The importance of an informed vote

In last week’s editorial I spoke about the job that lays ahead for Prince Rupert’s next council.

In last week’s editorial I spoke about the job that lays ahead for Prince Rupert’s next council, this week I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t speak about the duty we all have as an electorate in choosing the next council.

With the full list of names now readily available and all of the candidates declared, there is no question that people are going to have a lot of choices. There are three in the race for Mayor (the first time in the past two elections I’ve seen more than two candidates to choose from), 13 people running for six council and 10 people seeking election to the school board. In each case, it’s a healthy mix of new faces and familiar faces.

As electors, I feel we are not only obligated to vote, but to do what we can to educate ourselves about the candidates, their idea, their platforms and what they bring to the table.

Obviously, as with any election, there is a certain amount of name recognition involved. Those who have been on council you will know about in terms of their positions, what they’ve done in their elected role and so on. Others you may be familiar with through their work in the community, be it volunteer or in a work-related capacity. But I encourage you to find out more about the candidates, both old and new, and choose the one who best represents the direction you want Prince Rupert to go and which will be most likely to move the City or the school district in that direction.

And in this day and age, it is easier than ever to read up on the candidates. Google works, but some candidates also have webpages and Facebook pages.

In that regard we have set-up profiles for the candidates in the coming weeks, with the Mayoral candidates featured this week, and the Chamber of Commerce will be hosting an all-candidates forum on the evening of November 8.

Let’s face it, with the increased focus on trade with China by both the Federal and Provincial government, there will be an increased focus on Prince Rupert and more opportunity than before to attract industry and shippers to the community. That means its more important than ever to have the right people leading in the coming years.

So this November vote for whoever you want, but make sure it is an informed vote.