What you can find here:
*Synergy, YELL Youth Council, Langdon Community Association, and Lake Ridge Community Church do not endorse or promote any of the candidates. This is strictly a community service for information purposes.
**Check back frequently for updates
- Information on the 2017 Chestermere Municipal Election Forum
- How to submit questions to the candidates to be asked during the forum.
- Short profiles of each candidate will be uploaded as soon as we receive them from candidates. They will be alphabetical by last name and grouped according to the position they are running for.
- COMING SOON: Profiles on the Youth Committee organizing this forum.
- A link to where you can find information on the SE Rocky View Municipal Election Forum
2017 Chestermere All Candidates Forum Question Rules
Questions for the 2017 Municipal Elections are to be submitted via email to voteChestermere2017@gmail.com
- Questions may be submitted between the dates of September 1, 2017 and September 30, 2017. Questions submitted before or after that period will be discarded.
- An independent moderator will be appointed to review the questions and will be the only person with access to see the questions before the event. No Candidates, Synergy staff or their representatives will see the questions ahead of the Forum.
- Any questions with abusive language or language that is in opposition with the Canadian Human Rights Act will be discarded.
- Any questions asked in repetition will be consolidated.
- You may direct your question at a single candidate, at all candidates, at a specific group (ex. only Mayoral candidates), or for a random candidate to answer. Clearly state in your email which candidate or group of candidates the question is intended for. In the interest of time questions intended for all the candidates are best asked in a “yes” or “no” answer format.
- Relevant questions for each section of the forum will be drawn in random order. As many questions, as possible, will be asked based on the time allotted. We cannot guarantee all questions submitted will be asked.
- Only residents of Chestermere may submit questions.
- No new questions from the audience will be permitted during the Forum.
Lisa has been an active resident of Langdon since she moved there with her family in 2014. Lisa is passionate about community development and sits on several boards including the Langdon Community Collaborative, North Bow Community Facility Board, and Bow North Recreation District Board. She is also involved in the fundraising campaign for the upcoming Langdon Community Campus. Lisa is an Educator and Health Promotion Consultant with Alberta Health Services, focusing on the needs of expectant parents and young families. Within her own family, Lisa is an energetic hockey mom and soccer mom to her two young sons.
Mayoral Candidate Biographies
Candidate: Ray Blanchard
I have worked in law enforcement my entire life. I came up through ranks of Camrose Police Service starting in 1976. Based on honesty, integrity, fierce determination and ability, I served as constable, corporal, sergeant and deputy chief before being promoted to the top job – police chief. I held this position for eight years prior to my decision to retire.
I was extensively involved with the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police (which includes RCMP) for seven years. I served as president of this group for five years. I am a former director for the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. You will find that I am very community minded. In Camrose, I was awarded the Lorne Kendall Volunteer Award for my work with youth. I am the founder/builder of the School Resource Officer/DARE program in Camrose.
Being in public service for several decades gives me an understanding, experience and insight in how city hall and municipal politics works. I served as mayor of Camrose from 2010 to 2013, after being elected over two very credible and experienced politicians.
I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in my policing days and after kicking it once, it returned for another fight when I was Mayor. I went through the full treatment complete with chemotherapy and radiation and am blessed to have come out on the right end of the fight.
Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Jeff graduated from the University of Regina and headed to Los Angeles to work for a startup multimedia company during the “dot-com” boom. In 2002, Jeff returned home and began a career in television broadcasting for Global News Regina.
In 2004 he moved to Calgary in pursuit of the Alberta Advantage. While working in broadcast media at Citytv Calgary, Jeff wore many behind-the-scenes hats…eventually producing a television series showcasing and championing Alberta entrepreneurs called “Success Stories”.
In 2010, he went back to school nights and weekends in order to become a paramedic. He now works for International SOS providing remote EMS services to the oil & gas industry.
Despite working out of town much of the time, he met a girl from Chestermere in 2011 and by 2013 they were married and living in Rainbow Falls. In 2016 they welcomed a daughter to the family.
Jeff is running for mayor in order to bring a fresh voice and new ideas to the city. He believes a balanced approach focusing on taxes, safety and responsible development will help make Chestermere both beautiful and affordable for the residents of today…and tomorrow!
Ryan Roch has a proven ability to impact and lead the people around him. His gregarious personality and passion for what matters have always been a keystone to his success in both business and Life.
As someone who grew up as a small child to entrepreneurs and small business owners, he has seen first hand what it takes to make tough choices and run a successful business. He has leveraged that very grass roots work ethic into his successful career in Telecommunications. His work there has provided him with the incredible exposure to Small, Medium and Enterprise level businesses. He has proven to be not just a customer advocate but someone who will push for the right thing to be done even when roadblocks present themselves. A favorite quote of his is “Customers do good news, they do bad news, but they don’t do no News. Always be transparent.”
His Wife and two beautiful children are what drives him. It’s their support and belief in him that keeps him grounded and always aware of what true core values are. Should he be Chosen as Mayor, he is committed to mending relationships and representing Chestermere to the highest caliber.
City Council Candidate Biographies
Candidate: Greg Amoruso
Position: Chestermere City Council
Cathy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario and moved to the Calgary area 40 years ago. She moved to Chestermere in 2010. Cathy’s volunteering combined with her work experience has provided lots of opportunity to contribute to the community.
Cathy loves this place we call home and will work tirelessly to represent you on council. She has attended many council meetings and all of the council meetings since announcing her intent to run. She feels it is important to be informed about the issues that are facing Chestermere. Council meetings, City events and community gatherings are an important part of that. She has been out knocking on doors asking you what is important to you. Each member of council will have their own opinions, but when Mayor and Council come to the meetings, any personal agendas have to be put aside and the opinions and values of the whole community have to be considered. It is of the utmost importance that the residents of Chestermere feel heard and that their opinions are not only valued, but are taken into consideration any time there is a decision to be made by Council.
It is Cathy’s hope that her passion, experience and work ethic will inspire you to vote for her on October 16, so that she can serve this beautiful city in a new capacity. Cathy would love to work for you.
Something lighter than what I wrote for the paper. For the child in us all.
I hail from the island of misfit toys. The island itself has quite the extensive space program. At an early age I became a cadet. After years of strenuous physical, mental, emotional and spiritual training I graduated to astronaut and embarked on a mission to the moon. The ship broke down marooning me to years of thought and reflection about life and what not.
One day while eating my green cheese and space worms, a pig named Penny came to my rescue. Jim Henson wasn’t far off the mark with his sketches “Pigs in Space”. We landed in Chestermere and continue exploring time and space aboard our cosmic pirate ship.
Taken literally this story may seem far fetched, but an infinite universe holds infinite possibilities. Keeping an open mind will broaden your horizons. If you can only believe one thing I say, believe that I will work for the people of Chestermere and approach the task at hand with a sense of gravitas. The task being protecting and growing your investment in our community and in our homes.
Candidate: Blaine Funk
Position: Chestermere City Council
Candidate: Mo Gill
Position: Chestermere City Council
Candidate: Allan Kersch
Position: Chestermere City Council
I am currently a PhD candidate and have my Masters of Law, Masters of Arts, Bachelor of Arts (Criminal Justice), and Diploma in Criminology. Upon working for various law firms in the city, I now work as a lecturer and criminologist at Mount Royal University and also teach Legal Studies at Reeves College. Apart from this I do private consulting on legal and criminal justice matters.
Given the chance to serve one’s community is a blessing and I feel privileged to have served on the board for ACT-Alberta-Action Coalition on Human Trafficking. I am also the President for The Canadian Association of Criminology & Legal Studies. I love soccer and children and for the past 4 years I have been able to combine both by coaching soccer to kids in the Calgary Police Foundation, Power Play program. Apart from that I have volunteered for the RCMP in Surrey, BC for 7 years.
Chestermere is many things to many people. To me and my family it is first and foremost, our home. I have seen this community grow from a town to a city with a population of now 20,000 strong. I do thank former and present councillors for the work they have done but feel that with a bigger population comes bigger challenges. I feel what Chestermere needs is councillors who are academically sophisticated, and have a wealth of experience in social, policy, and economic issues. This city has given my family and I a lot and I feel it is my chance to give something back to this community. I look forward to your support on Election Day
Laurianne has been married to her husband Rick for over 24 years. Their 2 teenaged children attend Chestermere High School.
Laurianne and her family moved from Calgary to Chestermere on Valentine’s Day 2015 and they immediately fell in love with Alberta’s newest city! Laurianne helped organize 2 neighbourhood Block Parties and a much larger Neighbourhood Party, with the goal of forming meaningful relationships with neighbours. She also volunteers with Chestermere Citizens on Patrol.
In June 2017 Laurianne left work at BILD Calgary Region (www.bildcr.com), “The respected, unified voice advocating for the building industry in Calgary and the region,” to pursue interests closer to home. You may know BILD as the former Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA), presenter of the SAM Awards which celebrate “the most creative and professional work in the home building industry” (www.samawards.adbeast.com). Experience working alongside these industry experts taught Laurianne an extensive understanding of the planning and building process. Education, communication and community engagement are of utmost importance.
Laurianne has a genuine love for people, is extremely hard-working, and welcomes the opportunity to serve those in her neighbourhood, community and city. Feel free to reach out to her; she would love to meet with you!
Candidate: Clayton Thompson
Position: Chestermere City Council
Michelle Young was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta where she graduated from high school and S.A.I.T. with a certificate in business administration.
Her career has placed her in strong administrative roles in many industries including finance, leasing and telecommunications. Michelle’s time as the reporter for the Chestermere Anchor City News gave her an in-depth look at the operations of Chestermere and an increased passion for her community.
Currently working in the telecommunications industry as Operations Manager, Michelle is a partner at UnitedCloud and guides the team of 10 talented employees, working with over 70 partners across Canada in the delivery of leading edge business communication services to some of Canada’s largest employers.
Alongside a busy professional life, Michelle is equally proud of the large family that she and her husband, Keith, have built. Living in Chestermere for almost 15 years, Michelle has developed strong ties to the community and has served in many volunteer capacities over the years including: Chestermere Lions Club, Chestermere Therapy Dogs Society, Synergy, Chestermere Planning Commission, Lemonade Day Committee, Chestermere Woman’s Conference Committee, World’s Longest Hockey Game, and has even been seen serving up pie with the Whitecappers on occasion and at other community events.
School Board Candidate Biographies
Candidate: Shallu Bajwa
Position: Rocky View School Board Trustee Ward 1
I have done my Masters in Business Administration, specializing in Finance and Control. Being a financial planner, I have working experience in managing people and high profile financial portfolios.
While working with Small business Consulting, I worked on multiple complex projects such as (Canada India International (CII) Expo, Culture Fest, Canada Multicultural Division) which has developed my leadership skills and helped me to learnt the techniques of people management, budget management , vendor management, to connect small business enterprises together for networking and business generation, strengthening the multilateral relationship between various countries.
Being a Treasurer at Punjabi Council of Commerce, got an opportunity to work closely with small business entrepreneurs and to manage the accounts reconciling.
I’m a radio host and voice over artist with Sabrang (Radio 94.7FM & TV Enterprises Ltd) to host various informative talk shows for the community, promote local talents and personalities, promote awareness in public and participate in many cultural activities.
Being a community connector, I strongly believe that I can be the best candidate to raise the voice for your issues concerning New School Needs, Strengthening Positive Behavior, Appropriate Budget Allocation, Mathematics Basics, English Development Programs for new immigrants and many more.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I love to stay myself fit and therefore never miss a chance to go for a walk, or jogging. I love music, dance and making new friends. I always look for opportunity to do something in community.
Candidate: Shali Baziuk
Position: Rocky View School Board Trustee Ward 1
I have been a resident of Chestermere since 2010 where my husband and I are raising our two children, currently in elementary school.
I’ve served as chair of my children’s school council for several years and I’m an active member of the school community. I’ve served on focus groups with the Rockyview School Board including a review of student report cards, ward boundary reviews, and I attended the Alberta School Council Association annual meeting.
I have a political science degree, a public relations diploma, and over 15 years of practical experience managing upwards of 25 direct reports, and overseeing budgets of several million dollars. As a corporate trainer, I’ve created policy and designed and delivered training programs. At the Calgary International Airport, I managed several projects through to completion on time and on budget for the new International Terminal.
With two children in the school system and plans to retire in Chestermere, I have a keen interest in ensuring education is relevant, accessible, and affordable. My love of children and commitment to education are, in my opinion, my best qualifier for this position and I would be humbled and honored to represent you and your family as school board trustee.
Youth Committee Biographies
Olivia Barberio has lived in Chestermere most of her life along with her mother, father and two younger sisters. She is currently in grade 11 at St. Gabriel the Archangel school and has achieved honour role, respect and art awards there. She participates in the fine arts classes
and events at her school and looks up to her art teacher the most.
She has been volunteering with Synergy since June 2016 and has been a part of many events in Chestermere and Langdon. Olivia enjoys learning and building her cooperation and teamwork skills from experiencing Synergy.
She spends most of her spare time doing art such as makeup, drawing and painting. She also enjoys listening to music, watching movies/shows, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Olivia plans to spend the next couple years working hard to save up for a car. She also plans on getting into a university and taking some sort of art class/program.
Vina was born in Canada and has lived in Chestermere for almost ten years. Having graduated from Chestermere High School in 2016 and taken a gap year, she plans on enrolling at Mount Royal University to receive her Bachelors of Science in Health Science with a minor in Psychology. She hopes to one day become either a pharmacist or a nurse where she can work alongside other medical/healthcare professionals to help others.
Vina completed an internship with Synergy in the past and has a considerable amount of experience in leadership. She received the citizenship award at CHS for her outstanding participation in extracurricular leadership programs, and has worked alongside many renowned motivational leaders from within North America and overseas. Vina hopes to one day be able to volunteer abroad.
This will be her first All Candidates Forum so she is excited to see what is in store!
Devinn Doering is a 17 year old youth born and raised in Langdon but now a resident of Strathmore. After graduating from Strathmore High School in June of 2017, Devinn is taking a gap year, mainly working and filling volunteering roles as much as possible. Devinn just recently joined YELL but is enthusiastic about helping to make the candidate forum as good as possible. During his years at Strathmore High, Devinn played a major role volunteering in the construction of the Strathmore Disc Golf Course as a member of SAY (Strathmore Assembly of Youth.) With an interest in politics, Devinn is excited to see backstage of the candidate forum and partake in the running of the event. Devinn is familiar with Chestermere as he has been a 7 year member of the Calgary Yacht Club and the youth race team. Additionally, Devinn is now an instructor at the yacht club, teaching sailing to both children and adults. Outside of the serious stuff, Devinn really enjoys calculus, music and, can also solve a Rubik’s cube in under 30 seconds!
Rayane Issa immigrated to Canada four years ago. Currently residing in Chestermere, she is attending the University of Calgary for a double major in Science and Political Science. Rayane has dedicated over five years towards community service, whether that is through Synergy or school Leadership and Volunteer clubs. Her goal for the future is to be an optometry surgeon and she hopes that this career will be eye opening on how she can assist the residents that require help. Having visited seven countries and previously resided in a third world country, Rayane realizes how fortunate she is to be living in this magnificent country. Due to her ongoing leadership roles, Rayane has become more confident in her skills, and is now capable on taking roles that she never thought were possible. This being her second time working on an All Candidates Forum, she looks forward to meeting all the candidates, and excited to see what valuable lessons this opportunity will teach her.
Amanda is majoring in engineering at University of Calgary and is determined to devote the rest of her life to protecting the earth and its precious resources, which is a mission she had since she was young and just waiting to be fulfilled. With the hatred for alcohol, she always prefers to sit in front of a computer studying than going out to party. She loves being with friends but because of her quiet personality, she has trouble making friends so she got used to enjoying her time alone staring into the void and contemplating the nature of existence. As lucky as she always is, there’s somehow always someone there to accompany her even if there’s barely any conversation between them. Those who are lucky enough to take the time to get to know Amanda appreciate her for her quirky sense of humour and tremendously large heart. She’s super grateful for the people around her and also for living in this beautiful and peaceful country called Canada.
Carmina has lived in Chestermere for thirteen years, and is currently a grade twelve student taking the full International Baccalaureate program at Bishop O’Byrne High School, a challenging worldwide program where she has been graded among the top 5% worldwide. Her goal for the future is to be a pediatrician, and she has worked with children with not-for-profit organizations for three years and counting. Should she reach her goal of becoming a doctor, she hopes to one day do work for Doctors Without Borders. She has been on the YELL Youth Council with Synergy for one year now, and volunteers for many events throughout the year, most recently including the pride parade in Calgary. She recently completed a summer internship with Synergy, as well. She is currently a beginner at bass guitar, and has recently joined the school choir, but her favourite musical pastime is to play ukulele and sing with her younger siblings. She works hard to encourage the interests of her siblings and shares a close relationship with them both. Her work is largely focused on activism for the LGBT+ community, but she is also involved with a multitude of clubs and fundraising opportunities at school.
Hello, just Paige photobombing someone’s nice photo. One of the many things I do on a daily basis. This picture is from my job as a hostess, facepaibter, and occasional entertainer on a train. I also work at A&W. My life here has consisted of work, volunteering, acting, creating art, playing the odd sports, and school. I have decided to take a year off to work and travel and it so far has been the best decision I ever made. This is mainly because I can focus my time on determining who I am without out school and really dealve into my my passions and health. I started playing ukulele and working out and eating right and other things I am really proud of. Uh … I really like animals. I also love love love when they come into drive through. My heart just melts every time. I don’t know, that’s it I guess. I also took part in the provincial all candidates forum. There, that’s me.
Radoslav Visotski is an immigrant from Bulgaria who came to Canada in 2008, and is currently attending 11th Grade at Chestermere High School. He has worked with community development programs for over eight years in the various communities he has been in, and this is his first major project with YELL, and the first All Candidates Forum he has taken part in. Radoslav has previously worked to help protect Weaselhead Park, recognize the work of janitors within schools, create and promote awareness amongst people in the community against environment change, and has campaigned on multiple times for charities that support the less fortunate. He partakes in afterschool activities, and is involved in both the Leadership and Student Government programs that are operated at Chestermere High School. As for his future, he plans to continue helping the community of Chestermere, and other communities to the best of his abilities, and enter a career within medicine to be able to help people – however he is not quite certain which career appeals to him the most within the field. Having experienced life in two – vastly – different countries, Radoslav recognizes the gift he was given by his parents by immigrating to Canada, and is ready to expand his capabilities, confidence and capitalize on the amazing opportunity granted to him by his parents. He is very excited to work on this project alongside YELL, and hopes that it will be a resounding success.
Information on the South East Rocky View Forum
Langdon Community Association Website: www.goodlucktown.ca
Youth Committee Biographies
Greetings! My name is Emilie Young and this will be my second all candidates forum and my fourth year in YELL. I enjoy getting involved in politics and wish to do as much as I can to leave this world a better place. I am currently a grade 12 student at Chestemere High that will go on to Bow Valley and get my diploma in early child care development and one day, hopefully, open my own daycare.I can’t wait to see where my future will take me and hope it all runs smoothly.
**Emilie Young will only be involved as a youth leader in the South East Rocky View Forum.