The spending results are in for B.C.’s 2022 municipal election, detailing a frugal campaign in the Sea to Sky.
According to financial disclosure statements posted by Elections BC, Whistler’s three mayoral candidates, Jack Crompton, Marcus Culver and Brian Walker, all spent and received no money during the October election. Crompton won with a significant majority, taking 67 per cent of the votes. The mayoral candidates were permitted to spend up to $15,031 on the campaign.
Regarding the race for Whistler’s municipal council, the candidates spent fairly frugally, but significantly more than their mayoral counterparts. The race for Whistler’s six council seats was hotly contested, as two incumbents decided not to run for re-election, opening up the field for candidates with less name recognition.
Of the council candidates, businessman Brendan Ladner spent the most on his campaign, spending twice as much as his nearest competitor. Ladner spent $5,180.15 and received 1,004 votes in his unsuccessful run, a little under 600 votes short of winning a seat. Ladner’s campaign was notable for being run almost entirely off the back of his e-bike, and for being the first campaign to set up signs in Whistler, which sparked several other candidates to follow suit.
Ralph Forsyth spent the second most, at $2,718, winning re-election with 1,639 votes. Sarah Rush spent $2,226, earning 465 votes, followed by Cathy Jewett ($1,915, 2,262 votes), Jen Ford ($1,266, 2,198 votes), and Curtis Lapadat ($1,418, 562 votes).
First-time candidate Jessie Morden spent $1,249, earning 1,612 votes in her successful council bid, while the other non-incumbent elected to council for the first time, Jeff Murl, spent $818 and received 1,589 votes.
The remaining candidates' spending varied wildly. Rhonda Millikin spent $1,075 (628 votes); Dawn Titus spent $763 (918 votes); Gabriel Pliska spent $197 (363 votes); and Gordon Jeffrey spent $45 (412 votes).
Arthur De Jong (re-elected to a second term), Melinda Lopez, Tina Pashumati James, and Anthony Butt, who bowed out after the writ dropped and could not remove his name from the candidate list, spent zero dollars on their campaigns. The candidates received 2,179, 663, 426 and zero votes, respectively. In total, Whistler’s candidates received $17,950.69 in donations and spent $19,291.92.
Up in Pemberton, the mayoral candidates spent significantly more than their Whistler counterparts as a fierce three-way race kicked off in the rapidly growing village in Spud Valley. Mayoral candidates accounted for 87 per cent—$5,085 of $5,779—of the total spent in the local election.
The lion's share of the spending came from former Pemberton councillor and Pemberton Valley Lodge owner David MacKenzie. MacKenzie spent $3,254 in his unsuccessful bid, earning 303 votes.
Chadi Abouhalka was next, spending $1,135 en route to 34 votes. Mayor Mike Richman spent the least and gained the most votes in his re-election bid, spending $696 and receiving 543 vot
The top spender in the race for Pemberton’s four council seats was first-time candidate Laura Ramsden, spending $380 (559 votes), followed by Jennie Helmer, ($289; 748 votes). Incumbent Councillor Ted Craddock spent $25 in his successful bid for re-election, taking 567 votes, while newcome Katrina Nightingale spent zero dollars and earned 587 votes.
School District 48
The local school trustee election saw little spending. Only three of the 11 candidates across School District 48 spent any money on the campaign: Margo Vaughan in Area C, who spent $323 in her unsuccessful challenge of longtime trustee Rebecca Barley; Whistler trustee Cynthia Higgins, who won re-election with 1,527 votes, and spent $40; and April Lowe of Squamish, who spent $231, and was elected by acclamation.
Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
The four Squamish-Lillooet Regional District electoral area candidates spent zero dollars due to all four directors being acclaimed, requiring no campaign.