Ron Gariepy is running for mayor of Slave Lake in the April 3 byelection. The 34-year resident is a semi-retired oilfield consultant, whose idea for how to run a town is quite different than what’s usual.
Gariepy is in favour of a type of participatory democracy, with citizens a lot more involved in the process.
“What I’d like to see happen is for people to be able to vote on what we decide in council,” Gariepy says. “I’d like to feel the heartbeat of the town in the decisions we have to make.”
Gariepy envisions a system involving QR codes for all voters to facilitate ease in voting. Along with that would be a system of the town providing information on whatever the issues are to be voted on.
“Everybody should have a say in everything,” he says. “It would tell us where we’re really at. People I talk to – they think they should have more say in how their taxes are spent, if they should be.”
It would be complicated to implement, Gariepy says, but the technology exists. Once it’s in place, he figures it could work well.
That’s about it for the Gariepy election platform. He says he doesn’t want to comment or speculate about other issues or objectives, because he thinks the citizens should be deciding what’s important.
Gariepy came to Slave Lake in the 1980s from southern B.C. and went to work in the oil and gas industry. He did that as a laborer for 17 years, followed by 17 years operating his own consulting business. Along the way he and his wife Florence had three daughters and now have nine grandchildren. He doesn’t do oilpatch work any more.
“In winter I plow snow for a company in town and landscaping in the summer.”
As far as campaigning goes, Gariepy says he’s “going to leave that up to the people.” If there’s a candidates forum, he says he’d be happy to participate.
Just to clarify a few things… My (Participatory Democracy) vision for the Town Of Slave Lake may or may not include Personal QR codes to vote on Council decisions, as there are several ways this could be done. Every Tax Payer is already in the system and could be sent a login platform officially from the Town of Slave Lake to vote (Yes) or (No) on issues that affect the residents. Obvious issues like, water main breaks, road maintenance, snow clearing and the like, including unforeseen emergencies that need immediate attention, will not be voted on by the residents due to the timing and nature of the response needed to achieve acceptable performance. Although maintenance such as (Snow Clearing) may be an exception to the rule. As far as existing (Bylaws) are concerned, i will be reviewing and amending certain (Bylaws) that do not benefit the Residents or Businesses in a productive way. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to certain (Bylaws) concerning matters such as (Raising Chickens) I believe the locals can achieve this in a mature manner with their neighbors and neighborhoods. A community (Chicken Farm) would not be out of the question. This is one of many (Bylaws) that will be reviewed. Community gardens is also something i would like to see, which leads me to another issue. As we all know, an additional 30% Carbon Tax is coming down the pipes as of April 1, 2023, and it’s not an April Fools Joke. This means, almost everything you purchase will go up by 30%. From groceries, to Fuel. Not to mention, the Federal Gov. is talking about another increase in GST. If you haven’t been pounded hard enough yet, we are all being set up for failure. (52%)of Canadians are already suffering, and this will be the nail in the coffin for millions of Canadians. (And they know it) This is not just an attack on our lively hoods, it’s a calculated attack under the guise of Engineered Climate Change. When i say (Engineered) i am referring to the (FACT) that our climate is being manipulated in ways that would make your head spin. I will not get into that here. Never the less, we are all headed to 15 minute cities while they control us with their (Central Bank Digital Currency) in the very near future. The European Union will be the first to implement it first. Their almost there now. This will give them total control of your finances through a Digital ID. Which is all coming to Chinada very shortly. The only way to battle the Digital ID is to (JUST SAY NO)! As a community, we need to focus on helping, loving and caring for our neighbors, our Children, the oppressed and each other. Though you may disagree on some of the topics i mentioned here, one thing is for sure, “If God is with us, who can be against us”? May God keep Canada Strong and Free.