Much ado about Slates.

If your focus in the CBE Trustee election has been on social media, you might think this election is about supporting LBGTQ2 students and which “slate” is the best to take the CBE into a new era? With at least 4 new trustee’s at the table, the balance of power is at stake. I will tell you there are other candidates! I encourage you to look at them ALL before you decide who will have your back at the Trustee table.

First lets talk about Slate’s. The Students Count Slate (Althea Adams, Lisa Davis, Sabrina Bartlett, Sadiq Villiani and Mike Bradshaw) has launched and been clear that they are a slate, agreeing on 5 key points. 1. Fix math: Many have questioned how? 2. Fund classrooms not admin. 3. Fix report cards. 4. Ensure student wellness and 5. Keep big money out of election campaigns, which many have questioned why they don’t publish their donor list.  One of their members Bianca Smetacek has pulled out of the slate and stated the reason’s in this Herald article:   One can’t help but think that some early controversy may have lead to her leaving:  The Students Count Slate has been called the “Kenney Slate” by detractors claiming that they are aligned with Jason Kenney and his campaign to lead the new Provincial UCP Party. These detractors claim this Slate will “out gay kids” because of what Jason Kenney has said about the topic. We have seen the question asked and answered many times by candidates (Lisa Davis in particular) on the slate and they have answered and don’t seem to be aligned with Kenney on this and support the law which says teachers are under no obligation to inform parents if their children belong to Gay Straight Alliance Clubs (GSA’s). More on the LBGTQ2 issue in another Blog.

ARTICS will give the Students Count Slate credit for being up front about who they are and what they are about.

The Students Count folks will have you believe there is another slate. A Slate of candidates supported by Unions and also SOS Alberta, even linking them to the NDP Government. The tone from SOS is clear that they are certainly no fan of the Students Count Slate. I’m not sure they necessarily directly support any of the Union candidates. 5 of the 7 Ward sets have candidates publicly supported by the Calgary and District Labour Council to it’s membership. See Below. Laura Hack, Patricia Bolger, Richard Hehr, Julie Hrdlicka and Tory Tomblin have made this list. “Vote for the candidates who support working families”. It is less clearly a slate and less clear about what this support means about the candidates? Invest in our communities, Fair taxation, Better Wages and Good Jobs and sustainability are on the poster.



If you are looking at one of these candidates in your Ward for either Students Count, or CDLC we suggest asking hard questions about what these alliances mean to the Calgary Board of Education now and into the future.

It is extremely interesting that both Students Count and the CDLC have targeted 5 of the 7 Wards, the 2 that are not targeted both have incumbents running, even though Ward 5 and 10 have the former Students Count Slate member. Wards 1 and 2, with incumbent Trina Hurdman and challenger Gord Cummings have been supported by neither.

In other Wards, if you are looking for a more independent candidate, Wards 3 and 4 have Kim Tyers and Nimra Amjad. This race looks like a 4 horse race with 4 strong candidates. Single votes are going to matter here, so get out and vote.

In Wards 5 and 10, there are 12 candidates running. Some more seriously than others. This author lives in Ward 5 and 10 and has been involved in a candidate forum with many of the candidates. There are clearly some candidates that are just a name on the ballot. Many were difficult to find contact for and 6 didn’t show up for our forum and I haven’t seen evidence any of them having showed up for any other candidate events. Marilyn Dennis and Bianca Smetacek are the only candidates I have seen signs for, although Bianca’s are all on public spaces, while Marilyn’s are both on voters lawns and public property. There are also 11 candidates running for council in Ward 10 so there is a LOT of choice. Choose wisely 5 and 10 and research your candidates and be certain they share your values.

No independents in 6 and 7. In 8 and 9, there is one independent in Merle Terlesky. I drive through Ward 9 daily and see no evidence of Merle’s campaign. It looks like a choice between Bartlett and Hehr. No independents in 11 and 13 either.

Wards 12 and 14 is another super interesting race. I can’t comment on the sign war, not having been in the area. Independent candidates who seem to be campaigning hard on social media and receiving endorsements are: Samantha McLeod, Sara Peden, and Jennifer Seamone. Much like Wards 3 and 4, Single votes are going to matter, so educate yourself on the candidates and get out and vote.

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