Q&A with Tofino’s candidates for mayor

The Westerly News asked each candidate what sets them apart.

West Coast communities will vote for their next representatives in an Oct. 20 election. We asked each candidate running in Tofino and Ucluelet as well as School District 70 and Electoral Area C what they feel is the most important issue facing their community and what sets them apart from the other candidates.

Tofino’s candidates for mayor

Josie Osborne

What do you feel is the most pressing election issue?

Affordability is the most pressing issue Tofitians face in their daily lives. Whether it is housing, childcare, transportation or the costs of running a business, too many Tofino residents are feeling pinched by the gap between their income and the cost of living. Tofino’s Council must continue to focus on delivering the greatest value possible for the municipal services we depend on, as well as maximizing the social, environmental and economic benefits to the community of Council decisions. Mayor and Council must also persistently advocate for Tofino’s needs and address affordability issues with the provincial and federal governments.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

Experience and a proven ability to deliver results for Tofino. After 20 years living in Tofino and almost six years being mayor, I have developed a clear understanding that civic progress is a gradual process. Moderate, inclusive change that works for the many is much preferable to extreme or revolutionary change that serves the few. My ties in this community and across the region are deep. My relationships with senior levels of government are strong. I am a respected, experienced mayor who represents our community proudly, listens and communicates well, and believes in building a strong team with Council, staff, and the community.

Omar Soliman

What do you feel is the most pressing election issue?

Our most important election issue is the lack of district referendums. All major issues should require elector assent before being passed as law.

Allowing the shareholders of the community to voice their opinions through a vote democratically is the most important issue in my mind.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

I cannot speak for my opponents, but what I can promise to the residents as well as the individuals who do not have a say is that I will always be there for them, everyone will have my full and undivided attention. No subject is taboo, no question is wrong. We will never lose, we will win, or we will learn, together.

Jarmo Venalainen

What do you feel is the most pressing election issue?

The most pressing election issue, is for us to get to know each other so that we can respectfully consult and understand each other’s needs and wants. For too many decades, Tofino has been governed in a way which is appropriate for a frontier village. It has been governed by successive nuclei of power which have represented the needs of interest groups.

Time has moved on. This is not appropriate.

We are no longer a frontier village. We are a very diverse force of over of 1900+ committed souls with the wealth and energy to solve our housing needs and treat our sewage. I will promote this.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

Typically, political behaviour subscribes to a deontological way of interacting. That is, “group actions are agreed and defended as being right or wrong, regardless of their consequences”. This is one way for a group to behave. It is not the only way. Personally, I subscribe to a teleological way. I evaluate the actions of all people, myself included, with the question, “what purpose does it serve”.

If mayor, my primary purpose will be the respectful consultation of, and health and safety of all Tofitians and our neighbours and everyone else.

READ MORE: Tofino sees first challengers for mayor since 2011

READ MORE: Tofino’s municipal candidates make their pitch at forum

READ MORE: Tofino and Ucluelet candidates announced

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