City of Powell River Mayor Dave Formosa spent twice as much as former mayor Stewart Alsgard in the 2011 civic election.
According to campaign financing forms, which all candidates are required to file, Formosa spent $8,627. He financed his campaign either by himself or from companies he owns.
Alsgard, who filed his election campaign statement on the day of the deadline, March 19, spent $4,026. He raised the money for his campaign through contributions from individuals, as well as two separate $600 donations from CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) Local 798.
Candidates in the city’s 2011 civic election spent less in 2011 than in 2008, but there were fewer candidates. In 2008, there were seven candidates running for mayor and 15 running for council. They spent a total of $28,410.
In 2011, just Formosa and Alsgard ran for mayor and there were 10 candidates for council. Total spending in 2011 was $23,798.
Councillor Maggie Hathaway, who topped the polls with 2,812 votes, spent $2,622. Contributions to her campaign came from individuals and companies, as well as $1,000 from 1298 PAC, a political action committee of Local 1298 of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).
Bill Grantham, president of Local 1298, said as firefighters and members of the IAFF, they have the responsibility to use political action when possible as a means of working on behalf of members to ensure they are safe and enjoy adequate working conditions. “If we don’t use political action where possible, then we can’t say we’re doing everything in our power to make things better for our members,” he said.
In addition to the cash contribution to Hathaway, 1298 PAC spent $1,576 for radio advertising for Hathaway, Debbie Dee, Chris McNaughton and Russell Brewer. “We couldn’t help everybody,” Grantham said. “We’re happy with the results of the election and hopefully the community is going to move forward, with everybody thinking outside the box and making our town successful.”
McNaughton spent $3,693 on his campaign, Dee spent $1,615 and Brewer, who received the second highest number of votes, spent $499.
Jim Palm spent $1,787 and Myrna Leishman spent $635.
Three candidates, Scott Lukianchuk, Bill Hopkins and Glenn Holstine, didn’t spend any money on their campaigns. Gordon Crawford spent $294.
CUPE BC endorsed the following candidates in the 2011 civic election: Alsgard, Brewer, Crawford, Hathaway, Hopkins, Leishman and Lukianchuk. The organization spent $127,103 on the election province-wide for newsletters, contacting members and web expenses.
The city has posted all campaign financing disclosure statement forms on its website.
The Peak could not reach Danielle Craigen, president of CUPE Local 798, for a comment.