Forsyth looks to be ‘positive force’ on council 

Enhancing tourism, retaining families and entrepreneurs among key campaign issues

Ralph Forsyth
  • Ralph Forsyth

Ralph Forsyth hasn’t been able to go completely paperless yet, but the few notes he brought with him to announce his 2005 candidacy for Whistler Council were printed in the smallest font he could still read – single spaced and with wide margins. He’s close, he says, to reaching that goal.

"I’ve always been a goal guy – I set goals for myself and I don’t stop until I reach them," he explained. Whether that goal is to quit smoking, lose weight, start a family and business in Whistler, or to go completely paperless, Forsyth lives to reach his goals.

Forsyth’s next goal is to get elected to Whistler Council, where he feels his skills and experience can be an asset to the community.

Forsyth has been in this position before. In 2002 he ran for Whistler Council with a campaign based on taking a positive, proactive approach to government, rather than taking specific stands on the various issues of the day. His message served him well, but with 18 candidates running for six seats, including six strong incumbents, challengers in 2005 mostly split the votes evenly amongst themselves.

A little older and wiser, the 35-year-old Forsyth plans to stick to the same approach.

"I believe when a campaign is on issues it becomes divisive, it has a polarizing influence, and it becomes negative," he said.

"I have opinions on everything and anything, and I will get into some specifics on my website and during the campaign, but that’s not the point of my campaign. The point of me running is to offer a new voice for Whistler.

"You need some people to have their eye on the ball, the issues of the day, which is a good thing, but you also need someone with some perspective, and has their eye on the end zone."

If elected, Forsyth says his top three priorities are rebuilding Whistler’s tourism economy, retaining young families, and providing more support for small businesses. With a voice on council Forsyth says there are opportunities for council to help create an environment that encourages investment and entrepreneurship, while helping families to lay down roots in Whistler.

"We really need to focus on supporting small business owners and entrepreneurs, because that’s really the best way to keep young families from leaving and to stimulate our economy," he said. "We’re losing people all the time, and we need to address that and make sure that we create an environment where opportunities still exist to own your own home, build a business, and raise a family."

Forsyth believes the current council is doing all it can to address issues, and recognizes that the position of councillor can sometimes be a thankless job. At the same time, he feels council needs new perspectives and new approaches, and a new focus on setting and reaching goals.

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