Randy Bell, left, and Sam Raven have submitted nomination papers to run in the upcoming Smithers byelection (Interior News graphic)

Council race expands with entry of Bell, Raven

Businessman Randy Bell and union activist Sam Raven join Colin Bateman to contest vacated seat

Smithers officially has a race for town council in the upcoming Oct. 17 byelection.

Dianna Plouffe, chief electoral officer, confirmed this morning that three people have submitted nomination papers to run for Gladys Atrill’s vacated council seat.

Local businessman Randy Bell and union activist Sam Raven join Colin Bateman, who The Interior News has previously reported entered the race earlier this week.

READ MORE: Colin Bateman announces intention to run for Smithers council

Bell, who ran for mayor in 2018 against incumbent Taylor Bachrach, said the issues that prompted him to run in that contest are still unresolved.

“I want to be part of the process of making some decisions that I’ve made it clear in the past that I’m not too happy with some of the decision-making with bylaws and the enforcing of bylaws and I want to be part of the team to make changes to that,” he said.

“Specifically, the bylaw to do with building permits that have created the sidewalks to nowhere and the attempt to stop CT scanner to be installed; that’s a key bylaw that I want to be on council to tackle.”

Bell came to Smithers more than 25 years ago as an IT professional and has been the owner of Done Right Computer Services since 2012.

READ MORE: Smithers election: Randy Bell

He is a member of the People’s Party of Canada.

Sam Raven said a recent profile of her in Black Press newspapers prompted others to encourage her to run.

“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while, but just sort of having people reach out to me and suggesting I should run and bring some progressive views to council, I just decided to go with it,” she said.

Her primary issue is housing, she said.

“I would say there are definitely set mindsets in a lot of areas and I think that we need to maybe open up our views a bit in certain areas, but also focus on some issues that are facing everybody, which is, of course, affordability, I think is first and foremost because there’s a complete lack of affordability,” she said. “We don’t have rental units, people can’t afford to buy houses, it’s a bit of a mess.”

READ MORE: The reluctant activist: Smithers woman follows in dad’s union footsteps

Raven is a community support worker with High Road Services Society in Smithers. She is a steward and vice-chair for Local 312 of the British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU). She is also president of the Terrace and District Labour Council.

Meanwhile both declared candidates for mayor, former deputy mayor Gladys Atrill and businessman Joe Bramsleven have submitted their paperwork, Plouffe confirmed.

READ MORE: Smithers businessman will challenge for mayor’s chain

READ MORE: Atrill will make mayoral bid

She said there are a few more nomination packages out that have not come back yet. Prospective candidates have until 4 p.m. this afternoon to return them to Town Hall.


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