Three vie for mayor’s chair

City of Salmon Arm: Coun. Debbie Cannon eyes leadership role, MP Colin Mayes declines.

Debbie Cannon

Debbie Cannon

It could be a three-way race for mayor of Salmon Arm.

Debbie Cannon, who has served as a city councillor for three terms, announced to the Observer Friday that she will be seeking the position.

Cannon will be joining incumbent mayor Nancy Cooper and former mayor Marty Bootsma who have also declared their intentions. Cannon has served on council for nine years.

“It feels right, it feels like the right timing… There are pretty exciting times ahead for the city, and I think it’s a good time to be part of it.”

Okanagan Shuswap MP Colin Mayes had contemplated throwing his hat into the ring, but on Monday he quelled rumours he is still pondering his options.

“I will not be a candidate,” he told the Observer. “I really thought I wanted to keep my hands in things and run for civic election. Quite frankly, I thought I have an obligation to finish the term (as MP) and I’d like to have time for a break.”

Mayes said the timing of the municipal election doesn’t work for him and, had it not conflicted with his federal term, he would have run.

Asked if he might run in four years, he was undecided.

“I’m getting a little bit old for that… Anyways, we’ll see.”

Regarding the six councillor positions, incumbents Denise Reimer and Marg Kentel have said they won’t be seeking re-election. With Cannon running for mayor, that leaves three open spots.

Couns. Alan Harrison, Ken Jamieson and Chad Eliason all told the Observer they will be running again.

Unlike the current mayor and council where women are in the majority, women could be a minority on the next council.

“I have been working on a few people,” said Cannon. “I’m hoping – I was on council the one term when I was the only female. After, we had a majority of females…

“I’m hoping we get some more gals out there.”

Tom Birch, president of the BC Conservative Party and a candidate in the last provincial election, said he’ll be running for a seat on city council.

Kevin Flynn, former city councillor and a candidate in the last mayoral race, said he has picked up nomination papers from city hall but has not completely made up his mind.

“I’m leaning towards running for council if I feel I can grow my business the way I want for the next five years. I would suggest it’s likely I will run for council, but nothing is decided. I will make my final decision sometime before Oct. 10.”

Candidates are permitted to begin filing their nomination papers on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 9 a.m. and the deadline for nominations is Oct. 10 at 4 p.m.

Election day is Saturday, Nov. 15 with polls open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Mail-in ballots are a new option this year, and advance and special voting  opportunities will also be available. More details can be found at the city website: