Area B director Karen Goodings, who also chairs the regional district board, said she is strongly leaning towards seeking another term, though she hasn’t quite made up her mind. She said there many ongoing issues in the district she would like to continue to be involved in, such as the future of the proposed Site C Dam, upcoming negotiations with the provincial government on FairShare funding, and reform of the Agricultural Land Reserve, to name a few.
“All those issues I find extremely interesting, and challenging,” she said.
Goodings has served as a regional director since 1988. She said there are many accomplishments she has been proud to be a part of in that time, such us advocating for improved rural roads,being part of the negotiations around the current FairShare agreement, and on a local level, the completion of the Buick Creek Arena last year.
She said if asked by other directors, she would be interested in chairing the board again, but that will depend on the outcome of the election.
Area C director Arthur Hadland said he will be seeking another term barring any unforeseen circumstance that would prevent him from running.
“My intention is to at least give it a run,” said Hadland. “I just feel we all should take a turn at giving back to community, and I committed myself to six years of this, so as long as the electorate is willing, I will give it a run.”
Hadland was elected as director in 2008 after serving as an alternate director for his area off and on for several years before that.
He said there are many issues he would like to see addressed if re-elected – a solution to the issues around the Charlie Lake Sewer System, completion of the Peace River Lookout just outside of Fort St. John, and to continue his advocacy against the Site C Dam project. He added he would also like to see more local benefits from the development of the region’s natural gas resources, through co-generation power plants, for example.
Hadland said he is proud of many of the accomplishments the board has achieved during his tenure, such as the new governance model being developed for the Charlie Lake Fire Department, which he said will be very beneficial for that community. He added he is positive about the direction on weed control in the district, an item he feels is very important to stewardship of the land.
Area D director Wayne Heibert said he is still undecided at this point. He said there are certainly many issues – such as the oil and gas development that is booming in the rural areas around Dawson Creek, and the ongoing struggles area farmers have with the BC Assessment Authority is maintaining their farm status – that he would like to continue to be involved in.
Area E director Tim Caton will not be seeking another term after serving 21 years total as a director and an alternate director, as he will be retiring and moving down to the Okanagan to be closer to his children and grandchildren.
“It has been my pleasure to serve the rural constituents of Area E for 15 years as an elected director, but I think it’s time for me to go,” said Caton.
He said highlights of his time on the board include working with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to install overhead street lights on Highway 97 at McLeod Junction, Wabi Hill Junction and the Tembec mill junction; and putting signs up at the entrances to the Peace River Regional District from Alberta and southern British Columbia. He added the expansion of the Chetwynd and District Recreation Centre was also a highlight, saying the facility is fantastic and a great asset for the town and surrounding communities.
Caton added he loves summertime in the Peace region and will visit as often as possible.
This year’s civic elections fall on Nov. 19. Locations of polling stations in the rural areas has yet to be determined, but that information will be posted as soon as it can be confirmed. Candidates will submit their nomination packages between Oct. 4 to 14, and if only one name is included on the ballot, that person is elected by acclamation. Once elected, electoral area directors will select an alternate director to serve in their place when they are not available.