5 mayoral, 14 councillor candidates to face election in Campbell River

5 mayoral, 14 councillor candidates to face election in Campbell River
City of Campbell River/Facebook

Voters in Campbell River will be choosing between five mayor and 14 councillor candidates in the upcoming election.

The incumbent mayor is not seeking re-election, and two current councillors are seeking the seat. The other four incumbents are seeking re-election as councillors.

In addition to voting for mayor and council, voters will cast ballots for the school trustee positions on the Campbell River School Board.

Campbell River will have advance voting on Oct. 5 and 12 at the Campbell River Community Centre, and on general election day it will be at the Campbell River Community Centre and Southgate Middle School. On all three days voting will be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There is also the option to vote by mail.

In the 2018 election, 6,522 people voted for a voter turnout of 25.4 per cent.


Micheal Calhoun

CHEK News reached out to Calhoun asking for a bio, his priorities if elected, and any links to a website or social media but did not hear back. The story will be updated with information if it is provided.

Charlie Cornfield

Cornfield is a retired widower with two grown children and is engaged to Patty with three other grown children. His education and work experiences are in forestry, natural resources, recreation, tourism, and senior environmental management. He has served 17 years as a councillor and three as mayor.

If elected, his priorities are to address the “downtown crisis” and public safety; housing attainability for everyone; health care; city finances and taxes; support for business, industry and developmpent; and balancing economic, environmenta, and social values with fiscal responsibility.

In 2018, Cornfield received the second most votes when he ran for councillor with 4,030.

Cornfield’s website can be found here.

Kermit Dahl

CHEK News reached out to Dahl asking for a bio, his priorities if elected, and any links to a website or social media but did not hear back. The story will be updated with information if it is provided.

In 2018, Dahl received the sixth most votes running for councillor with 3,478.

Saron Gebresellassi

Gebresellassi is a trial lawyer, private prosecutor and business owner. She is originally from Ontario and is experienced in major crisis management, running negotiations with the premier’s team and the prime minister’s office.

If elected, her priorities include health care, child care, homelessness and safety, and economic recovery.

In 2018, she unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Toronto coming in third with 15,222 votes.

She is currently acting as the lawyer for The United People of Canada, a group in Ottawa with links to the “Freedom Convoy” who is currently fighting an eviction order.

Gebresellassi’s website can be found here.

Larry Samson

Samson was born and raised in Campbell River and served in the fire service for 34 years before retiring as the fire chief. He has volunteered for a number of organizations including St John’s Ambulance, Greenway’s Land Trust and Minor Hockey. He previously served as councillor between 2011 and 2018, and chose to not seek re-election in 2018.

If elected, his priorities are addressing homlessness, unruly behaviour and mental health and addictions; taxation; and addressing infrastructure deficiencies and unaffordable housing and rent.

Samson’s Facebook page can be found here.


There are six councillor positions up for election in Campbell River.

Ken Blackburn

Blackburn has lived and worked in Campbell River for 18 years and is the executive director of the Campbell River Arts Council and program manager for the Museum at Campbell River.

If elected, his priorities are community partnerships, budget and taxation, community health, communication, environment, and strategic planning.

In the 2021 byelection, Blackburn came in second place receiving 477 votes.

Blackburn’s website can be found here.

Doug Chapman

Chapman has worked for 37 years in local government administration and finance. He has held a number of positions in local government including corporate officer, chief finance officer, chief administrative officer (city manager), and approving officer. He holds a CPA and CGA professional accounting designation, and holds a professional certificate in asset management planning.

If elected, his priorities are to provide strong leadership for the community and staff, establish community safety and prepare a plan to assist people living on the streets or those who are basically homeless, deal with the backlog of over 700 development permits, reduce or eliminate large tax increases, prepare for long-term capital planning, get back to basics, and stop chasing grants unless it ties into or is directly related to council’s goals and objectives.

In the 2021 byelection, Chapman received 106 votes.

Chapman’s website can be found here.

Mike Davies

Davies has worked as a reporter for the local newspaper for the last decade, and is now a custome furniture maker, woodworker, painter, sculptor, photographer, musician, occasional podcaster and YouTube entertainer. He works part-time in art education programming for The Crow’s Nest Artist Collective in Willow Point.

If elected, his priorities are housing affordability and fiscal responsibility. Some areas to address housing affordability are through secondary suites and encouraging and incentivizing the creation of smaller homes like townhouses, rowhomes, patio homes, and carriage homes. For fiscal resopnsibility he would like the city to be more realistic about how many projects it can take on in a year and focus on the highest needs.

Davies’ Facebook page can be found here.

Gwen Donaldson

Donaldson was born and raised on the west coast of Vancouver Island. She spent over a decade working in the sport and commercial fishing industry. She moved to Campbell River eight years ago. She has a masters degree in public administration from UVic. She owns a small business called Jellyfish Group, and has worked on a number of community projects including Campbell River Community Action Team, GoByBike Week, and CR Live Streets.

If elected, her priorities include financial and operational efficiency, modern policies with public and professional input, accessible housing, a community where people of all ages can thrive, better asset management, community safety and social support, downtown activation, recreation and culture, public art, and tourism, small business, and economic development.

Donaldson’s website can be found here.

Colleen Evans

Evans was first elected to council in 2014, and was elected to the Association Vancouver Island Coastal Communities Executive in 2019 then again in 2020. As councillor and regional director, she has served a number of positions including the Airport Review Select Committee, and Tourism Advisory Committee. She has volunteered with a number of local, regional and provincial boards. She served for 10 years as the CEO of the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce.

If re-elected, her priorities will be ensuring a safe, vibrant and healthy community to live, work and retire in; afforable and attainable housing options for all stages of life; solutions to downtown and surrounding areas safety and cleanliness concerns; controlled and responsible municipal spending; afforable supports and long term stability; a positive business climate that attracts investment, skilled workforce, and residents; and increased support for arts and culture.

In 2018, Evans received the fifth most votes with 3,582.

Evans’ website can be found here.

Tanille Johnston

Johnston was born and raised in Campbell River. She is Liǧʷiłdax̌ʷ from the WeWaiKai First Nation. She has been back in her home community for almost seven years after living in Victoria for over a decade getting an education and working as a social worker. She has an undergraduate degree and masters in social work. She worked for the First Nations Health Authority as the primary care manager for the Vancouver Island Region.

If elected, her priorities are increasing childcare spaces, establishing better public transit and cycling routes, investing in infrastructure to support the city’s needs, diverse and affordable housing, and supporting and advocating for health care providers and the system.

Johnston’s website can be found here.

Ron Kerr

Kerr has 11 years experience on council and has been on every committee and is well versed in effective discussion both with the city and regional district, and working with First Nations communities. His background is in holistic health, landscaping and the environment, arts and culture, sports and recreation, small business, and construction.

If re-elected, his top three issues are improving leadership both on council and senior city staff, safety and security, and fast tracking and facilitating housing and commercial and industrial development in the community.

In 2018, Kerr received the third most votes with 3,869.

Kerr’s website can be found here.

Ben Lanyon

Lanyon has owned a business and property downtown for a number of years. He has served as the chair of the Downtown Safety Select Committee for the past two years.

If elected, his priorities are addressing the fractured leadership, encourage the core industries to stay in the city, addressing issues with taxes and building, fixes issues with the downtown.

Lanyon’s website can be found here.

Sandra Milligan

Milligan has a portfolio of leadership experience in Campbell River and has served on a number of boards over two decades. Some include Greenways Land Trust, Beaver Lodge, the Aquarium and Cycling Advocacy.

If elected, her priorities include strategic planning to ensure there is a clear vision and goals over the next four years, collaborate with social service providers to develop temporary shelters for unhoused people, and implement the secondary suite bylaw to increase the inventory of affordable housing.

Milligan’s website can be found here.

Sue Moen

Moen moved to downtown Campbell River from Black Creek three years ago. She works in housing with a local non-profit and the Campbell River & District Coalition to End Homelessness. She spent 30 years working with food security communities and the last eight years as the co-manager of the Farmer’s Market. She has a background in finance, the arts, education, small business and governance.

If elected, her priorities are housing, reconciliation, and a healthy city. Some housing initiatives she would like to implement include fact-track housing stock, becoming a leader in innovative approaches to land use and zoning, pre-zoning more widely for secondary suites and accessible dwelling units. For reconciliation, she would like to create and fund an Indigenous-led Reconiciliation department.

Claire Moglove

Moglove has 10 years of experience on council and experience working with federal and provincial leaders. She is a long-standing executive member of the Union of BC Municipalities. She is on a number of boards including the Willow Point Supportive Housing Society, and Campbell River Community Foundation.

If re-elected, her priorities are housing, creating a healthy and vibrant city for all, and downtown safety and prosperity.

In 2018, Moglove received the fourth most votes with 3,596.

Moglove’s website can be found here.

Susan Sinnott

Sinnott grew up and went to school in Campbell River. She left to pursue work and education then returned in 1994 working with family as a trial lawyer. Since 2010 she has had her own solicitor’s practice. She has an MBA and has worked in banking and business. She has volunteered on a number of boards and organizations including Airport Advisory Commission, Campbell River Community Foundation and Campbell River Head Injury Support Society.

If elected, her priorities are affordable housing, safety, taxation control, and First Nations coordination.

Sinnott’s website can be found here.

Sean Smyth

Smyth has lived in Campbell River for 15 years, after he was sent to the city for a month of work and never left. He has worked in the aviation industry for 24 years and has held many different management roles. He is currently the chief pilot for Westcoast Helicopters. He volunteered as a member with the Campbell River Airport Authority for eight years. He was elected to council in the 2021 by-election.

If elected, his priorities will be community safety, housing, and finance to address the considerable financial constraints the city is under from years of cuts and tax increases.

Smyth was elected in the 2021 byelection, where he received 1,003 votes.

Smyth’s Facebook page can be found here.

Ferris Stirling

Stirling was born and raised in Campbell River. He works for a federal government non-profit that provides help to businesses and works with community economic development. He has coached many youth and adult sports teams, and volunteered at the Habitat for Humanity Restore, Campbell River and Cumberland Art Battles.

If elected, his priorities are re-establishing safety downtown, supporting businesses coming out of COVID restrictions, and addressing the rental problem.

Stirling’s Facebook page can be found here.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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