Election Alert: Local Government Elections Happening October 15, 2022

Local government elections for mayors, councillors, school board trustees, and regional district directors will take place across BC on Saturday, October 15.

These local governments, guided by those who are elected this October, will have a profound impact on the day-to-day lives of HSA members and our families, and on the communities we all live, work and play in.

The winning candidates will be key partners in creating child care centres, affordable housing, parks, libraries, rehabilitation and detox centres, and emergency shelters. Local governments also maintain and regulate important infrastructure and services like roads, water systems, fire and police services, garbage collection, and snow removal.

If you’re overwhelmed by the number of candidates running in your community, check out your local labour council’s list of endorsements. These candidates have been endorsed because they will work to build affordable, inclusive, resilient communities with strong public services and good jobs.

Local government candidates put in an incredible effort just for the chance to help shape their communities. We’re so proud of the three HSA members who have put themselves forward as candidates in this election:

Wendy Morin (endorsed by the Campbell River, Courtenay and District Labour Council)

Wendy is a lifelong Comox Valley resident committed to creating a vibrant community for all citizens, where all voices are heard. She is seeking re-election to Courtenay council to continue building on the accomplishments and vision of the current council.

“I grew up in this community: I’m connected to our past but I also have a lot of creative ideas for the future. I balance that with being available and accessible to residents and voters, so that I can act as a champion for their voices. Local government has the power to profoundly affect peoples’ lives every day, so I encourage everyone to exercise their democratic right and vote this October 15,” said Wendy.

Wendy is currently on leave from her counselling position working with youth and families. She knows the challenges frontline HSA members are going through, both through her own firsthand experience, as well as the experience of her husband, a health science professional working in acute care. As a member of the Health Sciences Association she took on numerous leadership roles including serving as assistant lead steward.

Learn more:

Janice Morrison (endorsed by the West Kootenay Labour Council)

Janice is a passionate community advocate who has called Nelson “home” for 32 years. She has served three terms as a Nelson city councillor and one term as the municipal director for the Regional District of Central Kootenay. Janice is running for Mayor of the City of Nelson.

“I came to Nelson 32 years ago to start my career as a physiotherapist at our local hospital. I stayed in Nelson and made this city my home because it is such a vibrant, interesting, eclectic, friendly and incredibly beautiful place. I’ve served three terms on Nelson City Council, and I’m proud of the work I’ve been a part of that has made our great city even greater. I also realize the challenges in front of us – there’s more important work ahead, and I want to help get it done,” said Janice.

Janice recently retired from a 30+ year career as a physiotherapist at the local Kootenay Lake Hospital, and still enjoys shifts as a casual employee. Janice has an extensive history of union involvement and leadership in HSA, having served on the HSA board for multiple terms as a regional director, Secretary-Treasurer, and Vice-President. She has also served on many HSA committees, and as a constituency liaison.

Learn more:

Benjamin Perry

Ben is a long time Coquitlam resident, homeowner, and parent seeking a first term on Coquitlam City Council. Ben has 7 years of experience lobbying cities for climate policy with Force of Nature. He believes that good city planning can address housing affordability, climate change, and maintain the quality of life enjoyed in Coquitlam.

"No one should have to leave Coquitlam because they cannot afford to stay,” said Ben.

Ben works as a pediatric speech language pathologist and clinical instructor. He also serves in multiple roles within HSA as a lead steward and constituency liaison. Within these roles, Ben has helped bring the concerns of critical shortages in healthcare workers, and underfunding of child development centres, to the provincial government.

Learn more:

Shannon Stewart

Shannon Stewart BSW, MSW, RCC is a longtime resident of Penticton seeking a first term on Penticton City Council. She has held positions on many boards, with several professional organizations and acted in many capacities on her strata council. These roles have developed her skills as a group member, a leader, and an active participant.

"I am passionate and focused. I understand organizational structure and the importance of meaningful relationships. What sets me apart from others is my willingness to seek out and invite opinions, ideas, and feedback from all interested parties to ensure I am as prepared as possible to evaluate and incorporate the necessary information and arrive at an objective and well-considered decision. I use my brain to evaluate and assess information, my heart to guide my words and actions, and my voice to speak with other group members or on behalf of the population or individuals I am representing," said Shannon.

Shannon is a healthcare social worker with the Interior Health Authority. She attained her master's degree in social work (MSW) through UBC-O in Kelowna and has 30 years of experience providing psychosocial support to children, individuals, and families in Penticton. Shannon is currently employed as a healthcare social worker with Interior Health, and is also a Designated Responder, trained to assess, evaluate, and intervene with suspected elder abuse cases.

Learn more: Shannon Stewart for Penticton City Council 2022 Facebook Page