’s resignation, the village announced the by-elections to fill the vacant place on the council. The notice of nomination went out on Nov.9, 2020 and lasted until Dec. 1, 2020. The actual nomination period began on Dec. 8, 2020 and went on until 4 p.m. on Dec. 18, 2020.

The village received three nomination packages and the by-election will be held for the single councillor position between candidates Kristy Bjarnason, David Cummer and Joshua Platt. All three candidates attended the first village council meeting of 2021 on Dec. 5.

The all-candidates forum organized by the Burns Lake & District Chamber of Commerce, had all three candidates attend and answer several questions posed by moderator Laura Blackwell from Lakes District News. Chamber Manager Randi Amendt was also present for the forum, as the time keeper. From answering with ideas on innovative projects that would enhance life in the area, to answering questions around recycling and even the question on what would the candidates do as councillors, if they received a $1 million grant and were allowed to use it for the village any way they wanted, the candidates spoke candidly on what they viewed as important for the progress of the area.

All three candidates are relatively new to the area. Kristy Bjarnason first came around 2013 and had planned to come to Burns Lake as a vacation spot and eventually “retire way off in the future” but in 2016 when Bjarnason ended up spending more time in town, she saw herself actually being a part of the community and thought that there was no reason to wait to move to Burns Lake. After this, she took up a position at the hospital and then the theatre.

David Cummer has lived in Burns Lake for about three years and also moved from lower mainland and was a financial planner. “I want to really take part in helping Burns Lake in becoming an even greater community than it already is,” he said.

Joshua Platt, who fell in love with a Burns Lake local 20 years ago, moved to Burns Lake with his family after he completed his Masters of Business Administration over two years ago. Platt also believes that Burns Lake has a lot of potential to grow and he wants to give back to the community that took care of his in-laws and welcomed him and his family with open arms.

Community members who haven’t yet watched the all-candidates forum, can still watch it on chamber’s Facebook page.

This year’s by-election will have several modified measures to ensure a safe delivery of elections.

”We will have the polling station set up in the multipurpose room at the Lakeside Multiplex so that everyone is protected. Generally speaking the rules are, separate stations for each step of the voting process, masks will be mandatory and will be provided if needed, each voter will register by verbally declaring their eligibility to vote, each voter will be given a new pen to use for voting, sneeze guards will be in place at each station, hand sanitizer will be available, each station will be sanitized after each voter and mail in ballots are available for “anyone” wishing to vote by mail,” said the village Chief Administrative Officer Sheryl Worthing, in an email to Lakes District News.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

Deane Gorsline, is a former Burns Lake resident who has been diagnosed with ALS. (Submitted/Lakes District News)
ALS Action Canada group ropes in political leaders

Hopes to get more support and ultimately better treatment options for Canadians

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Grandma Ellen Gerow’s cabin used to be situated on Gerow Island at the beginning of the driveway to what is now my brother Marvin Gerow’s property. (Albert Gerow/LDAC/Lakes District News)
LDAC presents paintings from Albert Gerow and more

LDAC’s second virtual concert and art show released

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Most Read