Voting (Illustration by iStock)

Sylvan Lake by-election Sept. 6

The town of Sylvan Lake is holding a by-election, Sept. 6, to fill a the spot left vacant by Kendall Kloss. There are 10 candidates running. The Sylvan Lake News sent each candidate the same set of questions. Here are the responses.

Liz Bishop

I have been a Sylvan Lake resident for over 13 years and I couldn’t imagine finding a more incredible town to call home. I met my husband here and we are raising our two young daughters in this community. Over the years, I have worked in several local businesses, building relationships within the community and experiencing the many opportunities our town offers for local businesses and residents, as well as the very unique challenges we sometimes face. Professionally, I value the importance of continuous learning, growth and skill development. I hold a diploma in legal administration, a leadership certificate and I recently completed my qualifications as a certified project management professional. I am currently employed as a project management leader, a position where I am able to utilize my skills to bring process-driven, meticulously detailed plans and projects from ideas to fully implemented business enhancements. I also chair a community connection committee that organizes fundraising events and initiatives that support community-level programs across rural Alberta.

I commit to focusing my efforts on those ideas and concerns brought forward by our community and my priorities are:

• A strong effort to support our local businesses and a sustainable plan to bring smart, new businesses to our town

• Focus on crime reduction in collaboration with local authorities and resources

• Develop community services for family and youth and commit to accessible playgrounds for children of all needs, something we do not offer currently

• Traffic flow improvements and continued downtown core revitalization

Jordan Sinclair

Born in Regina, Sask., my wife and I have been residents here for 10 years and love serving and being a part of our community.

Some of the local efforts I have participated in are as follows:

• Fundraising co-ordinator and committee member for Sylvan Lake’s successful Kraft Hockeyville effort

• Fundraising co-ordinator for Shake The Lake, Sylvan’s family and music festival

• Fundraising co-ordinator and committee member of Sylvan’s Yuletide Festival

• Fundraising for our lighthouse as a member of the Rotary Club of Sylvan Lake.

• Fundraising for the Sylvan Lake Ambulatory Care Centre., co-planning and promoting two successful events

• Member of the Sylvan Lake Subdivision and Development Appeal Board

• Past chair of the Municipal Planning Commission

• Founder and administrator of one of the community’s leading online platforms, Lake Nation

I have been blessed to have been awarded with several humanitarian awards for community service.

A career in business management/finance, along with my completed studies in these fields, give me the experience, as well as the foundation to make good decisions for our community and its members when issues arise.

Priorities: 1. Fiscal responsibility and accountability. Using my years of business and financial management experience to ensure the town has the right mix of affordability and amenities for the citizens. 2. Community engagement. I will work to ensure our citizens are properly able to engage and give input into all local initiatives. 3. Strengthen and support business and commerce by working with our community to create an environment that will allow our communities businesses to flourish. 4. Focus on the betterment of the lives of our residents by working to provide recreation and cultural opportunities for all in our community.

Chelsey Lambert

My husband and I, along with our two teenage children, have been fortunate enough to call Sylvan Lake our home for seven years.

I have a background in addiction and mental health, and with that I have served youth in central Alberta for the last five years. I have supported youth in care, worked with youth struggling with addiction and mental health issues, supported youth living with or at risk of homelessness and youth in crisis, and most recently helped develop and facilitate a suicide prevention program in our Sylvan Lake schools, where I was able to share mental health and suicide prevention information with over 800 grade 7 to 12 students right in their classrooms. Second to my family, supporting and advocating for youth and their families has been my main priority.

Working for not-for-profit and within the municipality has only solidified my desire to continue to be an active member of our community and opened up so many doors to how I can continue to serve our youth and families here in Sylvan Lake.

In my spare time, I love to be outside, I enjoy as much time as I can on our lakefront, on the paddle board, on my bike, or enjoying the paths throughout downtown. Our children are both competitive athletes, so we have become accustomed to spending much of our free time watching sporting events. We love to watch the Gulls, Mariners and Storm play in the summer and can be found at the rink in the winter cheering on the Wranglers, Lakers and Tigers.

Since we have moved to Sylvan, we have watched our town continue to grow and I believe that growth is what keeps it vibrant and alive. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to advocate for more positive growth, continued support for youth and families and keeping Sylvan Lake one of the most desired places to live and visit in Alberta.

Laura Lauder

Sylvan Lake has been my hometown from the day I was born. My children are the fourth generation of my family living here.

Being so long in the area has given me a chance to see growth, change and has instilled a strong desire to do what is best for our town. I have seen the good and not-so-good ideas over the years, which has allowed me to gain an up-close knowledge of what I can offer to our town, what the essential priorities should be. I have volunteered on different committees, most recently as chair of the Spray Park Fundraising Committee. If elected, I will take all this experience and put it to good use.

While attending many council meetings and other town-sponsored events, I have educated myself on what it means to be a part of council and the commitment it takes to do the role correctly. I have prepared myself to join council, and now it is more important than ever that someone who knows our town and has been involved step forward to take part.

I will have two main objectives while serving on council: to make sure that every decision I make is for the betterment of the town and its citizens and to keep all spending sensible. I have no bias when making the correct decisions for our Town. I promise to always look at a decision openly and objectively, hear all sides, and decide based on facts and the sole motivation of what would be best for our town.

I love the Town of Sylvan Lake and its people. I have given hundreds of volunteer hours to this town over the years, and I desire to now continue this passion while on council.

Mike Williams

I moved to Sylvan Lake in 2012, where I operated our family businesses, and my wife, Denise, took on the role as the executive director of the Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce.

While much of my free time is spent coaching football or working with our Community Partners team, I do find time to hit the pathways for a bike ride, catching a Gulls game, taking the kayaks for a paddle or playing a little golf.

I hold a Bachelor of Management degree and am in the process of completing my MBA.

My experience working as a volunteer for local non-profit organizations has given me an extremely strong understanding of our community and an insight into the areas I can advocate for.

• Director, chairperson, Sylvan Lake Community Partners Association

• Director, vice-president and coach, Sylvan Lake Minor Football Association

• Director and vice-president of the Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce

• Director, chairperson, town of Sylvan Lake Municipal Planning Commission

Here are my top three priorities if elected:

1. Growth of industry: It has been years since we’ve had a medium or large-size employer invest in Sylvan Lake.

2. Taxation: Currently, residents are responsible for bearing the burden of the tax shortfalls and the financial situation for Sylvan Lake is challenging at best. My time serving on the Municipal Planning Commission gave me insight into possible solutions to help increase tax revenue without passing the burden along to average Lakers.

3. Healthcare: There are steps we can take as a municipality to improve our situation, including lobbying for expanded Urgent Care access, reducing ambulance wait times, establishing a better process for recruiting physicians and reviewing the options of hiring paramedics directly under the fire department.

Danny Scott

• From 2010 to 2021, I worked in a leadership role with the town of Sylvan Lake

• Possess strong expertise in municipal budgeting processes, strategic planning, working with other governments

• Prior to the town, worked in private business for 25 years in human resource leadership capacity

• Have instructed leadership and human resources for 18 years at Red Deer College

• Started my career as an accountant

• Hold my Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University

• Have lived in Sylvan for 23 years, where my wife, Barbra, and I raised our three daughters, gathering fond memories while they participated in Girl Guide activities, music recitals, sporting events, school concerts, graduations, etc.

• Retired for the past year, enabling a flexible schedule to attend daytime or evening events and meetings

Areas of focus

• Ensure that we stay resident focused and not overfocus on tourism

• Ensure accountability of our financial activities by utilizing previous extensive formal training

• Continue to advocate other levels of government to support our social services to ensure we address current issues, such as affordable housing

• Continue to focus on building economic partnerships such as the recently announced partnership with York University related to the York Entrepreneurship Development Institute

• Work proactively with council to lobby provincial health care to ensure Urgent Care is open when it is supposed to be and work with provincial education for a new high school

• Continued support to upgrade and expand the playgrounds, parks and trail systems for residents to enjoy

Ian Oostindie

Ian Oostindie, a recently retired educator and the 2011 Citizen of the Year award recipient, has decided to throw his hat into the political ring and let his name stand in the upcoming by-election.

A community-minded individual, with a keen sense of justice and a willingness to think outside the box, Oostindie has worked tirelessly behind the scenes as a volunteer ever since he and his wife, Debbie, moved to Sylvan Lake from the Yukon in 2007.

His impressive background as a volunteer includes raising thousands of dollars for local cancer support programs, serving on the executive and as chair of Sylvan Lake Friends of the Library and Sylvan Lake Community Foundation. He also coached soccer and helped out with numerous other youth events.

He presently serves as chair of the Municipal Planning Commission, previously on the municipal services committee, which gives insight into the role of council. It has also allowed him to give feedback to council and assist in one of the town’s master plans.

Known by his colleagues as ‘calm in a storm,’ Oostindie wants to utilize his strength and experience as a leader and a reliable source of new perspectives to ensure government and businesses work together to create a strong, diverse community with health support and housing available for every age group.

“As a councillor, I promise to be a voice for fellow Lakers and do my best to ensure services that support our economy are as cost effective and efficient as possible.”

Ian Oostindie and his wife have three adult children and one grandchild.

Deborah Wiens

I have often been asked, what are your priorities if you become a councillor? I always find this to be a hard question. Why, you ask? That implies it is about me. It’s not about me, it’s about you. I can for sure give you my ideas: I think that we need to be resident focused. I think we need to look at the criteria we have for traffic planning, such as when traffic lights are added to an area, or a crosswalk or a stop sign. I believe that we need to look at long-term planning.

Our schools are busting at the seams. My son had three grade 1 classes last year, in one school. Sylvan Lake is only growing, and the high school needs more room/upgrades. To note, this is not a council decision; however, council can meet with the stakeholders and push to influence the need to have school(s) built here in Sylvan. I think we need to look at our seniors, is their housing adequate, are they able to get to their appointments? What are the solutions around this? Is our infrastructure adequate to support our growth? What should we be looking at now to prevent issues in the future?

I have worked for the RCMP for going on 20 years. During this time, I took schooling to become a qualified mediator. I became the detachment office manager when we moved here in 2016.

I am married, with three children. I have many hobbies, including gardening, and I am known to always have an idea. Of course, you can have an idea, but you have to know how to put the idea into motion, this is something I excel at. I think an example of this is when we created Catch Your Memories on Herder Drive. This is something we do yearly, simply to bring joy to the community. We have been blessed to be able to collect for the Sylvan Lake Food Bank when our displays are happening.

Percy Bryant

This is my second time living in Sylvan Lake. I took grades 1 to 7 here (1957 to 1965). My wife, family and I moved back in 1993 and have been here since. I’ve seen the town grow from a population of 800 to 1,000 people to present day, over 14,000. It’s a great community to raise a family.

I primarily worked in the oil and gas industry for 40 years, mainly operations and various committees within the company. I was given a buyout package in 2012 and thought retirement might be nice, but I ended up working retail with Wal-Mart for six years, holding various department manager positions. I finally retired in 2019. I’m a life member of the Royal Canadian Legion, having held various executive positions.

In closing, I’m reminded of a quote by President Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” This applies to community too. In saying that, I urge you to vote; maybe not necessarily for me, but for who you feel is best.

Dale Plante

• Served for seven years on Sylvan Lake town council

• Strong 30 years of business background

• Many years growing up and living in Sylvan Lake and area

• Extremely active in all aspects of our community

Passionate and positive: A leader who is strongly and keenly enthusiastic about creating a healthy, vibrant Sylvan. Passion that motivates others to get involved.

Liaison and liable: As councillor, I will continue to commit myself to the electorate and be accountable for my decisions. I want to be a liaison between various groups, businesses and interest groups. Fostering a spirit of co-operation and collaboration is my strength.

Accessible and advocate: I want to continue to hear and get you know the people of this community. I will be able to be reached. I count it a privilege to be at as many functions as possible. As councillor, I will be a champion for good causes, a voice for minorities, seniors, youth, charities, business and individual property owners.

Networker: Let’s get people talking, sharing resources and brainstorming together. We must tap into the strength of each group and what individuals bring to this town. Networking goes far beyond our town. We must fly our flag and seize every opportunity.

Team player and trustworthy: The council elected must act as a team. When we co-operate, collaborate and respect each other, if we are to realize the potential of a team. Sylvan, as a whole, is my team. I will work hard to earn the electoral trust and never take it for granted.

Energetic and encourager: As councillor, I bring an abundance of energy and enthusiasm. From my viewpoint, Sylvan’s future looks bright. Let’s cheer on all those who contribute so much to making our town great.

The Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a forum on Aug. 31, where residents can get to know the candidates and ask questions. Election day will be Sept. 6 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., in person at the community centre. Advanced voting will take place at the municipal government building on Sept. 2 and 3 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Local News

 

Percy Bryant. (Photo submitted)

Percy Bryant. (Photo submitted)

Chelsey Lambert. (Photo submitted)

Chelsey Lambert. (Photo submitted)

Dale Plante. (Photo submitted)

Dale Plante. (Photo submitted)

Danny Scott. (Photo submitted)

Danny Scott. (Photo submitted)

Deborah Wiens. (Photo submitted)

Deborah Wiens. (Photo submitted)

Ian Oostindie. (Photo submitted)

Ian Oostindie. (Photo submitted)

Jordan Sinclair. (Photo submitted)

Jordan Sinclair. (Photo submitted)

Laura Lauder. (Photo submitted)

Laura Lauder. (Photo submitted)

Liz Bishop. (Photo submitted)

Liz Bishop. (Photo submitted)

Mike Williams. (Photo submitted)

Mike Williams. (Photo submitted)