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Municipal District of Pincher Creek Election 2017 — Meet the candidates

Tuesday, 10 October 2017. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Municipal District of Pincher Creek Election 2017 — Meet the candidates
Municipal District of Pincher Creek Election 2017 — Meet the candidates

By Caitlin Clow

Coun. Quentin Stevick will keep his seat at the council table with the Municipal District of Pincher Creek, representing Division 1, after being re-elected by acclamation. Reeve Brian Hammond will also continue representing Division 4.

But, divisions 5, 3 and 2 have some new faces to be considered before voting on Oct. 16.

Residents of the MD had the opportunity to meet the candidates at the Heritage Inn on Oct. 5 during a forum hosted by the chamber of commerce.

Tom Judd

MDCandidateForum TomJudd

Newcomer Tom Judd, a lifelong Beaver Mines resident, put his name in the running for Division 3 and promotes co-operation and clear communication between citizens, councillors and neighbouring communities.

His top three priorities for the near future, if elected, are examining the best possibilities for handling sewage for the hamlet of Beaver Mines, bridging the gap between the Town of Pincher Creek and MD councils and looking at ways to address the increased volume of municipal waste being directed to the Crowsnest-Pincher Creek Landfill.

The businessman’s resume highlights experience installing sewer and water, working with organizations such as SASCI and community partners to establish emergency response plans, and dealing with municipal waste through his experience operating equipment at the landfill.

“I have a fairly deep vested interest in our community,” Tom said. “We now have three children and nine grandchildren and my hope is someday they will be able to share and live in this community the way we have.”

“At the core of my life has always been our family ranch,” he said. “I am fortunate enough to live on a piece of property that was my grandfather’s. He was here in 1897 and I’m lucky to still live on the same piece of property.”

Although a role in council would be a new experience, he said he is committed.

“I decided for good reasons to stay for the long run and if you view me as the right person that you hire me on election day to do the job.”

Ernie Olsen


Ernie Olsen is certainly a familiar face around Pincher Creek. He served three years on town council and another three years as mayor.

With 30 years in business, both as employee and employer, Ernie said he understands the importance of stronger working relationships between the Town of Pincher Creek and the MD. Therefore, one of his top priorities, if elected, is to strengthen this.

The Lundbreck resident is active in the community and volunteers his time for Citizens on Patrol.

His main goal if elected to represent Division 5 is to encourage population growth within the MD while ensuring taxes are kept low.

“We have the potential to lose large revenue with Shell leaving, and I would like to work with my fellow councillors to come up with ideas to offset this,” he said. “I don’t think we as citizens should be paying for it.”

His platform promotes efficiency and clear communication. Most importantly, Ernie said, he wants to represent his constituents well.

“I am a team player, I am a good listener and an even better doer,” he said. “So feel free to come talk to me anytime you want.”

Bev Everts


Taking the voice of the people to the table is this candidate’s top priority if elected to represent residents of Division 3.

“Communi-cation and local values must be brought into the conversation, leading to decisions by the community for the community,” she said.

“We’re a community with very serious issues and questions at our doorstep.”

Economic development in relation to the newly established Castle Provincial Park and Wildland Park, the Beaver Mines water and wastewater project, a thorough review of the Kenow wildfire and establishing a plan to move forward after Shell Waterton closes its doors are a few of this potential councillor’s main concerns.

“Roots and diversity run deep in this MD, both in people and in economies. We have indigenous roots, agricultural roots and community in all forms,” Bev said. “All must be nurtured with tender care.”

“Our roots are also about adaptability,” she said. “We don’t need to fear change and opportunity.”

If elected, Bev said the Kenow fire inquiry and review, including an effective follow-up, is on the top of her priority list. An environmental impact assessment of the Beaver Mines wastewater project and its proposed location at the Mill Creek site, and the proposed incinerator project at the landfill are also “priorities that need to be dealt with immediately.”

“Election cycles are short but we would do well to remember that the kind of decisions we make today impact where we end up in 10 and 20 years,” said the former Livingstone Range School Division trustee of nine years.

Rick Lemire

MDCandidateForum RickLemire

Born and raised in Fort Macleod, Rick Lemire has called the MD of Pincher Creek his home since 1983, when he accepted a job as a plow operator with Alberta Transportation.

With his education and experience obtained through work and as a volunteer with the former St. Michael’s Roman Catholic School Board as a trustee, Rick decided to throw his name in the running for Division 2.

“I feel I can contribute my knowledge of road maintenance, good collaboration and decision-making skills, just to name a few,” he said.

“Currently we have many issues forced on our MD council,” he said, highlighting designation of the Castle parks, twinning of Highway 3, the Beaver Mines wastewater project, potential closure of Shell and downsizing of the wind sector.

“We all have to work together,” he said. “We need a good, solid governance for our community and our needs have to be met for now and in the future.”

Collaboration with other jurisdictions — including the Town of Pincher Creek, government agencies and the Village of Cowley — is a priority, Rick said. “I have my own ideas on these issues, but I feel what is more important is what the people that live in this community [think].”

Clear communication between council and citizens is another priority, he said.

“The number 1 thing I think is missing right now is good communication,” he said. “And I do agree at times that ‘No’ might be the answer.… It’s hard, but sometimes that’s the way it’s going to be.”

Fred Schoening

MDCandidateForum FredSchoening

The Schoening family has been residing in the Pincher Creek area for 134 years, said the incumbent councillor of Division 2.

Fred Schoening has served as councillor for four years after being elected through acclamation, and he said the values he felt were important upon his election haven’t changed.

Accessibility and communication with citizens, common-sense decision making, basic infrastructure and preventing the spread of invasive species are among Fred’s continued concerns for the MD.

“Municipal government should concentrate, in my opinion, on basic infrastructure,” he said. “Our residents and visitors — both young and old — need well-maintained roads to drive on, safe bridges to cross, clean water to drink, effective waste management, good health and emergency services and up-to-date seniors housing.”

Fred touched on many of current council’s accomplishments, including hosting Coffee With Council to allow for candid discussion with representatives, construction of the new Crestview Lodge, completion of renovations in the ER, the paving of key roads and council’s success in obtaining provincial grant funding for a number of projects.

“More often than not, municipal government and the councillors and of course their staff don’t do things that are billboard newsworthy,” he said. “What they do is just enable their citizens to go about their daily business.”

“That’s been my goal for the last four years, and I would like to make it my goal for the next four years.”

Garry Marchuk

MDCandidateForum GarryMarchuk

“I believe the MD council must plan for the future,” said incumbent Division 3 councillor Garry Marchuk. “We must be sustainable and grow with full-time jobs, economic opportunities and environmental conscience.”

With five years’ experience serving as councillor, Garry said his to-do list for the rest of the calendar year focuses on completing the engineering study of the Beaver Mines water and wastewater project, completing the area structure plan for Castle Mountain and finding answers regarding the Kenow fire.

“This is our home and our future relies on the continued improvement of solid infrastructure for agriculture, tourism, renewable energy, stable businesses and keeping our young population innovative and employed in quality, high-paying jobs,” Garry said.

Clear communication is important, he said, and the opinions of his constituents are even more so. Questionnaires sent to residents regarding the future of wind power and recreational and community services, he said, are one way he and current council ensure they make better decisions on behalf of the citizens in the MD.

“As your MD representative, I listen to the concerns of my residents. I believe in wise long-term planning and even wiser allocation of our limited financial resources,” he continued. “I will always appreciate your input. This is how I will represent you.”

“With your support in this election, we will continue to work together to face the changes coming to our community in a way that best serves the needs of all residents of the MD of Pincher Creek,” he concluded.

Terry Yagos

MDCandidateForum TerryYagos

Terry Yagos has served as Division 2 councillor and deputy reeve for the past seven years, and wants to serve his constituents for another term.

The former Livingstone School teacher and lifelong Lundbreck resident encourages population growth; enhanced services such as snow removal, dust control and road maintenance; collaboration with neighbouring jurisdictions, including Crowsnest Pass, the Town of Pincher Creek and the Village of Cowley; and improving the MD’s linear assessment after a six per cent loss.

The proposed incinerator at the Crowsnest-Pincher Creek Landfill is another priority for the incumbent councillor, who also sits on the landfill committee as an MD representative.

“One topic I want to cover is the four-letter word ‘incinerator,’ ” he told the audience.

He explained that with about 4,000 “road kills,” farm and other animals being received by the landfill annually, the landfill association determined a biomass incinerator would be the best way to mitigate the unhealthy and unpleasant working space for its employees. After much research and analysis, the association decided to apply for licensing.

“There has not been a plan yet to built it,” he said. “That will come after we get permission from CFIA, we get some grant funding organized, then we’ll have a meeting and decide if we’re actually going to go ahead and build it.”

In his conclusion, Terry said the best thing for the future of the community is to build responsibly while sustaining the natural beauty and wildlife of the area.

“I now have grandchildren who are living at Lee Lake and attending Livingstone School, and their future along with the greater community is very important to me,” he said.

Read more in this week’s online edition here.
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From the October 11, 2017 print edition of Shootin’ the Breeze.
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