More candidates come forward for byelection

The city council byelection is still more than a month away, but the race is already heating up. Two more candidates have entered the arena. Kirk Cameron and Norm Hamilton both plan to make a run for the council seat recently vacated by Doug Graham.

The city council byelection is still more than a month away, but the race is already heating up.

Two more candidates have entered the arena.

Kirk Cameron and Norm Hamilton both plan to make a run for the council seat recently vacated by Doug Graham.

Graham resigned after winning a seat in the territorial legislature earlier this month.

Cameron and Hamilton join Mike Tribes and Cam Kos.

While they’ve all announced, right now all the bids are unofficial.

The campaign won’t officially start until the city begins accepting election packages on November 2.

So far, 22 election packages have been picked up at city hall.

That’s a lot for a byelection, but it doesn’t mean everyone will join the race, said Norma Felker, the returning officer.

“We really have no idea how many candidates it will translate into,” she said.

Cameron, a 52-year-old political consultant and father of three, has been considering running for council since his defeat against NDP Leader Liz Hanson in the territorial byelection last year.

“When the dust settled after the byelection, and I really thought about it, a lot of the topics that really interested me related to municipal government,” he said. “I have a strong commitment to this territory and this city, and I think I could do something of value at municipal level.”

With more than two decades of experience in government and in the private sector, Cameron said he brings skills to the table.

“We are facing the kind of challenges that come with prosperity,” he said. “We are the fastest-growing territory and one of the fastest growing cities in the country.

“I think what it needs is people in government, at all levels, who are prepared to step forward and manage the growth in a way that makes the most sense to the community.”

Since 2009, Cameron has been helping private companies work together with government and engage with communities.

Most of the challenges facing the city – housing being a prime example – will require different levels of government to work together, said Cameron.

He can help with this, he said.

Hamilton has also entered the fray.

Tuesday, Hamilton announced his council bid at a news conference, which doubled as his birthday celebration.

He turned 60.

A career bureaucrat, running for office has been something he’s contemplated for awhile. But it was only in the last couple weeks that he made the decision to actually plunge into politics.

Hamilton writes a biweekly column on photography and is the director of Nakai Theatre. He will have to put those things on hold should he win the election, he said.

“It’ll mean giving some things up,” he said. “But the chance to serve brings me a lot of joy.”

Surrounded by his wife, two adult children and a few supporters, Hamilton laid out his platform.

Every council decision needs to account for the environmental, financial and social impacts, he said. It’s what’s known as triple bottom line accounting.

Hamilton took a firm stance opposing continued tax increases.

He is also opposed to the Porter Creek D subdivision, at least until all the environmental studies are complete.

Along with fiscal responsibility and environmental stewardship, Hamilton wants to improve transparency on city council.

“There appears to be a breakdown in trust between the public and city council,” he said. “There needs to be better communication than what’s being done right now.”

Candidates have until November 10 to register for the election.

The city goes to the polls on December 1.

Contact Josh Kerr at

joshk@yukon-news.com

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