Two returning councillors, three brandnew councillors, and one councillor returning after a few years away from the table were sworn in on Wednesday afternoon along with Mayor Jon Lefebure as North Cowichan held its first meeting of the 2014-18 regime.
Re-elected representatives Al Siebring and Kate Marsh were joined by rookies Maeve Maguire, Rob Douglas and Joyce Behnsen, as well as Tom Walker, a former councillor and mayor who brings a wealth of experience back to council.
The councillors were all reminded of their great responsibility by Glen Ridgway, another former councillor and Queen’s Counsel, who handled the swearing-in ceremony.
"The people will remember your title, but they will remember and appreciate your record," he said.
He also advised cooperation among council.
"I do urge council, in like with your principles, to work together," he said. "It is by working together that we achieve results."
In his address, Lefebure recalled the many major issues that the last council dealt with, including taxation for the Catalyst mill, the location of the Chemainus library, Stoney Hill, diking, Echo Heights and the Chemainus skate park. Going forward, he wants to focus on jobs, the environment, and reconciliation with First Nations. He also talked about council’s responsibility to all of the residents of the municipality.
"We are not here just so serve those who are well off," he said. "We have to look after everyone."
Along with Lefebure, Douglas and Walker were appointed as North Cowichan’s representatives on the Cowichan Valley Regional District board. The other four councillors will all serve as alternates.