Maureen LeBourdais is the new Cariboo Regional District Area F director after winning Saturday’s byelection with 315 votes.
Candidates Brice O’Neill received 27 and Shannon Rerie garnered 50.
“It was surprising, I tried not to have expectations,” LeBourdais told the Tribune. “It always depends on who turns out to vote.”
Comparing the election to the regular election in October, the preliminary results show 392 votes cast this time whereas there were 665 votes in October.
She will be officially sworn in on April 12 so she is director-elect until then.
“I have been on the phone already with quite a few groups, and my first official task once I am sworn in is to attend a meeting with the Emergency Preparedness Committee and I am going to be sitting on that committee for sure,” she said. “It will include people from the CRD, the provincial ministries and the Cariboo Fire Centre, as well.”
Last week the CRD announced it will be expanding its Williams Lake office to make way for a dedicated emergency operations centre in the area presently rented to Raymond James Ltd.
“I’m sure that will be talked about at the meeting and how it is going to be managed,” LeBourdais added.
Within her riding, while campaigning, she had several conversations with constituents.
“There is a group looking at a labour market partnership and employment supports that can be put into place regarding the partial shutdown of Mount Polley Mine and I have been asked to sit on that.”
Joan Sorley, who has been acting Area F director, has agreed to be the alternate, if CRD Chair Margo Wagner approves.
On Tuesday, the two women had a long conversation on the phone, LeBourdais added.
“There are some standing committees Joan has been involved in and I will be rolling into some of those positions as well,” LeBourdais said. “Joan’s will be big shoes to fill, and I am sure it will be a big learning curve. It will be nice to have Joan as a mentor.”
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett sent LeBourdais an e-mail congratulating her.
“[MLA Coralee Oakes] has been going around and visiting her communities and will be coming out this way,” she said. “I’ve been doing a lot of connecting with people, but nothing officially yet, until I am sworn in.”
In May, LeBourdais will attend the North Central Local Government Association Conference being held in Williams Lake and is looking forward to it.
“It will be my first really official meeting with other people from across the north. I also had a discussion this morning with Area D director Steve Forseth. Some of our area is split with part Area F and part Area D.”
LeBourdais will fill the seat previously won by Conrad Turcotte in the regular election in October.
Due to medical reasons Turcotte was unable to take an oath of office. Former Area F director Joan Sorley stayed on until the byelection.
LeBourdais is originally from Toronto. She arrived in the region as a young treeplanter and never left. She is married to Ray LeBourdais who grew up in Quesnel.
They have two grown sons — Matt and Jessee. Their daughter-in-law, Angie Delainey, is the Area E director, and a school trustee.