It’s been an interesting month leading up to the November 15th municipal election in the Columbia Valley.

The Valley Echo’s four-week pre-election Q&A has not only been useful to residents wanting to educate themselves about candidates’ views on hot topics, but it’s also been something of a barometer, offering a measurement of the current political atmosphere in the valley from north to south.

Thank you to the readers who took the time to send us the questions you wanted asked. And kudos to all the candidates who participated, especially those acclaimed — which was a surprising nine out of a total of 25 candidates across all categories — 36 per cent. Having already earned their seats, these individuals had no other agenda than to honestly communicate to their communities about what they will be bringing to their respective roles. Very commendable and we thank you for your extremely thoughtful contributions.

For all of its shared culture and geographical privileges, the valley is an amazingly divese area. The rural Area G currently has a focus on improving infrastructure, from water systems to community halls to recreational facilities. The historical tourist mecca of Radium Hot Springs, with its acclaimed mayor and council, is staying the course but open to ideas on how to strengthen its village. Quiet, remote Canal Flats is realizing that a bigger tax base is needed to pay for its infrastructure demands and only economic growth will help realize it.  Area F is battling nature, with flood and water and lake challenges. And Invermere, the valley’s economic centre, is wrestling with ways to meet the needs of its community without breaking the bank.

With the only mayoral challenge in the valley, Canal Flats stands to see the most change. But if the contrasting opinions expressed across the board are anything to go by, it may not be business as usual in the valley after the votes are tallied this Saturday.