Lefebure wins Cowichan Valley Regional District chair election

It took two ballots and a first-ever question period for the Cowichan Valley Regional District directors to elect Jon Lefebure to the position of board chair Wednesday evening.

The board and the region are "facing big challenges and big opportunities," Lefebure said. "We have truly exciting potential on this new board."

Lefebure, also the mayor of the Municipality of North Cowichan, was challenged by Area H Director Mary Marcotte and Area D Director Lori Iannidinardo. Area F Director Ian Morrison declined his nomination in favour of Marcotte.

Lefebure, in his address to the directors prior to the vote, said he is excited about the next four years with the board, which has many new faces following the elections on Nov. 15.

He comes into the job with no fixed agenda, he said, but is strictly against backroom deals, politicking and cliques on the board that pit electoral areas against municipal directors, something that has caused problems in the past.

Lefebure said he is invested in the success of the board, which will require acting as a team.

"I take that very seriously," he said, before a packed gallery.

He went on to identify what he believes will be some of the most important things facing the board in the next four years.

"I’m very optimistic that this board will bring a commitment to regional watershed governance, will find ways to protect our region from contaminated soil, will bring new thinking to budgetary concerns and will, dare I say it, consider a regional growth strategy," he said. "We have some really hard work to do on transit."

Continuing to build relationships with First Nations will also be key, he said.

Before voting began on the first ballot, new Cobble Hill Director Matteus Clement threw the group a curve ball by suggesting directors be allowed to ask questions of the candidates, particularly the new directors who are not as familiar with those who were nominated.

After discussion where some directors expressed reluctance to proceed with a question period without a procedure in place to govern it, the idea was approved and the four new electoral area directors each asked the candidates one question.

They ranged in subject from ideas to improve economic prospects in the area, to addressing the issues brought forward by climate change and how they would run the board.

The first ballot saw none of the three win a majority, so lowest vote getter Mary Marcotte withdrew and a second ballot was taken, with Lefebure coming out the winner.

Lori Iannidinardo was acclaimed as board vice chair.

After Lefebure took his seat he thanked outgoing chair Rob Hutchins for his service, then went on to praise the process they’d just undertaken. "There was new thinking," he said of the question period and how smoothly it ran. "This is indicative of what this board can do.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cowichan Valley food banks reopen on a limited basis

CMS handing out hampers, Basket Society doing hampers and sandwiches

Province restricts open burning in Cowichan Valley until April 15

Measure meant to assist fight against COVID-19

What you said: Shingles vaccine worthy of consideration

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash

Kevin Timothy to plead guilty to animal cruelty charge

He will appear at the Duncan courthouse on March 24

Minister and Halalt First Nation chief consult on effects of recent flooding

Community heavily impacted with many damaged and uninhabitable homes

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Most Read