Kiara Lynch explains the voter challenge to Nelson Mayor Deb Kozak and Councillor Bob Adams. Lynch is part of a non-partisan group that will run the challenge.

Kiara Lynch explains the voter challenge to Nelson Mayor Deb Kozak and Councillor Bob Adams. Lynch is part of a non-partisan group that will run the challenge.

Nelson issuing voter challenge to Kootenays

The City of Nelson is putting forward a friendly challenge to other municipalities in hopes of seeing increased voter turnout.

The City of Nelson is putting forward a friendly challenge to other municipalities in hopes of seeing increased voter turnout in the upcoming federal election.

The Kootenay Community Voter Challenge will see which municipality can increase the percentage of their voter turnout compared to the last election in 2011.

Nelson joins Cranbrook and Kimberley in the Kootenay-Columbia riding in this upcoming election.

While the City of Nelson hasn’t endorsed the challenge formally, Mayor Deb Kozak said the momentum of council was enthusiastically behind the initiative.

“There was great support at the Committee of the Whole meeting and we’ll be endorsing it formally at our next business meeting,” Kozak said. “The indication from council was very, very positive and strong.”

Nelson city council next meets on August 10.

“When staff come back with the recommendation, the way it was presented, the challenge could happen in a variety of ways. It certainly opened up a discussion. People said well, should it just be municipalities, or should we look to area regional directors? Maybe regional districts want to have their own challenge as well. At this point we were thinking that municipalities would be the way to go. We’ll issue that challenge regionally, I think it will be regional, and we’ll see what happens.”

The initiative was brought forward by a non-partisan group. Kozak said it is not about one party or one point of view, but rather inclusion and the democratic process.

Hopefully Cranbrook and Kimberley can get behind the initiative, as Kozak stated the goal is to increase voter turnout.

“And especially to inspire sectors of the population that don’t necessarily come out to vote. We’re going to be targeting, especially, young people I think — get them inspired to be part of the democratic process,” She said. “We need that, we need young people. And we need people to feel inspired and feel that they have a voice in our democratic process.”

Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick said anything that gets more people out to vote is a good thing.

“In every election there are a number of people — a fairly large number of people — who intend to vote, but at the last minute don’t bother going, because they think they are aware of what the outcome is going to be,” McCormick said. “Quite often, elections are very close and the fact is if they’d gone and voted they could have had an effect on the outcome.”

When asked if he thinks the challenge will soon come up in Kimberley city council, McCormick said he ill be waiting for the official word to come from the City of Nelson.

“It’s a challenge from Nelson,” he said. “So we’ll wait for the challenge.”

Kozak said she is looking forward to the opportunity for people to discuss issues in the upcoming federal election such as: “What’s most important to you about our country? What are the things that you want to see the government move forward with at the federal level?”

Kozak said she was also impressed by a comment at the end of the meeting: when you go out to vote, take the hand of somebody else and lead them to vote as well.

She added that Nelson will give Cranbrook, Kimberley and other municipalities a run for their money.

“I’m going to say that we’re going to win,” she laughed. “That should lay the gauntlet down, shouldn’t it?”

Mayor Lee Pratt was not available for comment as of press time.

 

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

Mount Baker Secondary School in Cranbrook.
Graduation ceremony in the works for MBSS Class of 2021

The Mount Bake Secondary School Class of 2021 will have a graduation… Continue reading

After being forced to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Wasa Triathlon is being organized for August. Bulletin file photo.
Information released for Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon scheduled for August

In 2020 the COVID pandemic forced the Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon to… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read