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City council candidate questions: reason to run

In the days leading up to the municipal election on October 16, we will be publishing the answers to questions posed by 2day FM to the candidates running in the City of Grande Prairie. The responses are listed in alphabetical order by position and are unedited. They have not been fact checked and 2day FM is not responsible for any errors or inaccuracies.

Q: Why are you running for city council and why should residents vote for you?


Dick Baillie

A: I decided to run for Mayor this year to do more to help Grande Prairie come together as a community. I also believe there is a strong disconnect between city and industry, as well as, city and county. I would like to see some positive change and collaboration; we can accomplish so much more in our region if we can work together and form positive relationships.

Bill Given

A: I plan on living in this City with my family for a long time and I continue to want to play an active role in making sure GP is a great place for the children of our community as they grow.

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I don’t think anyone else offers the big picture vision of what our community can be in the way I do and I believe I’ve delivered the results to prove that I can get the job done as Mayor. Specifically, under my leadership the last council; added 17 new RCMP officers to address crime, created new public spaces, initiated badly needed improvements to downtown, invested over $34 million in road and sidewalk improvements, all while delivering the lowest tax increases in the past 15 years.

Additionally, I’ve shown a commitment to improving my skills so I’m better equipped to serve our community – examples of this include my work to get a Certificate in Local Authority Administration from the U of A and most recently my completion of a Master of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University this term.

Theodore Nikiforuk

A: In order for my voice to be heard I have decied that I need to partcipate in the political arena.
I am effected as well by rusing costs and highet and higher prpowrty taxes.

Rony Pajput



Clyde Blackburn

A: Being on city council would be a way for me to give back to the community that has supported and encouraged me and my family for the past 27 years. My 41-year career in retail, customer service and public relations have provided me with skills and insights that I believe would be useful at the council table, in serving the public, and in dealing with our neighbouring municipalities. I conduct myself with integrity and commitment. I intend to be true to those values in all that I do for the city.

Dylan Bressey

A: I am running because we live in an awesome community that’s been very good to my family. I want to do my part to keep Grande Prairie great and I see opportunities to make it even better. I also see significant challenges coming before our city. I am seeking a seat on Council because I want to roll up my sleeves and help Grande Prairie continue to thrive.

I have the knowledge and experience needed to do the job well. I am also a hard worker. You can see this in my professional and volunteer experience. I have set up youth mentoring programs throughout the Peace Country, I brought disc golf to town, I helped found a Neighbourhood Association, and this summer I ran a Spontaneous Summer Camp for 100 kids.

You can also see my work ethic in my campaign. I’ve spent a year watching Council and committee meetings, I’ve knocked on over 2200 doors, I started the GP Round Table Facebook group, and I am the only candidate who has written detailed policy on a wide variety of issues.

I hope you will vote for me so that I can apply my knowledge and experience to working hard for

To learn more about who I am and my contributions to Grande Prairie, visit To see my policy writings, visit

Jackie Clayton

A: I am running for Council because I want to continue to represent your views, and your voice on Council.  I want to be one of nine decision makers, who develop the future for our community, ensure its alignment with your values, and support the vision that you have for the future of your family, your business and yourself. I have Council experience from this past term, experience within the corporate business world as well as experience as a small business owner. I have a young family and a genuine passion for this Community, its people and its future success. As a parent of two children I can appreciate the utmost importance of living in a Community that is safe and affordable, while offering the amenities young families require.

John Croken

A: I am running for councillor because I have the experience I have the time and understand how municipal and provincial politic work .

Shannon Dunfield

A: I chose to run in this election because I believe the time is right to have a council that is as
diverse as our city.

The time is right for unique perspectives that reflect our growing and diverse community. My experience in Board Governance, Project Management, Educational Leadership, Indigenous Leadership and Community Based Leadership is needed so that we have that broad spectrum of understanding to ensure when decisions are made at the council table, they are a reflection of the entire community. I am also not afraid to speak my mind or ask the tough questions that will be needed at the council table because I want to be the voice of the community. In the end, I am always thoughtful, transparent and honest in decision-making processes.

Sydney Fletcher

A: I am running for city council because I believe it is time for reasonable people to “step up” and help put this city back on track! I have lived in GP (and area) for almost 23 years and I have seen a lot of things happen that as a taxpayer (to be frank) anger me! In my opinion, it is time for a change in the municipal government. We need a responsible, reasonable council that makes decisions for today but also for the future (and the future of our children). I believe we should stop acting like there is a money tree in the basement of city hall and make much wiser financial choices! I work hard for my money (as do other taxpayers). I get extremely angry over municipal mismanagement, that taxpayers are continually asked to pay for!! I hope people will vote for me because they recognize (as I do) that we have to make decisions based on reality, not on “boom town mentality”/wishful thinking!

Eunice Friesen

A: It’s been in the back of my mind for several years now to run for council, and the timing is right. I’ve retired from nursing, my business is doing well, and my kids are grown and gone, so I have the time to commit and the experience to bring significant value to the position. Residents should vote for me because I can keep the vision in mind and work toward it as a team member who is confident in her voice at the table, while listening to and respecting others’ perspectives.

John Kriska

A: I have been a resident of Grande Prairie for 20 years during that time I have owned two businesses, moxie’s for 10 years and now going on 11 years with Better than Fred’s. Throughout my time here in Grande Prairie I have been very interested in the inner works of the city and the governing part of Grande Prairie and have always wanted to be involved with the decisions that are made regarding small business that affect not only the business downtown but services in general. As a business’s owner and member of the Grande Prairie community I have had many conversations with people regarding the state of affairs in Grande Prairie throughout the years, I believe that I can be a strong voice for the people of Grande Prairie. I am excited to represent the people of Grande Prairie.

Kevin McLean

A: I have a passion for it and I have the experience to make us a storm team.
I ask the hard questions. I will fight for city residents to get fair share of resources. I will always as I have in the past argue to keep tax increases below inflation.

Yad Minhas

A: Grande Prairie is our family’s home as well our head office for multiple businesses. We now employ over 300 local residents, and have invested so much in their wellbeing and overall lives in this city. I believe in giving back to the community that has allowed us to enjoy a good life, and serving on City Council would be that ultimate act of service. If elected, I look forward to applying my previous experiences as a city councillor and business person to hopefully make a good city better.

Cheryl Montgomery

A: I have lived in GP my entire life and am part of 4 generations who reside here. I completely my education at the GPRC and have been involved in the community my entire life. I have owned businesses here, worked for the municipality for 6 years, so understand the Administration side of Municipal Policy and Procedures. I have also worked for the private sector. I have been actively involved with the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie for 18 years and just finished my Presidential year. It is my knowledge and commitment to this community that has helped me decide that running for City Council would be a natural extension of being involved and giving back to the community. I love Grande Prairie and I feel I can contribute to the future growth of something that is already pretty great with my experience and knowledge.

Timothy Nesbitt

A: I have always strived to make my piece of Grande Prairie a place people wanted to be a part of and focused on creating a strong sense of community. City Council is a larger stage allowing me to do that on a greater scale and reach more people in our region.

I have been a long time City employee meaning I have a deep understanding of the systems and structure that already exist. There are over 1,000 employees who work for the City and the decisions that Council makes will have direct impact on their lives. Especially considering how many of the old Council members aren’t returning, we have to ensure that the new one is educated and knowledgeable about the consequences of their decisions. I bring experience to the table that no other candidate has.

Kevin O’Toole

A: I have lived in Grande Prairie since 1965, I moved from Prince George B.C 1) I am a two term city councilor first elected in 2010 (3 year term) and 2013 4 year (term) and now running for a third term as a councillor. I have three grown children all with spouses and a total of 10 grandchildren. I own and have operated a small business (ANS Safety) for 26 years. I do know about budgets and spending. I am also a red sealed Machinist I went through four years of apprenticeship at NAIT and also attended GPRC to gain office computer and Cad courses.

One of my goals when first elected was to Have 92 st. twinned and also 68th ave. twinned both are either complete or very close to completion. Council including myself also wanted these projects done but didn’t have the funds and administration searched for funding sources without a serious burden to tax payers. We received MSI funding for both projects from the Alberta government. I am a people person and enjoy the opportunity to provide input from my
past experience and from listening to the residents.

Wade Pilat

A: I want to be a part of the vision and implementation involved in growing Grande Prairie as the amazing community that we know and love. I have been a resident of Grande Prairie for almost 40 years and I am fortunate to have the majority of our family and a network of amazing friends here so for me this is home – a home that I am very passionate about! Over the past 20 years I have been self-employed as a local business owner, building my companies on a network of relationships that strive through teamwork. Through such teamwork we have been able to celebrate achievements such as the Corporate Volunteer Award, local New Homebuyers Customer Choice awards, local Builder of the Year awards as well as the Alberta New Homebuyers Customer Choice award. These achievements are due to our strong dedication to teamwork, relationship connections and community. I have been on many boards and committees for over 10 years now and from this have gained the experience and working knowledge of a variety of Strategic Plans, the Municipal Government Act, the Municipal Development Plan, Land Use Bylaw amendments and additions since 2009, as well as a variety of Long Term Planning processes. All of the above experience, commitment and passion has influenced and prepared me in my decision to run for City Council.
– Check our website for more details:

Tyla Savard

A: I truly believe that the strongest communities are anchored in a spirit of collaboration. I have the skills and experience to connect various segments of our community to discover shared objectives and work together towards finding innovative yet attainable solutions. Having had the opportunity to work in the forestry, non-profit, oilfield and construction industries and now being a small business owner, I have a wide perspective and understanding of our community. I also have strong working relationships with the City and County administration and Councils and recognize we are all working hard to make our region the best place to live. Relationships and initiatives can and should reach beyond city limits and I feel I can help facilitate this. I’m a leader, I listen, I am connected to our community, I bring an all-embracing community perspective. I am a hard worker, I am passionate and take action to get things done.

Morgan Suurd

A: because I’m known to fight for my community if elected I will fight just as hard for everyone in this city.

Chris Thiessen

A: I am running for Council because I love Grande Prairie and the people who make it so livable. I want our children to raise their children in this beautiful community that will become and in some ways already is, a model for innovation and sustainable development. Finally, I want to help guide and connect our new Council – to shape
the new leaders who will speak strongly for our growing community – so that Grande Prairie continues to prosper while it grows, now and in the future. People should vote for me because I have proven to be accountable, thoughtful, hard-working, and caring. I offer honesty, leadership, a unique perspective, an open ear, and LOVE what I do – helping to make our City a better place for all.

Cam White

A: I love this city and I believe it is important for the younger generation to get involved with the development of Grande Prairie and I want to be one of those young leaders. It is imperative that Grande Prairie’s city council properly represent the diversity of the people who live here, and as one of the youngest cities in Canada it makes sense to have someone on council who can learn from older generations while being connected to current needs of this young community.

I have my Bachelors degree in English and an all conference award from my time playing baseball in California and Kansas. I understand how a team works and the council is just that, a team, needing diverse leaders to represent this community.

Mike Wolfel

No response submitted.

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