Seventeen running for six seats in Morinville Council race

by Ashley Janes

Morinville – The close of Nomination Day Monday saw 17 residents filing papers for six Council seats, a number seven higher than the 2010 race and 11 higher than 2007’s acclaimed Council.

Candidates did not become official until after our Monday afternoon press deadline. Candidates had 24 hours after the close of nominations to withdraw their papers.

Barry Turner-webBarry Turner

Occupation: “I am a Senior Database Administrator for a hospital.”

Please state why you have filed for council: “A big thing for me is the notion of service. I have always had a strong desire to be involved in serving the community. I was on council from 1995-2007, taking a step back to spend some more time with my young family. However, recently I’ve had a lot of community members come forward and encourage me to run again, along with my family and my wife who continue to support me.”

Explain what your key issues are for this election: “I want to see positive growth so issues like recreation development and economic development are at the top for me. Really, it’s about the continued growth of the community and being a driving action for change.”

Visit Barry Turner’s website at:

Keyleside-webBrandy Keenleyside

Occupation: “I am a business owner and a mother.”

Please state why you have filed for council: “I’m not what you would call a traditional politician but I’ve realized that if you don’t vote and you don’t get involved then you can’t complain about the way your community makes decisions. The reverse to that is that if you are involved, you have a say about where your tax dollars are going and what is happening in your town. This is very important to me and so I decided to run for council.”

Explain what your key issues are for this election: “I think having open communication and a relationship with residents is the most important things to have in local politics. It makes council accountable to the residents and responsible for their decisions.”

Look for Brandy Keenleyside as her campaign unfolds.

Brennan Fitzgerald-webBrennan FitzGerald

Occupation: “I am a former student and aspiring politician.”

Please state why you have filed for council: “It’s time for a change in Morinville. We have so many people running for council and I think that’s Morinville saying they need something new and fresh. It’s been my long-term desire to serve my community and town council is the perfect place to start making a difference.”

Explain what your key issues are for this election: “One of the elements I intend to bring to town council is active representation. Residents want council members who will act on their behalf and with their best interests in mind. This is my number one priority. I also want to see open communication from council to residents. By engaging the public regarding issues like economic development, we better represent them.”

Follow Brennan as his campaign unfolds.

Brent Henry-webBrent Henry

Occupation: “I am a retired military officer and currently work as a Nursing Operations Management Advisor.”

Please state why you have filed for council: “Our town is on the verge of becoming a city which is a big change that requires people sitting on council who are responsible. The next four years are going to be crucial regarding development and we as a community are going to have some very important decisions to make. I’d like to be a part of that process.”

Explain what your key issues are for this election: “The biggest things for me are fiscal responsibility and sustainability. We need to pay close attention to how we are spending our taxes and think about a positive and sustainable future.”

To learn more about Brent Henry, find him on

Dale Cunningham
Dale Cunningham was not present at the time candidacy was filed and was therefore unable to provide an interview. Watch for him in future articles.

David Pattison-webDavid Pattison

Occupation: “I am a manager in Land Use Planning.”

Please state why you have filed for council: “I was asked by the residents of Morinville to seek re-election on town council. I’ve been told that they have liked what I’ve done with implementing policies. I also recognize that we need to place a real value on taxes because we all want to enjoy a quality of life.”

Explain what your key issues are for this election: “A big one: economic development. We should be pursuing new businesses and growing. Another important issue for me is pedestrian safety. But there are other things too, like looking at our recreation needs and public programming, as well as forming partnerships with Sturgeon County to help both our communities grow.”

David Pattison will be campaigning at your door, but you may also call him to discuss your concerns at: 780-914-7742

Gord Putnam-webGord Putnam

Occupation: “I am a lawyer in Morinville.”

Please state why you have filed for council: “I want to be part of the team made up of council and mayor that sets the vision for the town of Morinville over the next four years.”

Explain what your key issues are for this election: “I want to see attention paid to economic development. Moreover, there needs to be role clarity inside of council. To sum it up, I am interested in developing Morinville into a place where people want to live, work, and play.”

Visit Gord Putnam’s website at:

Jackie Luker-webJackie Luker

Occupation: “I’m a teacher, working as a substitute at the moment.”

Please state why you have filed for council: “I have a desire to be a part of the decision making process which continues moving Morinville in a positive direction. I also have the ability to work well with others and I possess a positive attitude which is important because Morinville is becoming a central hub in our region. Moreover, I have displayed a stick-to-it-iveness as this is my third kick at the cat. When I want something, I work at it until I am successful. I want to look back four years from now and be proud of what myself and council has achieved.”

Explain what your key issues are for this election: “I consider the top issues to be economic development, value of service for your tax dollar, and achieving a greater sense of community.”

Jim O'Brien-webJames O’Brien

Occupation: “I am a retired military officer.”

Please state why you have filed for council: “Well, I have a number of issues with the way this town is run and after speaking with my friends and neighbors, I have decided that I want to learn how the system works so I can help make some positive changes in the community.”

Explain what your key issues are for this election: “Communication with the public is number one. There have been a few decisions in the recent past that weren’t discussed widely enough with the residents and that has upset a lot of people. Tied into that is the idea that council should be open about the financial realities this town faces. One of my main goals is to fix the inflated and unsustainable administration costs that resident taxes pay for.”

Look for James O’Brien in the community to further discuss his platform.

Jennifer Laurence-webJennifer Laurence

Occupation: “I’m a business owner and a stay-at-home mom.”

Please state why you have filed for council: “I think our generation of 30-somethings needs to step up and be more involved in our community. We need to take care of our kids who are growing up in this town and our parents who are soon to be retiring here.”

Explain what your key issues are for this election: “Part of taking care of our kids and parents is providing them with a recreation facility, so this is something I will be discussing. It is also important that town council starts working together as a team for our community and that they commit to strong communications with its citizens and seniors.”

You can find Jennifer Laurence on Facebook.

Laurence Giffin-webLawrence Roy Giffin

Occupation: “I am a local business owner in town.”

Please state why you have filed for council: “To be honest, I think I would be a good councillor. I was a manager and troubleshooter for a large multi-national company for many years, so I have strengths in finding creative solutions to any sort of issue. For example, I think we need major improvement in business growth and development and I know I can be of use on that front because I have a lot of experience there.”

Explain what your key issues are for this election: “My big topics are an increased development of infrastructure, reasonable taxation, responsible and creative community planning.”

Watch for Lawrence as he campaigns face-to-face in the community.

Nicole boutestein-webNicole Boutestein

Occupation: “I am an account manager and consultant.”

Please state why you have filed for council: “I am very passionate about being on town council and I feel like I have proven that I possess the drive and commitment it takes to be an effective councillor.”

Explain what your key issues are for this election: “For the next four years and beyond, economic development is going to be such an important issue. Morinville needs to adopt a more fiscally responsible action plan if we are going to encourage growth. This means we need to think very carefully about issues like where and how to build recreation facilities.”

To learn more about Nicole Boutestein, view her website at:

Rob Ladouceur-webRob Ladouceur

Occupation: “I am a control center operator with Enbridge”

Please state why you have filed for council: “The first and main reason is that I love the town of Morinville. It’s a really safe, clean, and caring community and I want to make sure we maintain that as we grow. I want to bring new skills and ideas to council and I know I will work well with the other members of that team.”

Explain what your key issues are for this election: “I’m sure this has been said many times already, but one of my concerns is economic development and part of that process means being fiscally responsible. Those are two major issues I am dedicated to. More than that, though, is my commitment and drive for community safety. I want Morinville to continue to be a safe place to live.”

Visit Rob Ladouceur on his website at:

Ruth-webRuth Shymka

Occupation: “I work as an educational assistant.”

Please state why you have filed for council: “I am very passionate about the town of Morinville and committed to its future. I’ve lived here for over 22 years now and I know I have the skills, knowledge and time to commit to the responsibilities of being on town council.”

Explain what your key issues are for this election: “Fiscal responsibility so that we can develop a strong community and accountability from council for the decisions they make. I also want to see a clearer sense of teamwork within the council, as well as between council and community.”

Watch for Ruth Shymka as her campaign unfolds.

Stephen Dafoe-webStephen Dafoe

Occupation: Owner of The Morinville News

Please state why you have filed for council: “I’ve lived here for almost eight years and I quickly fell in love with the community. I told my wife that the next time I move it will be in a pine box. The next four years are a critical time for the community and important decisions are going to be made, including some decisions that should have already been made. I want to be a part of the team of community leaders that will do what is right for the residents and rate payers of this town.”

Explain what your key issues are for this election: Dafoe said the next Council needs to stop thinking of $70,000 in spending as a one per cent tax increase and start thinking of every $3,000 or $4,000 in spending as a resident’s tax bill for the entire year. He also sees economic development and proper management of community program as important issues.

Visit Stephen Dafoe’s website at:

Wayne Gatza-webWayne Gatza

Occupation: “I’m a real estate agent.”

Please state why you have filed for council: “Simply put: I want to make Morinville the best community it can be. I thought the best seat to do that from was on town council.”

Explain what your key issues are for this election: “First, I want to pay close attention to our economic development and fiscal responsibility. But there are always issues like infrastructure, for example: what do we do with the Cardiff overpass? We have to look at things like that and the development of recreational facilities and parks if our community is going to continue to grow.”

Look for Wayne Gatza as his campaign unfolds.

Joseph Trapani-webJoseph Trapani

Occupation: “I’m in the security business.”

Please state why you have filed for council: “I believe in the town of Morinville and care for the community. I think council should be improving what the residents are seeing and that is my priority. I want to make things better for everyone who lives here.”

“I want to see a physical budget. Council also needs to develop infrastructure, that’s a major issue. Outside of that, there is a demand for community volunteering, and that is something I am passionate about and would like to see increased.”

Visit Joseph’s Campaign Platform Site at

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  1. It’s great to see so many who want to become more involved in how our town runs however, I sincerely hope that everyone running for council are there to provide a voice for all town citizens and are not just bringing a personal agenda to the table. I’m excited for this election and the future of this town. Good luck to all the candidates.

  2. I can’t wait to hear what all of the candidates bring to the table and how they plan to bring Morinville to the next level!

  3. looks to me like the talk of a new rec center is top of some candidates want list,, How are we going to pay for this another large Tax raise .. we already pay more than most towns our size , I would like to have a council work on getting more business growth and fixing our infrastructure , not building a new rec center which will not be used by many residents ,,

  4. I honestly don’t care what they say they are going to bring to the table unless they can offer me a concrete idea as to how they can do it. Anything else is just blowing smoke…

  5. I love the idea of a true election happening in our growing municipality. The youth excites me, the idea of the facility to accommodate a pool and other activities. The mention of going in with logical moves on any plan. I disagree with those that think a pool would not be used. We have senior citizen homes; rehab for them. Young moms using the pool for prenatal activity and entertainment for young ones. Baby boomers physio therapy, an increasing active lifestyle. Swimming is part of our community’s education curriculum for all ages. Swim teams are competitive, and you think hockey is? We could attract teams to us, adding revenue for hotels, restaurants etc. The right way to proceed would be Olympic size indoor with hot tubs, saunas, and exercise rooms. Jobs for residents as well, these above mentioned are just a few. Over pass crucial as it always has been, (a province thing they say). Hope new council can be really strong in making a proactive role here. You will have to be ready for many road blocks. In the mean time, right turns only would fit our budget and save lives.

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