Dale Wilker; Rob Dunn; Dave McGrath; Richard Unger; Ray Brydon

Meet the candidates: Invermere, part 2

A look at the rest of the candidates for District of Invermere council.


What’s your background?

My search for the perfect place to live, play and raise my family ended in this Valley — in 2002 I took a job as a food and beverage manager and moved from Lethbridge with my wife and three children.

I am  a strong community member and contributor; youth athletics, ski coach, ski club organizer and founder, revived the valley scout program, volunteered in and organized community events and advocated for balanced uses of our lake and backcountry.

What is the main issue facing the district?

Living and playing here is almost too easy. Many  families have had to forgo their dreams of valley life as jobs and meaningful career opportunities have become scarce. We need to balance our interests. By advocating for creativity, ingenuity and sound management practices over abstinence we can ensure a sound future for our economy, our culture and our environment.

What goals would you like to accomplish?

• Visitor traffic as our main economic driver: grow from there.  A robust economy will attract diverse, less seasonally driven businesses — jobs, careers and families.

• Connection: lake, back country and regional partners. Balance recreation with conservation. Link the valley as one giant marketing destination with an endless array of recreational options.

• Embrace and enhance culture: arts, athletics and recreation. I will search for creative ways to make the dream of a multi-use recreation centre a reality.

What  distinguishes me as a candidate?

I love this community.  I have a strong business background and a proven track record of using marketing and creative solutions to create economic success.  I believe that strength in decision making comes from connecting to all community members, openness and sharing everybody’s ideas.

Great things are already happening in our community – I want to be involved in driving these forward in a meaningful way.

I believe in service to the community and it would be my pleasure to serve you as YOUR member of council.


What’s your background?

I moved to Invermere in 1988 and owned and operated Stedmans V & S Dept Store. Prior to that, I was in business following a career in banking for 23 years. I have always been involved in my community: past president Invermere Business Committee, past president Lake Windermere District Lions Club, treasurer Columbia Valley Rockies Hockey Club, financial officer of Royal Canadian Legion Invermere, councillor District of Invermere past 6 years.

What is the main issue facing the district?

Failing infrastructure, affordable housing, holding taxes and utility increases to a modest amount while still providing good to high quality services for our residents.

What goals would you like to accomplish?

1. Invermere Enhancement Program — Development of the old DTSS site and plans for a multi-purpose hall, library, municipal offices. Completion of Pothole on east, west and south sides.  Re-development of downtown cenotaph area with a renewed plaza. Continued renewal of Kinsmen Beach and Rotary Ball Park.

2. Image Invermere — Invermere’s 20 year vision has been adopted by council. The vision schedule is very aggressive, and as council works towards implementing the vision costs will need to be considered. Many of the visions can be adopted with little costs but others have a large cost associated.

3. Infrastructure upgrades — Infrastructure upgrades will be undertaken as we can afford them if and when grants from higher levels of government are received.

4. CPR overpass to Fort Point — Replacement of this overpass has always been one of my goals. This will eventually enable us to have the road through Kinsmen Beach as an emergency access only and make Kinsmen Beach Park safer and larger.

What  distinguishes me as a candidate?

I have served you as a Councillor for the past 6 years. I am a good listener and when making a decision on your behalf I always ask myself “Is this decision a benefit to Invermere and my fellow citizens”. If not a benefit then I cannot support the request. I have the time.


What’s your background?

I am an entrepreneur, having started five successful businesses in 35 years. These were located in Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver  and Invermere, of which three are still operating. I also worked for an international construction company based in LaSalle, Quebec, for 10 years, becoming vice president of Western Canada. I was also regional vice president for Smed International in Washington, DC for five years. Primarily the businesses have been commercial and residential construction, working with architects, interior designers, end users, government and home owners. This was preceded by high school graduation and a couple of years at University of Winnipeg, where I was born and raised.

I am currently a member of Independent Contractors and Business Association, Canadian Home Builders Association and Built Green B.C. I am currently serving as chair of Groundswell and recently served two consecutive terms (four years) on the Citizens Advisory Development Board for the National Parks, leaving as chair in the fourth year. I also served on the board of the International Facilities Management Association, B.C. Chapter.

What is the main issue facing the district?

Employment and affordability. The solution is business development. The result is a vibrant and healthy community where young people choose to raise a family and where elderly can live out their lives, both in a secure and safe environment.

What goals would you like to accomplish?

Accomplish business and housing solutions that address the main issues by removing barriers, by changing by laws and by changing zoning where necessary. Encourage a diversity of solutions from private enterprise and our educational institutions, perhaps even entertain public private partnerships in achieving greater employment and suitable housing solutions.

What  distinguishes me as a candidate?

My 35 years experience in business is diverse with extensive exposure to many different environments, people and enterprises.

My job has always been the public representative of my company or my employer. It required tactful negotiation being very aware of the needs of all stakeholders in a great variety of situations. It required personal control and respect of others. It required listening and it required action.

These are all attributes required in public office.


What’s your background?

A 10-year resident of the valley, I am the writer/owner of The Valley Peak, the coffee-style paper in the area. I have a very diverse and successful background since coming to the valley as curling club manager, support worker for persons with disabilities, ecosystem biologist, safety officer, fire warden, jail guard, professional clown and much more. I grew up in Castlegar, graduated as a biologist (University of Victoria) and survived several years in the Calgary rat race. I have been part of many different boards and president of a few (mostly non-profit). I have been responsible for huge budgets, deadlines, scheduling and staffing and have been proven effective at all.

What is the main issue facing the district?

There are many issues and the candidates will have them all listed, but I am mostly concerned with our ‘Feast or Famine’ economic structure. Some diverse business and light industrial growth with little or no environmental impact as well as a seasonal balancing of our tourism industry would be strong issues for me.

Including youth training and employment opportunities plus developing affordable living conditions for new families will assure sustainability of our valley.

What goals would you like to accomplish?

I want to help discover and implement viable solutions to all the issues in our community.

What  distinguishes me as a candidate?

The diversity of my experiences has brought me into contact with many residents through the years. Those who know me know that I am an honest, hard-working person who deeply cares about this community.

Those who read ‘Robservations’ know that I care about the

natural beauty of the valley as well as the businesses, residents and visitors. I have no hidden agenda!

I will work well with any of the candidates but will not be afraid to voice my thoughts and ideas. I will work together with the residents and bring ‘Unity Back into our Community’.

I can and will make a positive difference in Invermere and the surrounding communities!


What’s your background?

In 1994 my family moved to Invermere to get back to small town living. I’ve worked for a local architect, managed developments at Panorama and currently manage custom home projects for Quiniscoe Homes.

I’ve coached both of my kids’ sport teams, was a volunteer construction manager for the community greenhouse and volunteered for community committees like “Imagine Invermere” and the “Community Energy and Emissions Plan.”

What is the main issue facing the district?

•  Economy: I will support our local businesses. Local businesses have a lot invested in our community, deserve our support, and provide the basis for a more resilient community. I will pursue employment diversification. I will be fiscally responsible and be careful with how we spend your tax dollars.

• Community: I will keep focusing on affordable housing and living in the valley. I will continue supporting the community organizations that make Invermere the caring community we enjoy.

• Sustainability: This is what it is all about for me. Let us plan for Invermere to be a great place to live, work, and play today, tomorrow, and on into the future. I will make decisions so that future generations can enjoy as many, if not more, opportunities as we do and these decisions will consider the economy, community, and environment.

What goals would you like to accomplish?

Focus on resilience. Work towards a diverse resilient economy and community without negatively impacting the environment we all enjoy.

What  distinguishes me as a candidate?

I understand the built world, I know how large developers think, I work well as a team member, I understand the importance of the small business, and as a parent I am passionate about ensuring that Invermere’s future is a bright one.

This lifetime of experiences will make me an important team member on council.  Within this team I will be the “Big Picture” guy. and I will make my decisions with the future in mind.


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