SMITHERS MUNICIPAL BYELECTION: Colin Bateman

Council hopeful makes his opening pitch for your vote

The Interior News gave all the candidates in the upcoming Smithers municipal byelection an opportunity to provide 500 words about their candidacy.

What they wrote was entirely up to them, although we did suggest they include some biographical information, why they wanted to run, what they thought the most important issue is or issues are and what they wanted to do about it/them.

Hello, Smithers! Thank you for allowing me to introduce myself to those that may not know me.

First of all, I consider running for town council as a huge honour. It is my way to say thanks to the most amazing town in British Columbia.

I moved to Canada in 1991 from Nottingham England, where I studied business management. Originally, I was only intending to come for three months, but enjoyed it so much, I never left! In 2009, we moved to Smithers with our two young children Liam and Nicole to manage the Aspen Inn and Riverhouse Lounge.

We continue to enjoy the lifestyle in Smithers and I have had the privilege of coaching both of my children in Smithers minor soccer and hockey. While my children have benefitted from learning team sports, I have also benefitted from the lasting relationships I have formed with parents in these two great community groups.

COMPLETE MUNICIPAL BYELECTION COVERAGE

I have been actively involved with the Smithers Chamber of Commerce and the Smithers Tourism Board, along with managing several successful medium-sized business in British Columbia for over 30 years.

I believe it is very important for our council to be experienced, diverse and committed to volunteer work. A strong and effective town council is one that is representative of multiple perspectives, not just those of a few. Furthermore, I believe that meaningful communication and transparency are a must, which is something that I have prioritized in all of my work, such as when I was the president of the Smithers Chamber of Commerce.

The upcoming election will be our way to ensure our town has the best chance to progress during these difficult times. We need a council that is experienced in working with all of our business and community organizations to ensure we progress as a united community.

For example, while talking with many of our constituents over the past few years, one concern continues to arise – taxes. For those on a fixed income, increased taxation is a serious issue. Other concerns which have been communicated to me relate to our airport/air travel, the proposed library/art gallery project, affordable housing, ongoing First Nations concerns such as MMIWG (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls), and recent COVID-related measures impacting our community.

While I commend the Town of Smithers for getting us to where we are today, I believe there is important and difficult work that lies ahead. I would like everyone to know that I have been involved in the economic and social development of our community since 2009. I am not starting from scratch. If elected, I would use all of my community, business and volunteer experience and relationships to help our town rebound from the events of 2020 in a manner which unites all of our interests.

Let’s improve our community, together.

Municipal election

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