The BC Local Government Elections are set for Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022

The BC Local Government Elections are set for Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022

Cranbrook city council and mayoral candidates state their case

The Cranbrook Townsman has offered all candidates seeking seats on City Council space to go public with the voters one last time. Voting Day in the BC Municipal Elections is Saturday, Oct. 15. Voting takes place at 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, Laurie Middle School Gymnasium, 1808 2nd Street South

Norma Blissett

Norma Blissett

Norma Blissett

I’ve lived in Cranbrook for almost thirty years, raised three children here and now have two grandchildren living in this community. I am personally invested in the present and future of Cranbrook.

I began my working life as a forester. I currently work as a part time high school teacher at Mount Baker Secondary School, and I’ve been a city councillor for the last eight years. I feel very privileged to be able to live on the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa people and I am asking for your support in order to work on your behalf for another four year term.

I became involved in politics because it is one of the most direct ways to bring about positive change. The city is like a big ship- it turns gradually, but it does turn eventually. As a Councillor you can influence the direction of that turn. You can make decisions that influence downtown redevelopment, and how money is distributed to various service groups. You can make decisions at budget time that affect where money is spent in the city and how much the citizens must pay in municipal taxes. To paraphrase a colleague, this work is not about making a fortune, it is about making a difference.

I am pleased with my record on Council. I have voted in favour of multi family housing, downtown revitalization and locating the soccer dome in Balment Park. I supported the zoning change required to create a homeless shelter.

There are no simple answers to the complex problems that we face as a city and as a society in general. I am confident though that there are diverse solutions that we can employ as a community to make the situation better. We must work with professionals and follow an evidence-based approach. This is true for reducing our vulnerability to wildfire, for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and for dealing with our social problems.

There are no disposable people. Each of us can do our part to build community so that all of our citizens feel a sense of belonging. City Council cannot solve the issues that impact our city alone. Municipal government can adopt policies, budgets and bylaws to improve the quality of life for our citizens. We must listen to and follow the advice of those who have knowledge and experience with the particular problem that we are trying to solve.

I have the aptitude and attitude necessary to work with community stake holders, service groups, professionals and others to make decisions for the greater good. I am asking for your vote in this election.

Wesly Graham

Wesly Graham

Wesly Graham

I am very pleased to be seeking a 3rd term on Cranbrook council, working for the citizens of Cranbrook. Over the past 2 terms I have been committed to finding solutions to the mandates provided by the people of Cranbrook.

A lack of affordable housing was one of the driving issues where residents expressed concern 4 years ago. From affordable rentals to single family homes, the community has added over 500 new doors, which is something I am particularly proud of. We have seen more developers show interest in Cranbrook and they are willing to work with us to continue to grow the city and meet the affordability needs we see in the community. Housing will be one of the main areas of focus for this campaign and I look forward to continuing that work this next term.

Other areas I am focusing on are:

Safety and security of our citizens. There has been a significant shift in our community over the past two years which has presented security issues for the residents of Cranbrook. I have been raising alarm bells on this issue for the past four years. It is time to pressure the Provincial Government to make crime, crime again. I will continue to work towards solutions that would see By-law and RCMP form a partnership to deal with those individuals who prey on the vulnerable population and the prolific offenders. The city of Cranbrook does not have the resources to address the growing mental health crises, however, I am committed to working with the Provincial government to take immediate action to address the safety and security issues that are unfolding in our streets, as well be active in a long term solution.

Roads and pipes. I am committed to my promise to continue the repair of roads in the city. Over the past eight years I have been a constant voice in support of road repair and this council has invested over 50 million dollars fixing the city’s failing infrastructure. That work needs to continue and with the dedicated roads program there is now funding to address this issue and see our roads and pipes rebuilt.

Economic development and opportunity. Work must continue to create a stable environment for business development in the city by removing the gate keepers who stand in the way and slow down the process. Businesses are looking to move here and now with more housing options we can work with them to open up offices, and more jobs, here in Cranbrook..

I encourage you to find more details around the areas of focus on my website or Facebook page Wesly Graham for Cranbrook City Council.

Mike Peabody

Mike Peabody

Mike Peabody

I have seen immense growth and change in Cranbrook since I was elected five years ago, a lot of this was positive, and some of it wasn’t. I will say, that our City staff has accomplished so much, they worked incredibly hard to attain the goals that the senior staff, Mayor and Council set throughout our last term. We have a strong workforce and incredible leadership within The City, that is dedicated to making Cranbrook better. I am optimistic about our future, and I want to be a part of that journey.

I believe that Cranbrook is on its way to being a safer and more prosperous community. I want to keep this city one that we are proud to call home, and that is just what we need, more homes. Our Downtown is the perfect place to develop high-density housing that is affordable for individuals wanting to break into the housing market. With a great mix of cafes, restaurants, theatres, services, and shopping, our downtown is a great place to both live and invest in. I have been a passionate proponent of our downtown for over 15 years, and I believe that The City’s Downtown Revitalization Plan is the path to building a city centre that will remain prosperous for years to come.

I am mindful of the areas of collective concern within our community. Throughout Cranbrook, drug poisoning deaths are increasing, crime is on the rise, and we have a larger vulnerable population of people living rough. Additionally, Cranbrook doesn’t have adequate supportive housing for our vulnerable population. As a community and as a local government we must come together to tackle these issues. Providing food and safe supportive housing is the first step. Only when these needs are met, and there is access to comprehensive, evidence-based treatment services, can mental health and addiction be treated.

I have carved a niche on Council as someone who asks solid questions and consults with experts before sharing my perspective. I do this because I want to make sure every decision we make, every vote cast, is informed and balanced. My attitude in City Council reflects my approach as an entrepreneur. As a member of City Council, I am continuously inspired by the potential to contribute to meaningful and impactful projects. My goals with City Council are to build mutually respectful relationships with community members; positively contribute to an inclusive work environment; and balance the need for growth and consistency in all sectors of community development, safety, and Governance. I work hard to be the best City Councillor that I can be, and I promise to continue to do that if re-elected. So please, vote for Mike on October 15th.

Ron Popoff

Ron Popoff

Ron Popoff

I am dedicated to continuing many of the ongoing initiatives and new challenges in our city. The past 8 years have given me a unique insight into what makes Cranbrook a great place to live.During my first term on City Council, we focused on roads, worked on our relationship with the business and development community, established a needs based budgeting process for more fiscal responsibility, and kept taxes as low as possible.Our roads were notorious, so we borrowed $10,000,000 to accelerate the road repair program. We restructured our bidding process to give the work to our local contractors, suppliers, and professionals keeping most of these dollars in our community. We also continued to grow our 1% road fund. However, there was clearly still work to be done.During my second term, while continuing the road improvement plan, we focused on housing. Approving new subdivisions and rezoning lands enabled our builders and land developers to create more housing. We are now experiencing record breaking increases in building permits and development approvals, so we have hired more development staff to keep up with the approval process.

During the Covid pandemic, Council pivoted to address the economic impact to our local business community and to respond to the impact of increased homeless people in Cranbrook.

Cranbrook has certainly experienced a visible increase in both the homeless and crime. I realize that there are vulnerable people needing our help, and we need the necessary tools and personnel to address the petty crime – especially on the strip.

Going forward, my priorities for next Council are:

1. Ensuring we have the necessary police, bylaw, and emergency response staff, with adequate tools and training, to help control and reduce the crime and public mischief we are currently experiencing.

2. Working with social housing agencies to build supportive housing to get the vulnerable homeless people away from the troublemakers causing crime.

3. Creating more housing for our young working families. We need to invest in housing that attracts more workers and professionals (doctors for instance), and purposeful housing for our seniors who would like to retire in Cranbrook

4. Implementing the recommendations of our Downtown Revitalization Plan so we can continue to enjoy our incredible downtown vibrancy and increase livability.

5. Applying a smart growth strategy for our future growth and development for the right type of housing in the right locations.

Cranbrook is on the map! People and businesses are relocating here. To compete with other communities, I will continue to encourage more economic development and ensure that Cranbrook continues to be the best place to live, work, and play. This will help our young families and seniors, and attract more workers and professionals.

Wayne Stetski

Wayne Stetski

Wayne Stetski

I am running for Cranbrook City Council. Why? The short answer is that I still have a strong desire to serve people and the planet!

I like people, and I like helping them resolve the challenges that life sends their way.

During the 32 years that Audrey and I have lived in Cranbrook (we raised our family here), I have served as Member of Parliament; Mayor; Director – Regional District of East Kootenay; Director – Kootenay East Regional Hospital District Board; Regional Manager, Kootenays, BC Ministry of Environment- responsible for Fish and Wildlife, Ecosystems and BC Parks; Manager of the East Kootenay Conservation Program. I worked closely with the Ktunaxa Nation, and very much value that relationship. You can accomplish a lot more for people with handshakes than by pointing fingers – I maintain positive working relationships with leaders at all levels of government!

Giving back to Cranbrook has always been important to me. It has been an honour to serve as Chair, Director or Volunteer with: Shelter for Ukrainians Society, Food Bank, Summer Sounds (Peak Music Festival), Symphony of the Kootenays, Cranbrook History Centre, Cranbrook Multicultural Society, College of the Rockies, Key City Theatre, United Way, Cub Scouts, Rocky Mountain Naturalists, the Community Forest Society, Church, and Minor Hockey and Ball. Thank you to everyone who volunteers their time to make Cranbrook a better place to live – you are very much appreciated!

What are my priorities:

Ensuring that every citizen has a voice at city hall.

Working with all levels of government on affordable housing, attracting more family doctors, and reducing crime.

Ensuring that Cranbrook is prepared for the impacts of climate change and that we are doing our part to ensure a greener future for our children and grandchildren.

Smart growth city planning.

Seeking opportunities to strengthen our relationship with the Ktunaxa Nation.

Continuing the battle to fix our streets; making our sidewalks more accessible for Seniors.

Working to attract small and medium-sized businesses.

Supporting arts, music, sporting events and multiculturalism. These are important both for tourism and to ensure that Cranbrook is not only a place to live, but is a liveable place!

Helping people!

While these are some of my priorities, I am interested in your priorities, so please contact me via email , Facebook @Stetski, or stop me for a chat when we meet around the city. We learn and we grow by listening to one another…!

It is important when you are electing a City Council that you look carefully at what each candidate brings in the way of knowledge and experience to the team, and City Council is a team. With your support and your vote, I want to represent you on that team on October 15th, 2022!

Lynnette Wray

Lynnette Wray

Lynnette Wray

My husband and I love living in Cranbrook, and we feel so fortunate to be raising our family here, in this beautiful part of Amak’is Ktunaxa. We enjoy the network of local bike trails, time on the ice playing hockey, and the vibrant and growing arts scene. We are huge fans of our local restaurants, as well as the businesses and services in our downtown core and throughout our community.

25 years of working in the local non-profit sector have given me unique insight into the many community services that make our community a great place to live. As an experienced non-profit professional, it’s my job to carefully steward donor dollars, and I will bring that experience to the Council table, to ensure the responsible use of each and every tax dollar.

I am honoured to sit as a Director on the Board of the East Kootenay Community Credit Union, gaining six years of real-world experience in governance and becoming an Accredited Canadian Credit Union Director. It’s also my honour to be a member of the Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary Club, including serving as the 2020-2021 Club President.

As the largest centre in the Kootenays, the City of Cranbrook needs and deserves excellent governance and leadership. I will use my skills, knowledge, and experience to ensure that thorough due diligence, appropriate oversight, and transparent decision-making processes are the norm around the Council table.I will work to grow and enhance a positive, proactive, and professional organizational culture. This includes contributing to a productive working relationship between Council and management, embracing diversity, creativity, and innovation, and ensuring that City staff have the skills and resources they need to provide excellent customer service to the residents of Cranbrook and the business community.

Housing and homelessness are clearly high-priority concerns for our community. These are complex problems that cannot be solved by any one agency or organization alone. We need to work together to identify and implement multi-pronged, solution-focused strategies. This includes creating collaborative, effective working relationships with all levels of government, including the Ktunaxa Nation, as well as local non-profits, the RCMP, the local business community, and other indigenous organizations, in order to find creative, sustainable solutions that will benefit the community as a whole, offering a variety of affordable, attainable, and supportive housing options.

I deeply value and respect our local small businesses, and I look forward to working with the local business community to identify and address barriers, streamline processes, and make the best possible use of technology.

I welcome feedback and questions from local residents and business owners. Please contact me at or 250-919-9721. I look forward to talking with you about what you love about Cranbrook, the challenges we’re facing, and the potential for new opportunities.

Jeremy Youngward

Jeremy Youngward

How might your life be better with a government that works for you?

I began my campaign for council with this simple question. I grew up in a small village, and I couldn’t wait to leave. About six years ago, the opportunity that had brought me to Cranbrook ended, and I was once again looking at the prospect of moving on.

But this time was different.

I found myself recounting experiences I would miss most. Visiting the Community Forest & hiking Eager Hill. Seeing the Christmas lights around town after the Parade. Sam Steele Days. The view of Fisher Peak.

I wondered what I could do to make sure everyone wanted to live here as much as I did.

I decided that I needed to bring back a sense of professionalism to the process of governing the city. To replace the abrasive and often argumentative rhetoric, & the seemingly casual disregard of the rules & procedures essential to running a modern city effectively.

Further, I needed to develop a new sense of collaboration between the city & its partners that has been sadly missing, partners such as other levels of governments, volunteer groups, and non-profits, the groups that through their efforts make this city everything it is.

We also need to communicate better. Open and honest communication, between all parties. Where differences of view are both sought out and respected. Where no one is afraid to speak out.

Growth is essential in order to increase opportunities for all, growth that is smart, responsible, & measured, that respects the value of density & integration with the surrounding communities. Intentional & well planned growth that benefits everyone.

Whether we walk, bike, or drive, everyone must have the opportunity to do so safely & efficiently. Our infrastructure must respect the needs of each group equally, so that people can get around in the ways they prefer, all year round. And it must include sufficient signs for visitors, so they too can easily find their way around.

Tourism is what brought me here so I respect all the benefits the visitor economy brings us. We need to work together to promote ourselves to visitors, and this must include acknowledging the importance of our history.

Running a downtown business, I appreciate the importance of a strong & vibrant downtown core. We need streets that are clean, safe, and well lit, & buildings that are in good repair & aesthetically interesting, and to develop a core that’s modern.

When my family and I came to Cranbrook twelve years ago it was to take advantage of a better opportunity. Today that’s exactly my hope for Cranbrook.

With your support on October 15th, we can make Cranbrook somewhere that people are proud to call home again.

Ph: (250)421-0161


Facebook: @jeremyforcitycouncil

The Cranbrook Townsman has offered the candidates running for Mayor of the City of Cranbrook space to go public with the voters one last time. Voting Day in the BC Municipal Elections is Saturday, Oct. 15. Voting takes place at 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, Laurie Middle School Gymnasium, 1808 2nd Street South

Lee Pratt

Lee Pratt

I have a long-term vision for the City of Cranbrook and am committed to moving our city forward by growing our tax base, providing continued services and keeping taxes low.

Crime and homelessness have dominated the discussion this election. Many have been asking how we solve a crisis of this magnitude and what my plan is to address it. As your Mayor, I have always been straight-forward and honest and I do believe that, together with your support, we can and will solve this crisis.

Here’s my plan:

Through relationships formed at Provincial and Federal levels, I will continue to advocate for increased assistance and tangible results in the areas of housing, mental health and substance abuse so that root causes can be addressed. Council will keep an open line with Provincial partners and non-profits and will engage wherever there is an opportunity to move forward with meaningful results for the residents of Cranbrook.

Working with City Council, I will:

Increase access to affordable housing. Five hundred new doors have been opened in Cranbrook and nine hundred more are in the que, but more work needs to be done. I will continue working together with BC Housing, Aboriginal Housing Authority, Metis Housing and KTUNAXA Aquantanamm Housing and other levels of government to leverage funds for additional affordable housing projects.

Increased RCMP support. Council approved two new RCMP members and three watch clerk positions to address crime levels. I will continue to support the Cranbrook RCMP by working with Provincial Crown Council to ensure that our police maintain the right to arrest and detain criminals who break the law and create fear for the homeless, our families and businesses.

Increased bylaw services. Immediately following this election, I will seek Council’s support on action that will update and equip our bylaw services department to be better positioned to safely address the escalating challenges. This is an area where City Council can lead and play a direct role in enforcement. I will report back to you, via a press conference, within 90 days on the direction Council has provided.

Cranbrook is a gem and I will ensure we protect our way of life and continue to grow so our people have good jobs, affordable places to call home, smooth roads to drive on and safe neighbourhoods where our businesses and families can thrive.

I am a committed Mayor, with heart, who is passionate about our city. Like many of you, I find it challenging to talk about accomplishments so I will leave you with these words:

“Politicians who actually do what they promise to do are rare. Mayor Lee Pratt promised he would keep taxes down in Cranbrook, start fixing our roads, attract new jobs and manage the town’s business with common sense. Lee has kept his promise to us and the town is strong and moving forward. I support Lee Pratt because Lee has proven that he’ll keep his promises to us and he’ll take the actions that will keep our community strong.” ~ Bill Bennett, former MLA Kootenay East

On October 15th, vote Lee Pratt for Mayor and I will deliver four more years of a straight forward and honest approach where your voice is heard, continued action is taken and these difficult issues are addressed and solved.

Wayne Price

Wayne Price

I am Cranbrook born and raised, a former firefighter, Fire Commissioner, Fire Chief and City Councillor for the City of Cranbrook. My life has been about keeping people safe.

I believe Cranbrook is at a crossroads. Homelessness and crime, city leadership and responsible city investments are the key issues in this election. I believe I am the Mayor that Cranbrook needs right now, to take action right now, to address our challenges effectively.

We’ve had development growth the last few years. But we are also seeing growth in homelessness and crime.

This is unacceptable. We must make the right choices to make sure our future city is safe, resilient and strong.

I understand that homelessness is the result of many causes, and finding solutions starts with a clear-eyed understanding of all aspects of the problem. That’s why I have been meeting with community groups, law enforcement and local businesses to hear directly from those most effected by homelessness and with the largest stake in finding a solution. As Mayor I will immediately form a working group to tackle this problem head on with my fellow councillors, including reaching out to partner with the provincial government.

Crime is primarily an issue for law enforcement, but there are things that the City and citizens can do to address it. We have a problem with vacant buildings, rundown and unkempt properties, trash and weedsgrowing on public property. If we don’t take pride in how our city looks, no one will respect our community spaces and crime will increase. As Mayor I will recommend we redirect City resources to our bylaw team to deal with persistent problems, and to our public works department to better maintain public properties and streets. We also need to re-charge our beautification efforts in the city in partnership with community groups.

On the campaign trail I’ve met with hundreds of citizens. I wanted to say how proud I am, very proud, to see that democracy is alive and well in Cranbrook. I have been impressed by the thoughts and ideas people have offered. I’ve learned some new things, particularly from those who hold opinions different from my own.

That’s strong leadership in action — having the strength of character to listen fairly to everyone, to listen to the folks, after all, who pay the bills in our city. And city leadership needs to go further in letting our community know what and why we are doing things.

I am also proud of the work my fellow councillors and I, City Staff and City workers have achieved in the last term, particularly around road paving, re-building infrastructure, as well as supporting the construction of needed rental housing. No individual makes this happen; it’s is a team effort. As Mayor I will continue to make sure we live within our means, ensuring that investments in our infrastructure are distributed wisely and fairly, always looking to partner with businesses and community groups, and other levels of government to maximize funding.

I welcome the opportunity to speak with anyone, either via my Facebook page ( or my web site —

I ask for your trust and your vote. As Mayor I will be on the front line, working for you every day, to make sure our city is safe, resilient and strong.

BC Election 2022