Mike Fennell of Barriere is a candidate for the Thompson Nicola Regional District Director for Area ‘O’, and is also a candidate for councillor in the District of Barriere.
Fennell, served as the first mayor for the District of Barriere, was subsequently acclaimed to a second term, and in 2011 defeated in his run for a third term by Bill Humphreys. Fennell also served as the alternate director for TNRD Area ‘O’ under director Bonnie Cruzelle-Myram, but lost his bid for the director position in a by-election held after Cruzelle-Myram’s passing to Bill Kershaw.
By all appearances Fennell was actively preparing to run this year to take back the mayor’s seat when he not only surprised his supporters, but also those who would run against him, when at the last minute he relinquished the run for mayor and put in his nomination papers for councillor of the District of Barriere instead. At the same time Fennell also filed nomination papers to contest Bill Kershaw for the Thompson Nicola Regional District Area ‘O’ director’s seat.
The Star/Journal asked Fennell why he had decided not to contest for the mayor’s seat?
“I put a lot of thought into it,” said Fennell, “And what best explains my decision is a quote from my mom and dad, “Don’t do what’s best for you, do what’s best for your community”. I looked at what I believe is best for the District, with Virginia also running for mayor the two of us could have split the vote and the current mayor could get back in for another four years. After all the havoc, bullying and intimidation he has caused it would be a disaster for Barriere. I urge everyone who has supported me over the last few years to vote for Virginia Smith as mayor.”
Asked why he also went for the TNRD Area ‘O’ seat, Fennell answered, “There are a number of issues in the outlying areas. Each community has its own issues. For instance the Little Fort Fire Department needs upgrading to meet insurance standards, and I continue to advocate for all the people in the outlying areas for the services they need. If I am elected to the District of Barriere council and as TNRD Area ‘O’ director it will give me an opportunity to work on job creation for the whole area and continue to enhance tourism. I want to make Barriere a place where businesses can grow, and I want to continue to make Barriere a great place to raise a family in a safe environment.”
We asked Fennell what he considered positive milestones that were created in Barriere during his previous tenure as mayor?
“There are a number of things I see as milestones,” said Fennell, “ The creation of Fader Park for one, especially as this took place while we were just getting started as a District. The day I was elected, we started with an appointed manager, a laptop and one desk. It was pretty fulfilling to build the infrastructure needed to run a community and to work with government while we did it.”
Asked what his election platform would be, Fennell replied, “To enhance tourism, to help business thrive and grow, to enhance the livability of Barriere for everyone – children, seniors and everyone in between. To work on job creation now that the District has the Louis Creek Industrial Park, and to repair and enhance the relationship with Simpcw First Nations.”
What is Fennell’s vision for Barriere’s future?
“To make Barriere a place where our children can get a decent paying job and where they can raise their children so they also don’t have to move away to find employment,” said Fennell.
You can contact Mike Fennell by calling 250-672-9848, cell 250-319-9136 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.