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Ralph Forsyth

Families first



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"Pull the ball in like I showed you, and nobody can take it away.

"Run forward with the ball. I liked what you did in the end, but at the beginning you were running backwards, backwards, backwards.

"Keep running, no stopping and starting. You keep going until you hear the whistle."

Before the practice got underway on the wet fields at Spring Creek he bantered with kids and parents while helping some of the younger players lace up their cleats, including his youngest son (his oldest son hopped in a car to Squamish moments earlier to practice with the full contact pee wee Sea to Sky Broncos). They are all excited about the Grey Cup. One kid wants to skip out on a family trip to catch the game with his teammates.

"You can stay at my house," Forsyth told him. "I won't make you go to Hawaii."

The municipal election was just over a week away, but Forsyth was at ease. In a few days after this is printed he will either be Whistler's mayor or relegated to a spot on the sidelines - though he will never really be out of the game. He thrives on politics.

He first ran for council in 2002 where he placed 13th on a list of 19 candidates. He was elected in 2005 and re-elected in 2008, largely on the strength of his pro-family platform.

The decision to run for mayor was a big one, but once his mind was made up he hit the ground running. He was first out of the gate and declared his intention to run way back in August, regardless of who else would be in the race.

"It feels so compelling, so right to me, that now is the time, that it's of little consequence who the other candidates are," he told Pique when he declared. "I have my plan. I have a vision for Whistler that I want to create and I'm moving forward with that."

Ralph had hoped for a spirited race, but has been dismayed somewhat by the process. Over three months in, he feels he is still being misrepresented when he has been running on transparency and his record on council - everything spelled out including the way he voted on issues available on his website at www.ralphforsyth.com.

"I thought it would be fun to run to be honest, and with Ken (Melamed) it has been fun - he and I joke and I think our relationship has been better since I announced. But the rumours I hear about me..." He shakes his head.