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election99

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By Loreth Beswetherick Election 99 may have got off to a sleepy start in early October with only a handful of incumbents announcing their intention to seek re-election, but the all candidates meeting Saturday, Nov. 13 will see a healthy slate of three mayoral candidates and a potential 17 council candidates in attendance. Whether council candidate Richard Wyne will be present is uncertain. Although he was first out of the gate to file his nomination papers Oct. 5, Wyne has since been unavailable for comment but he has not officially withdrawn from the race. The all candidates gathering, hosted by the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, kicks off at 4 p.m. at the Myrtle Philip community centre. Tourism Whistler board chair Rick Clare will act as moderator. "It will probably be a three-hour session," said Chamber executive director Thelma Johnstone. The three candidates for mayor will be asked to speak for three minutes each. This will then be followed by a 45-minute question and answer period. The 17 candidates for council will be asked to give a two-minute presentation each. This too will be followed with a 45-minute question and answer session for all the candidates. Johnstone said Cable 6 will record the event. Several of the new candidates on the lower end of the age spectrum will also be hosting their own ‘all candidates’ forum. Tyler Mosher, Scott Kittleson, Kim McKnight and djtone are holding what they call a "Voice Out" at Garfinkel’s on Monday, Nov. 15 and another at Merlin’s on Thursday, Nov. 18. Originally Stephane Perron and Tanya Ewasiuk were on board with organizing the Voice Out but they have since stepped back. Perron said he will, however, be present, as he hopes all candidates will be. The Garfinkel’s session gets going after the regular council meeting scheduled for that night. "It will be post the council meeting, somewhere between 10 and 11 p.m.," said Kittleson. He said he and Mosher are organizing the Garf’s event while djtone is co-ordinating the Merlin’s session but all four candidates will be present to say their bit at both and to listen to the questions and concerns of a target market of voters between 18 and 35. Kittleson said any other candidates are welcome to join in and the meetings are not only aimed at the "youth" vote. "We don’t use that word. A youth is someone who is 13 years old. The 18-35 group are the new voters, the young people who make up this community, the people who are starting to raise families here, the people who are deciding that Whistler is their home and they are concerned about how they can continue to make it their home... the working class if you like. We want them to know who it is among their peers who are working to address their concerns." The Merlin’s event starts at 7 p.m. and includes a line-up of Guitar Doug and four DJs. Advance voting started Wednesday, Nov. 10 at both the Whistler municipal hall and the West Vancouver municipal hall . Advance votes can also be cast between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13 at Whistler municipal hall. Come general voting day Saturday, Nov. 20, votes can be cast at the Myrtle Philip school between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. or in West Vancouver. Those who have not registered to vote can do so on the day. They will be asked for two pieces of identification to confirm identity and residency. One must have the voters signature. A valid B.C. drivers licence, care card or credit card are acceptable. Those already registered and on the voters list will not be asked for ID. Whistler is using new electronic counting machines for the ’99 election. Voters must join two parts of an arrow next to the candidate of their choice’s name on the ballot. This is placed into the machine. Elections officer Brenda Sims said the results will be out 20 minutes to half an hour after the polls close at 8 p.m. Instead of the traditional manual counting method, the machine tapes will be printed out and the totals from the polling stations and advance polls will be tallied up. Mountain FM will broadcast results from the school.

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