The City of Port Alberni’s new council held their inaugural meeting on Monday, Nov. 7.
Mayor Sharie Minions took her oath of office on Monday, along with councillors Dustin Dame, John Douglas, Debbie Haggard, Charles Mealey, Todd Patola and Cindy Solda.
Minions presented her inaugural address after the oaths, reflecting on the changes that have taken place in Port Alberni over the last four years and looking towards the future with a new council.
“We come from a variety of backgrounds, with a unique spectrum of different experiences, and I know we will bring a diverse range of ideas and approaches to this table,” she said. “But along with our differences, I’ve been really struck by the strong commonalities I’ve heard.”
Some of these themes and priorities include reconciliation, housing, a commitment to process, transparency and community engagement, waterfront redevelopment, infrastructure renewal and quality of life.
Minions also took a moment on Monday to thank outgoing councillors Ron Corbeil, Ron Paulson, Helen Poon and Dan Washington.
Representatives from Hupacasath and Tseshaht First Nation were both invited to the inaugural meeting to welcome the new council to their traditional territory. The meeting ended with members of all three governments joining together to sing a Tseshaht song.
“We just want to party,” Tseshaht elected councillor Ed Ross laughed on Monday. “It’s a good day.”