Barriere’s mayor is not seeking re-election

Virginia Smith is preparing to retire from politics

By Beth Audet

Barriere’s mayor Virginia Smith is not seeking re-election.

She has been involved in council for 11 years, since the day Barriere incorporated in 2007. Now, she says it’s time to step aside and take some time for herself.

“It’s been really very rewarding,” she said, when speaking about her time as mayor.

“I really want to thank (the people of Barriere) for the support that I’ve had since 2007, not just as mayor … it’s been a real honour and a privilege to serve the community.”

She described her term as “very interesting,” with incredible accomplishments as well as some frustrations.

One of her biggest frustrations, she said, has been “how slow the wheels of government go.”

“Everything seems to take so long.”

Smith said she would have liked to see grants come in for the water line down Barriere Town Road and the revitalization of the downtown core.

She’s been waiting for five years to see that blue and white sign from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure pointing traffic to Barriere’s downtown. “That’s ridiculous,” she said.

“I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve met that didn’t realize that there’s a downtown Barriere. They thought what was on the highway was it.”

She said there’s still a sign, within the boundaries of Barriere, saying Louis Creek Unincorporated.

“It’s just stuff like that I find very, very frustrating.”

On a positive note, she said there have been accomplishments for which she feels immensely proud.

Most notably are the solar aquatics sewer system and the splash pad.

She said the new sewer system may have had problems, but it’s green and it’s innovative and “it’s a really amazing accomplishment for our community.”

The splash pad, she said, was completed mostly through fundraising.

The community forest donated $150,000, former MLA Terry Lake managed to drum up $40,000, “and the rest of it came from apple pie sales and bake sales and that kind of thing and I’m very proud of that.”

Going forward, Smith said she’d love to see the new council continue the work she started, looking for grants so they can move forward with economic development and improve the aging infrastructure.

As for what how she’ll be spending her time, she said she plans to volunteer within the community and will be resuming her passion for the fibre arts: weaving and knitting.

When asked whether she would stay in Barriere, she immediately replied, “Oh yeah. This is my home.”

Just Posted

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

Cathy McLeod ready to run in Election 2019

“I have the passion, energy and support from my family to continue working hard for our region.”

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Shuswap plane missing since 1987 discovered near Clearwater

A family finally has closure after a plane missing since 1987 was discovered in the Clearwater B.C.

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Most Read