Silverton is heading to the polls! 

On Jun 19, 2021 Silverton voters will head to the polls to vote for their next Mayor and Councillor. Check out the voter’s guide to see where your mayoral candidates stand on social and environmental issues.


Voter Guides

Silverton is a close-knit community, and we felt that it was important to get to know your mayoral candidates. We connected with both Colin and Don to get to know where they stand on key issues.

Why are you running for Mayor of Silverton?

Photograph of Colin Ferguson

Colin Ferguson

I believe running for and or sitting on local councils should be compulsory except in mitigating circumstances; it should be like jury duty. This would get more voices into politics and also force more people to be involved, and to pay attention. My time has now come inasmuch as I now have time to do this, being no longer working and having largely completed the building of our house. I was also invited by several people to run because I believe that the Slocan area may be on the cusp of major development pressures that will be of mixed blessing and I have experience working in that environment.

Photograph of Don Broughton

Don Broughton

Silverton has fallen into disrepair things like sidewalks that have been falling apart for a long time and been ignored, trees that fall down. We keep being told that they’re safe, and I feel peoples concerns are ignored. I believe the village has been mismanaged for awhile now, and we need somebody who’s more concerned about the safety and wellbeing of the people, rather than whatever it is they’ve been concerned about.

What do you think are the biggest issues facing people living on low-income, and other people who are marginalized in Silverton?

Photograph of Colin Ferguson

Colin Ferguson

From what I can see the biggest challenges are lack of transportation and a shortage of rental housing. There is a bus service but it doesn’t run every day, and although rents seem to be less expensive than many towns or cities, it can be tough to find a place. There may be other issues that I am not yet aware of.

Photograph of Don Broughton

Don Broughton

Definitely housing is one of the biggest things, because the price of everything is going up so much the value of the houses and the properties that it’s pricing. Some people, especially people of low incomes are being pushed out of the market, or, you know, their taxes go up too much and force them into selling. I think it doesn’t matter who you are, if you’ve got a concern in whatever place you live, it should be taken seriously and looked into. At least I want people to be honest if you know right away that, no, sorry, that concern of yours is not going anywhere. Go ahead and tell people, don’t stream them along.

What steps towards understanding which Indigenous people are caretakers of the land Silverton is situated on, and reconciliation with those people will you take as mayor of Silverton?

The Village of Silverton’s current land acknowledgement is, “We acknowledge the Indigenous Peoples land on which we stand”

Photograph of Colin Ferguson

Colin Ferguson

I would seek out the local indigenous people and ask them. My current understanding is that many previous indigenous populations – The Lake Peoples – were depleted by disease, and the survivors largely moved south of the border as the government denied their existence. So council should find the existing bands and propose an official village-wide celebration and acknowledgment – perhaps involving a blessing and smudge if the elders are willing.

Photograph of Don Broughton

Don Broughton

Open dialogue, because I don’t think that I understand the situation well enough to make any comments on that. I want to see the day where we can all just sit down and say, “Hey, we’re Canadians”. I don’t understand the situation well enough at the moment to make decisions on it.

If elected, will you lead the adoption of The West Kootenay 100% Renewable Energy Plan? If yes, what are your key priority actions to begin implementing it in Silverton?

Through a council motion in 2019, the Village of Silverton committed to transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2050 across community energy use. Silverton also worked alongside eight other local governments to develop The Plan, which was released in 2020. Silverton Council has not yet adopted the Plan, while other communities already have.

Photograph of Colin Ferguson

Colin Ferguson

Yes.

The ability of the village to achieve some of these ideals is going to depend largely on forces outside its control. That said the village (and RDCK) has to be the change it wants to see – and is making headway with things like recycling almost everything, and local composting which in combination has really cut our own garbage down to one tiny bag each week – and we get great compost back! So as far as the other aspirations above, where feasible the village needs to strive to adopt all the ideas that have been and will be put forward.

As Joanna Macey said, people have to want different things for change to happen on the scale needed to avoid planetary disaster. However I know that education works (see below) to convince them to want different things. Energy efficiency in housing is an easy sell when people realize it saves them money in the long term, cleans up the air and helps eliminate asthma. If electric cars come down in price everyone WILL want one after a test drive. It’s all about helping people connect the dots. So all the aspirations put forward are worthwhile and necessary, and my and council’s key priorities perhaps should be to “keep the faith”, and provide education while pursuing incremental changes at every opportunity. Change isn’t going to happen overnight; it needs leadership.

Photograph of Don Broughton

Don Broughton

Yes – I support renewable energy but not every form.

I can say renewable energy. Some of it depends on what it is because I’m not a fan of windmills. I’ve seen them over in Alberta along the highway one there and whatnot. Talking to people about the results of birds, dead birds and such. So it depends on what kind of renewable energy I’m not for the big hydro dams anymore. We’ve made a huge mistake up north with Site C. Not only are they not good for climate change, which the scientists never bring up, but look at all the land we destroy. I’m not quite sure how to put it, but it depends on the renewable energy, but yes, I want to see that, but I don’t want to see any more big hydro dams.

And I’d like to see Site C stopped.

If elected, will you lead the adoption of a motion* to oppose the logging of at-risk old-growth forests? What additional actions will you take to defend the last remaining old-growth forests in our region and ensure watersheds surrounding the community continue to provide clean drinking water?

Healthy, intact old-growth forest ecosystems protect our clean drinking water and help our communities deal with the worst impacts of climate change.

*The City of Nanaimo’s City Council recently voted to pass this motion.

Photograph of Colin Ferguson

Colin Ferguson

Yes. Educate, co-ordinate, bring all parties especially government to the table and ask them what is going on. Really – it’s drinking water for God’s sake.

Photograph of Don Broughton

Don Broughton

Yes. Other than protests I don’t see how there’s any other way we’re going to stop the logging. I’m not normally for blockading roads and such, but to that kind of sensitive area I would. The only thing I can think of is, is peaceful protest and demonstration letters. There’s too many people that voice concerns to others, but we’ll never put them into the form of a letter. We need to get people out of that kind of thinking where is my voice is gonna make a difference but if you add it to a few thousand more, the numbers might get significant enough for the government to take.

How have you defended the health, safety and inclusion of the people in your community, as well as the air, water, and land that they rely on?

This is your opportunity to highlight your track record.

Also, think about this through an environmental or social justice lens.

Photograph of Colin Ferguson

Colin Ferguson

2.5 decades working with Bowcord (Bow Valley Citizens for Orderly and Responsible Development) latterly on the steering committee, to obtain incremental, appropriate development and to maintain wildlife corridors in the Bow Valley which are a crucial part of Y2Y.

Photograph of Don Broughton

Don Broughton

I’ve always expressed my concern if I see things environmental wise that aren’t, how I believe they are supposed to be, I’m the kind of person I report them. If things are ignored, I like to report them again. As far as like belonging to organizations and such, no, I haven’t been doing any of that. I’ve been blocked from being on council, so I haven’t been on council to help direct things.


For more information on the candidates, read this feature in The Valley Voice (p. 9).

About the Candidates

Election Details

Here are a few details to set you up for the election days:

When:

  • Advanced Voting Days: Wednesday, June 9, 2021
  • General Voting Day: Saturday, June 19, 2021
  • Times: 8:00am to 8:00pm PT

Where: 203 Lake Ave, Silverton, BC V0G 2B0


Am I eligible to vote?

You are allowed to vote if you are registered as:

  • a resident elector (i.e., you live in the Village of Silverton), OR
  • a non-resident property elector (i.e. you live elsewhere in BC but own property in the Village of Silverton).  Qualifying as an Elector:

Electors must meet all of the following conditions:

Criteria

Resident Electors

Non-Resident Property Electors

18 years of age or older on general voting day for the by-election

a Canadian citizen

a resident of British Columbia for at least 6 months immediately before the day of registration

not disqualified under the Local Government Act or any other enactment from voting in an election or otherwise disqualified by law

a resident of the Village of Silverton for at least 30 days immediately before the day of registration

a registered owner of real property in the Village of Silverton for at least 30 days immediately before the day of registration;

not entitled to register as a resident elector;

the only persons who are registered owners of the real property are not holding the property in trust for a corporation or another trust; and

if there is more than one registered owner of the property, only one of those individuals may, with the written consent of the majority of the owners, register as a non-resident property elector.

I am not yet on the Provincial Voters List

If you are not on the Provincial Voters List you may register at the time of voting by completing the required application form available at the voting place.

To register you must meet all of the following qualifications:

  • 18 years of age or older on general voting day,
  • Canadian citizen
  • resident of BC for at least 6 months immediately preceding the day of registration
  • resident of OR registered owner of real property in the Village of Silverton for at least 30 days
  • immediately preceding the day of registration, and
  • not disqualified by law from voting in an election.

What do I need to bring when I vote?

Resident electors will be required to produce 2 pieces of identification (at least one with a signature). Picture identification is not necessary. The identification must prove both residency and identity.

Non-resident property electors must produce 2 pieces of identification (at least one with a signature) to prove identity, proof that they are entitled to register in relation to the property, and, if there is more than one owner of the property, written consent from the majority of the property owners.

I have more questions not covered here.

For further information on these matters, please email elections@silverton.ca or contact the following persons by telephone:

  • Sonya Martineau, Chief Election Officer at 250.352.8234
  • Hillary Elliott, Deputy Chief Election Officer at 250.358.2472
Read the Guidelines