Murray Hawse with his wife Shirley at his retirement reception during the company’s regional meetings this past summer. (Submitted photo)

Murray Hawse with his wife Shirley at his retirement reception during the company’s regional meetings this past summer. (Submitted photo)

Challenger steps forward for Smithers mayor’s chain

Murray Hawse joins Gladys Atrill on the ballot for the Oct. 15 election

Incumbent Smithers mayor Gladys Atrill will not go unchallenged in the upcoming municipal election.

Recently retired Edward Jones financial advisor Murray Hawse will also be on the ballot come Oct. 15.

“I love this community,” he said. “We’ve been here since 1985, it’s dear and near to us. I’ve got three children who were born here and would have liked to have gotten involved maybe a little bit earlier, but didn’t feel I had the time to commit. If you’re going to take that jump and jump into something that’s going to take some dedication and time, you want to make sure you have the time to do the best job you can and I feel I have that now.”

Hawse has not pinpointed any particular issue to champion, but said he has been going back over meeting minutes and the like and is looking forward to starting a dialogue on a number of fronts.

“There’s lots of issues to discuss with the new council,” he said. “I think one of the things is just trying to get a good handle on all the issues that are going on in town, whether it’s from infrastructure to the library to the homeless. I’m just looking to jump right in there and see where we can make a difference.”


While Hawse has no direct experience in municipal government he believes his past community service in other capacities dating to 1991 is a good foundation for a bid for mayor.

“I sat on the Child Development Centre board and I was instrumental in starting the charity golf tournament that’s still running today that’s created a lot of opportunities in the town both for Hospital Foundation and Childhood Development Centre.

“Then I sat on the board of Highroads and Dik Tiy (Housing Society) for special needs in this community for years.”

He was also a 23-year volunteer member of Smithers Fire Rescue.

“I think I’ve got some experience sitting on boards in other areas and I’ve been very involved in a leadership role with my firm, Edward Jones, when I was there.” he said.

Hawse anticipates a very different-looking council when all the ballots are counted and with four current councillors not seeking reelection, that will certainly be the case.

As of 4 p.m., when the nomination period closed, only John Buikema and Frank Wray had submitted their paperwork. There are, however, eight people vying for the six available councillor positions.

Wray and Buikema are joined by Sam Raven, Adam Koch, Laura Leonard, Genevieve Paterson, Jason McCrindle, Calvin Elliott and Nick Briere on the ballot.

General voting takes place Saturday, Oct. 15. There will be advance polls on Oct. 5 and Oct. 12 and there is also a mail-in ballot option.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BC municipal electionElection 2022