THUNDER BAY – Four candidates are off and running in the 2014 Thunder Bay civic election. First out of the gate was Logan Ollivier. He was followed quickly by Shelby Ch’ng who as declared her candidacy in Northwood ward. Kimberly Coreau has declared in the At-Large category. Over in Red River ward, Brian Nooman has filed papers seeking to knock off the incumbent Councillor Brian McKinnon.
Mayor Keith Hobbs has already declared his intention to seek a second term. Councillor Aldo Ruberto has confirmed to NetNewsLedger that he will seek another term. Red River incumbent Brian Mckinnon is also tossing his hat in the ring for 2014.
Heading into the 2014 campaign there is also the campaign effort announced in 2013 that seeks to see more women elected to office in Thunder Bay. That resource may be something that allows some of the new candidates to learn the political ropes quickly and find supporters. Thunder Bay civic politics has often been a matter of name recognition and awareness.
That started changing in 2007 as the Internet started to become a bigger campaign tool. Four years ago it was “An Army of Hobbits” who helped elect Mayor Keith Hobbs to office. Today, with Facebook and Social media making an ever increasing impact in our community, it is possible for a person to advance a cause online faster than ever before.
One of the advantages that some of the younger candidates will have this trip to the polls will likely be savvy social media skills. Logan Ollivier, Shelby Ch’ng and Kim Coreau have already demonstrated a great deal of that ability.
Many of the incumbent Councillors have not demonstrated a great deal of awareness of the potent power of social media. Mayor Keith Hobbs, and Councillors Aldo Ruberto, Andrew Foulds, and Ken Boshcoff are notable exceptions. Hobbs has over 2300 people on his Facebook page, and 4,999 friends on Facebook. Councillor Aldo Ruberto is active on social media, and engages with residents on a regular basic. Ken Boshcoff is always keeping people up-to-date on Facebook. Current River Councillor Andrew Foulds is a little more careful on social media, but is still active.
New Candidates Face Challenges
Often for candidates running for the first time, getting their name out into the public is more difficult. Some of that is changing as technology has increased the ability of a candidate to affordably engage with potential supporters.
The Internet, Twitter, and Facebook are likely going to have an even greater reach into Thunder Bay’s civic campaign in 2014.
Getting to Know the Candidates
Kim Coreau states, “I want a better Thunder Bay, for ALL citizens. I will work hard, to make positive things happen if I get voted in. I will fight to be a loud voice for the citizens in this beautiful city”.
For almost twenty years, Coreau has been working to assist those in our community who are homeless or in dire need.
Shelby Ch’ng has been active in the SHIFT Network, a voice in the downtown Fort William business area, and an entrepreneur, running the Unveiled Bridal Boutique on Victoria Avenue East. In December Ch’ng put together a successful Peace Walk in the Fort William Downtown.
Logan Ollivier has extensive social media and Internet experience and as a former radio broadcaster, who has moved forward into operating his own company, will also be reaching into the ever growing social media network in Thunder Bay.
Digital Democracy in Thunder Bay
Heading into the 2014 Civic Election, NetNewsLedger has extended our Candidate’s Ledgers to officially nominated candidates. Our goal there is offering each candidate the opportunity on a regular basis to reach out to potential voters and share their ideas and vision for our city’s future.
Digital democracy is not a new idea, it has been coming for a long time. It is very likely that in 2014 the growing power of that technology is going to see changes at City Hall.