Today (October 12), grade six students from two local schools take part in the Students Votes Program. Students from Meadowbrook School and Helois Lorimer School will fill out ballots for mayor, city council and school trustee in a mock election running from 11:30am to 12:45pm.

Yesterday (October 11), 120 students from both schools attended an all candidates forum hosted by Helois Lorimer. The students heard from three mayoral, thirteen council and four trustee candidates, and then had an opportunity to ask the candidates questions that they came up with.

The forum was moderated by Dan McEwing, who has been moderating a Facebook page dedicated to discussing this year's election. Organizers of the forum reached out to McEwing and asked him to take part in the event. McEwing said the forum was a great event, because students often have a perspective that older voters haven't considered.

"Students definitely have their own perspectives. It's great to see students come out and ask the hard hitting questions."

Each candidate was given one minute to introduce themselves, and then were grouped together to answer the student's questions. The students asked informed questions on many of the prominent issues in this year's election.

Trustee candidates Jim Forrest, Melyssa Bowen, Jason Spratt and Pam Thursfield were the first to face the students. The trustees addressed questions about the need for another high school, why they wanted to participate in politics and what their number one priority would be if elected.

Because the pool of council candidates in this year's election is so large, those candidates were split into two groups. The second group consisting of Darrell Belyk, Nicole Proseilo, Daria Skibington-Roffel, Charlotte Blackwell, Al Jones and Lindsey Coyle, fielding questions on the need for more animal foster care, recreation facilities and a women's shelter. They were also asked what they thought was the biggest issue facing Airdrie.

Mayoral candidate Peter Brown, Marie Lauer and Fred Burley took the floor next. The students asked if the candidates planned to run again if they aren't elected this time around. Other questions focused on healthcare, business attraction and budgeting.

The final group of council candidates included Ron Chapman, Tina Petrow, Mo Benini, Tim Lowing, Candice Kolson, Kelly Hegg and Shelley Bitz. This group was asked about the best thing they would be able to do for Airdrie and their ability to do it. Another student asked if the candidates just make up the things they put on their website or if they are telling the truth. Other questions centred on plans for downtown and emergency services.

The candidates were each given one more minute for final remarks. As the candidates spoke, many encouraged the students to push their parents to vote. The candidates complimented the students' questions, saying many of them were more difficult to answer than questions asked at the All Candidate Forum on October 3. Over and over, the candidates reiterated that the students are the future of Airdrie, their voices do have power and they do have the ability to make change.

Organizing teachers Amrit Rai Nannan from Meadowbrook and Anna Jensdottir from Heloise Lorimer felt the event was a success. Nannan explained these types of forums and mock elections are important because they promote civic engagement among students.

"They are now civically engaged, and many of them will stay this way because they've had a positive experience."

Jensdottier agreed, adding that at that age, many students feel their voices don't have power.

"It's really important to start at a young age, to show them that in their community they have a voice and with that voice they can actually influence their parents as well."

Both teachers called the event a success, and were pleased with the questions asked by the students.

Two of those students were Elle from Meadowbrook and Claire from Heloise Lorimer, who shared their thoughts on the forum.

"I think it was really good that we were able to ask our personal questions today," said Elle. "Then it really helps assess which ones that we want to vote for."

"I just liked hearing all the candidates speak about different things they thought," said Claire.

The results of today's Student Vote will not be released until October 16, after the municipal election is held.


Questions, comments or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

More Local News

emergency alert

Mandatory Evacuations Outside Drumheller

A Mandatory evacuation order has been issued for the community of Wayne, AB and residents along Highway 10X, due to high water from the Rosebud River.
flooding highway 9 apr2018 credity eric frogley

Overland Flooding Alert In Rocky View County.

Rocky View County has issued a warning about overland flooding, joining other municipalities that have done so today (April 23rd).
beiseker welcome sign on hwy9 marty

State Of Local Emergency In Beiseker

The Village of Beiseker has declared a local state of emergency due to overland flooding.

Cold April Delays Mosquitos

It might be one of the only positives to the delayed spring: the absence of mosquitoes.

Above Seasonal Temperatures Are Here

We are expecting above seasonal temperatures for a few days this week.

Three Dead Following Crash Near Irricana

Three people are dead and a five-year-old girl is in serious condition in Calgary Children's Hospital following a two-vehicle collision just south of Irricana yesterday (April 20).

Airdrie Fire Quickly Puts Out Blaze Behind Paul's Pizza

Fast action by people who saw smoke and reported a fire, followed by a quick response by the Airdrie Fire Department prevented a blaze behind Paul's Pizza from becoming worse than it might have been…
rocky view flooding apr2018 gpr

Melting Snow Could Lead To Flooding In Your Home

As the weather continues to warm up, the snow quickly melts, which means an increased risk of flooding in your home or backyard.

Things Turning Around for Those Seeking Work Locally

If you're looking for work in the local area, things are a lot more positive than the days when Alberta's unemployment rate reached nine percent in the fall of 2016.
aaron van huizen apr2018 credit rcmp

Local Teen Found Deceased

Airdrie RCMP is advising that missing Aaron Van Huizen was found deceased today in Airdrie. is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

San Diego Padres vs Colorado Rockies Live Stream Free: Watch 2018 MLB Online

24 April 2018 6:15 am

Trek Center in Vulcan

Louisville vs Florida State Live Stream Free: Watch Women's Softball 2018 Online

24 April 2018 6:30 am

Redwood House, Redwood Meadows

WWE Monday Night RAW Live Stream Free: Watch Online 2018

24 April 2018 6:45 am

Airdrie Public Library

Tri-City Americans vs Everett Silvertips Live Stream Free: Watch WHL Play Offs 2018 Online

24 April 2018 7:15 am


OKC Thunder vs Utah Jazz Live Stream Free 2018 NBA Playoff Game 4 Online

24 April 2018 7:45 am

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Airdrie

Utah Jazz vs Oklahoma City Thunder Live Stream Free: Watch 2018 NBA Playoff Game 4 Online

24 April 2018 8:00 am

Rocky View Education Centre, Airdrie

Airdrie Home and Lifestyle Show

28 April 2018 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Genesis Place, Airdrie