Watch a replay of Monday night's All Candidate Forum below.
Five candidates are in the running for the May 15 city council byelection: Sarah MacDougall, Jim Lequiere, Jon Gosselin, Trystan Jones, and Tom Whitton.
Learn more about the candidates below:
- Sarah MacDougall
Byelection candidate Sarah MacDougall. By Supplied
Sarah MacDougall can relate to a good portion of Fort St. John residents. She’s a mother of four, has worked as a committee leader in public health, her husband works in the oil and gas sector, and she serves as a treasurer of a nonprofit: "I hired more than 20 people during my time in the health sector, and while some of them stayed, a lot of them left. There are things the health authorities can do, but there are things the city can do."
Connect with MacDougall on Facebook at facebook.com/Sarah-MacDougall-106480528210558.
MacDougall can be reached by phone at 250-262-2087, or by email at email@example.com.
- Jim Lequiere
Byelection candidate Jim Lequiere. By Supplied
Jim Lequiere has seen a lot of change in Fort St. John since moving to the city with his young family in 1986. Back then, streets were gravel, the pool didn’t have a roof, the field house was the arena, there was no Pomeroy Sport Centre, and generally there were less things for young families like his to do.
Today, Lequiere sees two new schools, a new Centennial Park plaza, a new RCMP station being built, paved streets, and Kin Park, around the corner from his home, is due for major upgrades this year. And that’s just a quick list of all the major projects on the go or recently built: "It’s an exciting time for young families in Fort St. John right now ... I want them to be able to say, yeah, Fort St. John is my home and I’m proud of it."
Connect with Lequiere on Facebook at facebook.com/Jim-Lequiere-for-Fort-St-John-City-Council-108706854627176.
Lequiere can be reached by phone at 250-262-6732, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jon Gosselin
Jon Gosselin was born and raised in Fort St. John, and is cofounder of the Phoenix Volunteer Club and Caremongering Fort St. John. A father of three, Gosselin says running for council is an extension of his community service work: "How many people in today’s society want to sit through a council meeting for two hours? They can be dry and boring, and I want to see more communication from councillors and the mayor."
Connect with Gosselin on Facebook at facebook.com/Jon-Gosselin-for-City-Council-Community-Driven-103709845162675.
Gosselin can be reached by phone at 250-263-5970, or by email at email@example.com.
- Trystan Jones
Byelection candidate Trystan Jones. By Supplied.
Trystan Jones grew up in Rose Prairie, and is currently working in healthcare at St. Paul’s Hospital and studying political science at Simon Fraser University. A self-described activist, Jones has organized anti-racism rallies and has experienced anti-Asian attitudes first hand over frustrations over the COVID-19 pandemic. Jones, who comes from mixed heritage, wants to bring his lived experience to the council table: "My hope is to help be a voice, a young voice, and a progressive voice for the future. I think that we’ve spent too long worrying about the finances of Fort St. John and not enough time on the social issues, the ones that really matter."
Jones can be reached by phone at 778-256-6047, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Tom Whitton
Byelection candidate Tom Whitton. By Supplied
Tom Whitton has been a resident of Fort St John for a decade, coming to town with a one-year plan but finding his life-long home instead. Whitton, a former banker who now works in software sales, says mental health, community health, and prosperity for all citizens are top of mind: "Every kid wants to go see where the grass is greener. I did it. And a lot of the time they come back because they’ll realize, hey, the grass isn’t greener. We need social infrastructure to go along with that, so families will want to stay in Fort St John."
Connect with Whitton on Facebook at facebook.com/ElectTomWhitton.
Whitton can be reached by phone at 250-793-8975, or by email at email@example.com.
Voting will take place at the Pomeroy Sport Centre May 15, with advance voting opportunities May 5 and May 12.
A special voting opportunity at senior care facilities and the hospital is tentatively set for May 13, depending on COVID restrictions at the time.
The new councillor will take their Oath of Office on May 25.