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Judge okays Whistler candidates' nomination papers

Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, Jack Crompton, Steve Anderson and Steve Andrews can run in election



A judge has ruled that all four candidates who have had their nomination papers challenged by Whistler's Chief Electoral Officer can run in the municipal election.

The ruling went out by Twitter just after 1:30 p.m. on Friday, with candidate Jack Crompton tweeting "Candidates all confirmed!" from the court in North Vancouver.

The nomination papers of four candidates - mayoral candidate Nancy Wilhelm-Morden and council candidates Crompton, Steve Andrews and Steve Anderson - were challenged for various reasons, from the addresses used by nominators to where those addresses were entered on the form. On one form a nominator was scratched out and a new name was entered.

Crompton said he was elated, although it will be days before the written ruling is released and they can understand why the judge decided the way she did.

"The judge's ruling was one sentence, she didn't provide any reasons either written or verbal, just gave the decision and it was done," he said.

On the list of distractions to his campaign, Crompton said it was "high" on the scale. "It's taken up a lot of my time and energy, and distracted my campaign, but I'm just excited to try to get back about winning an election. I'm excited about what's next."

Steve Andrews said he was relieved when the process was over.

"It is a bit of a relief," he said.

"Other than sitting in court for a long time and wasting a work day, it was pretty painless."

Andrews said the candidates arrived at court at 9:30 a.m. and sat through another case until their case came up around 10:15 a.m. The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) lawyer spoke for about half an hour, followed by lawyers representing Wilhelm-Morden and Crompton. Both Andrews and Anderson represented themselves, with Andrews bringing in one of his nominators to satisfy the judge that he was a Whistler resident and eligible to vote in the election.

The municipality said in a statement that the "Chief Election Officer must ensure that all forms strictly comply with the Local Government Act. Four nomination packages out of 35 received have been submitted to the Provincial Court to seek clarity on the completeness of the documentation."

Mayoral candidate Ralph Forsyth did acknowledge that a member of his campaign team did email the municipality to ask if all the papers were in order, but denied targeting any candidates individually. Pique contacted the municipality to find out more information, but did not receive any reply.

According to one Facebook poster who said he spoke to the electoral officer, the municipality received one email and two phone calls regarding the nomination papers.

Wilhelm-Morden tweeted earlier that three municipal staffers and a lawyer represented the municipality at the proceedings.


For the record

In a Oct. 20 story, Ralph Forsyth is quoted as saying that it was unfortunate that Jack Crompton was caught up in the nomination issue because he was supporting Jack and vice versa. However, Crompton said he would not support any mayoral candidates during the course of his campaign.

"I have decided in my campaign that one of the major directions I want to go on council is to have a cohesive team that works together," he said. "I want to work with whoever is elected mayor."

Crompton said he doesn't have any ill will as a result of the challenge.

"I think that this was too bad, the way it turned out - obviously there were times when I was very upset and frustrated and disappointed - but it's done, it's in the past. I have to look forward and I will work really hard for whoever is elected mayor, whether it's Ralph, or Nancy or Ken - or anyone who is elected."

Crompton said he made a decision early in his campaign not to support a candidate for mayor or any kind of slate, but to stay independent.

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