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 Performing Arts Centre streaming new short film tonight

Standing By has been created and performed by Cowichan-raised actor Nicole Ratjen.

Original drums recovered amid offers to replace stolen Chemainus church set

Chemainus United Church grateful for actions of a caring community

Who’s running in Cowichan?

A list of Cowichan candidates for the upcoming provincial election

Shawnigan Lake’s Kubica gets 25 to life for murder in California

Former Shawnigan Lake man convicted of killing woman in 1990

Police seek help in naming Cowichan farmstand theft suspect

Video captured man prying cash box out stand on Norcross Road

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Parksville pedestrian airlifted to hospital in Vancouver after nighttime collision

Police report man’s injuries were ‘significant’ but not life-threatening

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

Most Read