Meet the candidates for CRD Area F by-election: Maureen LeBourdais

LeBourdais is one of three vying for Area F director

Long-time Beaver Valley resident Maureen LeBourdais is running in the CRD byelection after being urged several times in the past to represent Area F.

“This time, I thought ‘this keeps coming up in my life,’ and it feels like the time is right,” LeBourdais said.

Three years ago when she left her job at the Fraser Basin Council she was ready for a break, but now feels with her experience, skills and education, she has something to offer the CRD.

At FBC, she was involved with integrated community sustainability planning for local government and was the regional manager for almost four years.

“I did quite a bit of facilitation for issues in the region and Fraser Basin Council has a relationship with all of the regional districts because that is part of their governance structure.”

Area F — East Cariboo — has six distinct communities, LeBourdais said, adding the overarching issue or concern is emergency preparedness, specifically the wildfires in 2017, the Mount Polley Mine tailings dam breach in 2014 and when the Horsefly River floods.

“Every four or five years the river floods and half of the community is cut off and other than a few back roads there is not another exit off that side of the river,” LeBourdais said.

Read more: Stewardship workshop attracts crowd

Another issue is solid waste disposal and whether the region needs more transfer stations, gated or not-gated.

There are also always day-to-day and ongoing community-based work to liaise with government on behalf of constituents, she added.

“I think I will bring an understanding of local government to the board, the CRD’s mandate is quite specific, but you can ask as a liaise to the province and the federal government,” she added. “It’s not really about what my issues are — it’s about the constituents and the communities’ concerns. What do they want to see happen or where is there a conflict that you can help solve.”

Originally from Toronto, she arrived in B.C. after high school to tree plant and ended up staying.

“I was supposed to go back and go to university, but I never did. I met Ray LeBourdais who was born in Quesnel.”

Their son, Matt LeBourdais, is married to Angie Delainey, who is also a CRD director, and their son Jesse lives in Vancouver.

When asked if she perceived a problem with being on the board with her daughter-in-law if elected, LeBourdais said she did not think it would make a difference.

“Angie is representing a different area. We are like-minded in some ways, but not in everything. It’s great to see her on the board because it’s the beginning of the shift of having that next generation involved.”

Advance voting takes places Monday, March 25 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at th CRD board office, 180 Third Avenue North.

General voting day is Saturday, March 30 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with polls at the CRD board office, 150 Mile School, Horsefly community hall, Big Lake community hall and Likely School.

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