Barriere’s Mayor gets roadside suspension

Mayor Mike Fennell gets roadside suspension after registering a fail on a roadside screening device

On Saturday, Oct. 29, an RCMP road block on Agate Bay Road stopped a male driver of a pickup truck in a roadside check.  The driver was polite and cooperative, and so were the RCMP.

However, the stop resulted in police issuing an immediate roadside prohibition to the driver who registered a fail on a roadside screening device.

The driver was District of Barriere’s Mayor Mike Fennell.

“I made a terrible decision to drive after having a few beer,” Fennell told the Star/Journal on Wednesday, “And I am now facing the consequences of that decision.”

Fennell says although he will not be charged for the incident, his vehicle has been impounded for 30 days, there is a 90 day suspension on his driving license, he has to participate in a responsible driver program before he can get his vehicle back, and he has to register for the ignition interlock program.

He will also be hit hard in the pocketbook for over $4,060; $880 for mandatory participation in the responsible driver program, $1,730 for the interlock program, a fine of $500 to Motor Vehicles, a $700 vehicle impoundment fee, and a $250 driver’s license reinstatement fee.

In B.C., a vehicle driven by someone with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .05 can be taken off the road by police and impounded for three to 30 days. The length of impoundment depends on the driver’s BAC, and whether they’ve been caught before.

For Fennell this was a first time offence, but he says it will definitely be the last.

“Unless you have gone through this you cannot imagine how bad and awful I feel right now,” said Fennell,  “I know I made a terrible decision, and I regret it immensely; now I have to stand up and face the people I have hurt.”

Fennell says he has spent the past two days apologizing to his family and friends, and he must now apologize to the citizens of Barriere for his actions.

“I accept full responsibility for my bad judgement,” said Fennell, “Believe me, I’ve learned my lesson; but I will be paying emotionally for this terrible decision for a long time to come.”

Asked if he will be stepping back from the upcoming election as incumbent mayor, Fennell replied, “No, I will not withdraw.  I believe I have a duty to continue my campaign for the residents of Barriere.  The democratic process must proceed in this election and the voters must continue to have a choice.   Both the chief electoral officer, and a legal advisor have confirmed that this roadside prohibition does not effect my abilities to carry out my duties as mayor.”

Fennell says over the next two weeks he will knock on every door in the municipality “to personally apologize to the citizens for my bad judgement, and to explain my platform as Mayor”.

“I cannot say how sorry I am that I have let the people of Barriere down.  I have worked hard for the District as mayor,” said Fennell with considerable emotion, “If the people are satisfied with my last four years in office, and if they want me to continue to represent them as mayor, I will work even harder to continue to improve our community and its future.”

Voters will now have to ask themselves if a one-time roadside prohibition has affected Fennell’s ability to lead?  Or is it an emotionally hard lesson learned for the incumbent Mayor, and can voters put that behind them?



Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

(TNRD Library)
Let the mystery of the Summer Reading Club begin

Are you ready to ‘Crack the Case’ at the Barriere Library?

(Metro Creative photo)
Gardeners of all ages invited to enter 2021 NT Fall Fair contests

The North Thompson Fall Fair Drive Thru scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 4,… Continue reading

Milsom Lodge was built in the East Barriere Valley when the Milsom brothers purchased two parcels of land in 1911, DL 2323 and DL2324. (Milsom’s photo)
The Milsom Lodge: The mansion, the ballroom, the history

“At the turn of the century, when so many families were leaving… Continue reading

Ladies Golf close enough for a cheery wave

A new month - new COVID rules - a new start. For… Continue reading

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read