Bill Kershaw has lived in the Barriere area for 50 years.
He originally served on the TNRD’s board for nine years, then took seven years off before coming back.
Since returning to public service, he’s been the director for electoral area O for six consecutive years and is now seeking re-election.
Question: What made you want to run for director again?
A: Aside from wanting to see through projects he’s been a part of, Kershaw said he recognizes that this is the territory of the Simpcw First Nation.
He said he’s developed a good working relationship with the Simpcw people starting back when he owned a service station and managed tow trucks and this continued into his career with the TNRD.
“I would hate to have somebody come in that might ruin that relationship.”
Question: What do you believe qualifies you for the position?
A: “My job is not to do anything other than make it so that the people within the community can achieve the goals that they wish within their community,” he said.
As examples of how he’s helped communities achieve their goals, he talked about the boat launch he helped bring to Adam’s Lake in 2014. He said that’s been so successful they now need to create more parking for all the boats.
He also talked about the cemetery and community hall in Little Fort and how he’s helped transition management and maintenance of both over to the TNRD while allowing their respective groups to continue running them.
This way both remain secure even if volunteer participation tapers.
Question: What are the more important issues in the TNRD?
A: One of the most important things for the TNRD, said Kershaw, is the pipeline. He said it’s needed for economic reasons plus the Simpcw First Nation have the “best-trained people in the countryside” and have a good facility to take care of spills on the pipeline or on the railroad.
“We must get that pipeline through this valley,” he said. “And it’s not just out of greed, it’s out of need. This is a beautiful valley and we don’t want to ruin it by dumping a whole bunch of trainloads of oil into our North Thompson River.”
Question: What would you like to change?
A: Kershaw said there’s not a lot of change that needs to happen, instead, he has a list of projects he wants to make sure to get completed.
For instance, he said the new fire playbook put a heavy burden on small-town fire departments.
As a solution, he said they’ve developed a “reciprocal agreement” to join the Little Fort and Blackpool fire departments so they can continue servicing the communities while meeting the rules and regulations laid out in the fire playbook.
Question: Why should people vote for you?
A: “I think right now of the two people that are running, I’m probably the best qualified,” he said. Within his 50 years living in the area, Kershaw said he’s always been out in the public. “I’ve developed a trust from people, I believe, over the years that I will represent them to the best of my ability anyway, that’s for sure.”
Question: How can people get in touch with you?
A: To reach out to Kershaw, you can find him on Facebook, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org phone him on his cell 250-319-4770 or at home 250-672-9641.