The provincial election on Tuesday (May 14) was a bit of a surprise for those who think they can predict elections — pollsters, pundits and politicians.
It is now the third election this special subsection of our society has gotten wrong, leading many to believe their formula for knowing how people will act once they get into the polling booth is fatally flawed.
One thing is certain, with Jordan Sturdy elected as part of Liberal majority, the result should benefit this riding, and specifically those of us at its northern tip in D’arcy, Mount Currie, Pemberton and Whistler.
There are specific concerns relevant to these areas of the riding that Sturdy will have to get hard to work on and given the rhetoric coming from the St’at’imc Chiefs (see full story on page 26) relations with First Nations is high up on the list.
There is also the judicial review of Whistler’s Official Community Plan the Squamish and Lil’wat have requested from the Supreme Court of B.C. Those First Nations would also like to develop their Legacy Lands and have had difficulty getting proposals approved and are looking to Sturdy to assist.
Having a voice at the table in Victoria that represents the unique aspects of this area can only benefit local interests.
The only thing that seems to be uncertain at this point is whether Sturdy will give up his local interest in being mayor of Pemberton. It seems odd there is no legislation to prevent a person from holding two public offices at one in B.C. That rule exists in neighbouring Alberta, for example. It is challenging to imagine how someone, even if their character is beyond reproach, could functionally serve two masters — the voters of Pemberton or the voters of West Vancouver-Sea to Sky.
Of course Sturdy is looking to council for guidance on this one, and even though we may be democratically tired from going through a recent election, a byelection is the right thing for Pemberton.
The next municipal election is 14 months away and given what the village has politically on its plate right now, clear leadership is needed for the community. The downside, of course, is that a byelection will create a delay in any decisive actions council could possibly take on several issues, the Community Power Project being just one example.
It also means that the current political hot button issue for the community is firmly on the agenda for anyone entering a byelection race, whether for mayor or potential council seats. Those frustrated with a lack of engagement on the future of Pemberton Creek may well get what they wished for if that is the direction council takes.
With the provincial election over, it is also important to stop and thank two-term MLA Joan McIntyre for her service to the riding over the past eight years.
Always a good listener and one to work hard on behalf of the entire riding, McIntyre was the our provincial representative leading up to and throughout the 2010 Winter Olympics.
So from all of us at The Question a fond farewell and thank you for your dedication and public service.